• The first major study of the subject, aimed at an academic as well as a general readership • Illustrated with superb images collected over the years by the authors
Kashmir has an enduring claim to the attention of lovers of beauty, with its breathtaking landscapes. It is also home to the Kashmir shawl, which at its finest was among the most exquisite textiles ever woven, the product of consummate artistry and skill applied to Pashmina, one of the most delicate fibres in the world. More than that, for at least three centuries, the shawl's excellence and worth made it the center of a huge and complex commercial operation involving, in its heyday, tens of thousands of people, and extending from Tibet to the marts of west Asia, Europe and America. Coveted by Mughal emperors and Sikh maharajas, Iranian nobles, Armenian merchants, French empresses, British aristocrats and, eventually, the prosperous bourgeoisie created on both sides of the Atlantic by the Industrial Revolution, it inspired any number of imitations, but none that could even approach the delicacy and charm of the original. This is the first major study of the subject, aimed at an academic as well as a general readership. The objective is to combine a well researched and accessibly written text with carefully chosen illustrations that will complement the text and bring it to life.