Cashmere Scarf Shahtoosh Ivory
100% Cashmere Toosh
Made in Kashmir
210 CM x 72 CM
Shahtoosh means “King of wool” in Persian it is extremely fine and translucent.
Shawls made from it can easily pass through a wedding ring, this is the easy and quick method to test it’s quality. Cashmere is a lot like horse-hair but the delicate astrakhan (made from fetal lambs) makes it feel like an old woolen jumper. Napoleon gave a shahtoosh shawl to Josephine. Indian maharajas gave them to their concubines and Chinese emperors sent armies to plunder them, so sort after were they.
The test for a quality pashmina is warmth, and the ease that the shawl passes through a wedding ring. Pashmina is unmistakable for its softness. Shahtoosh (also written as Shatush) a Persian word meaning "Pleasure of Kings", was the name given to a specific kind of shawl which was woven with the down hair of the Chiru or Tibetan Antelope by the weavers of Kashmir. These shawls were originally scarce and it took very skilled artisans to weave the delicate hair which measured between 9 and 11 micrometers. These factors made Shahtoosh shawls very precious.
Chiru live in one of the harshest environments on earth at an altitude of over 5 000 meters. Their special type of down fur is both very light and warm and allows them to survive the freezing conditions of the plateau where they gather. They are migratory animals moving down from Mongolia to Tibet, traditionally followed closely by nomads who also make that journey every year. The nomads hunt the antelope for hide, meat, bones, horns and fur pelts. The nomads the Chiru to sustain them through their journey. Shatoosh is incredibly fine making it virtually impossible to handle and this is where the weavers of Kashmir played their role. With their experience in handling the finest hand-combed Pashmina wool, they could weave shawls of the most exquisite quality and thus the Shahtoosh shawl was born.
When the British (of British India) traveled to Kashmir in Summer, they discovered the worth of Pashmina and Shahtoosh shawls and introduced them to the world. This led to a greater demand for these products and subsequently, the antelope was hunted down for its fur and this led to it now being listed as an endangered species. Thankfully they have been given the highest possible level of legal protection resulting in no further commercial trade in Shahtoosh being permitted.
This also led to the demise of the skill of the Kashmir weavers, who were the only ones in the world who could handle the fibre
This is the reason why one cannot find 100 percent Shahtoosh today, but Kashmiri weavers came up with an idea to use their skills to weave a high quality pashmina found in the upper regions of Ladakh. This mixture of toosh and pashmina gives the same feel and looks very much like pure Shahtoosh.
In Kashmir we weave them in different designs but the most famous designs are Kani jamawar and paldar. It has a paisley design in the middle with a solid but different colour paisley design at both ends, this is known as a Mughlai design. These designs have been famous for centuries. It is believed that when Mughals wanted to please their queens, they gave them either handwoven carpets or handwoven shawls.
Plain toosh shawls as well as unisex shawls are woven in design called “Chashme bul- bul” and “Ghada kund.”
- Hand wash in luke warm water with a pinch of salt and soft washing powder.
- Dip it in clean water, take it out and dry it on a flat surface.