Babar Afzal, a shepherd and pashmina artist from Jammu & Kashmir, has come out with an initiative, Global Luxury Pashmina Dialogue Series, to preserve, enhance and re-imagine the authentic handmade pashmina heritage. The objective is to walk the audience through pashmina’s journey right from Changthang to luxury stores in Europe and bring back the lost sheen of the fabric once worn by royalty. Sozni pashmina shawls take around six to seven years to be made and cost close to Rs 70 lakhs.
The dialogue intends to be a yearly event, first in six cities of India and subsequently going international. Udaipur will be the first city. Others are Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and New Delhi. Among the items on display will be a paisley woven wool and silk shawl with a typical all-over intricate design, part of the big-sized square Mughal collection woven in gold thread, priced over Rs 1.5 crores.
Besides antique collection from the Mughal courts, two dozen pashmina artworks made from pashmina goat hair, vegetable dyes and cotton will be showcased. The cost of each artworks ranges between Rs 20 lakhs and Rs 50 lakhs. France, Germany, Canada, Monaco and the UAE are the largest importers of pashmina.