Hand embroidered pashminas are exquisite! Master craftsmen painstakingly create beautiful works of art through stunning hand embroidery. This skill is past on from generation to generation. Artisans create shawls using "ari" or hook embroidery where motifs in the famous flower design finely worked in concentric rings of chain stitch.
The history of embroidered shawls dates back to the Moghal period in India. At the court of the Moghal emperors, a single flowering plant motif appeared and became the hallmark of Moghal art. In the Himalayan region of Kashmir, the design was used to decorate fine, goat hair shoulder mantles and sashes for male officials in the Moghal court.
Hand embroidered shawls from Kashmir are world famous. The embroidery is so fine and intricate. It takes many months to embroider the fine patterns.
Another type of embroidery called "sonzi" is generally created in a panel along the sides of the shawl. Motifs, usually abstract or stylized paisley and flowers are worked in one, two or three subdued colours.