Did we mention Cameron Diaz, Judi Dench and Richard Gere are fans of their cashmere? Now find them exclusively at Le Mill! Muzakir Andrabi gives us a quick rundown of what makes Andraab’s cashmere shawls special.
The big reason why they started: “Like any small scale cottage industry, weaving is integral to the daily life of masses in the valley of Kashmir. Over the last 200 years, the local weavers have improvised, and been inspired by many foreign influences, so the quality and finish of the Kashmiri products is among the best in the world. The mere fact that the finest pashmina is locally produced in Ladakh division of the state, adds up to the glory of the products.”
The fabric is integral to their process: “Pashmina, which is the finest grade of cashmere, has always been the preferred fabric for textile connoisseurs and for ages it used to be the ‘royal fabric’. The nobility made pashmina popular in Europe around the 15th and 16th century. Despite being a light fabric, pashmina provides plenty of warmth, which makes it very popular. The nuanced embroidery adds to its aesthetic value.”
Their major draw: “We’re known for blending a 650 year old craft, of hand-weaving pashminas, with modern sensibilities of colour and design. We’re also very particular about the yarn we use, which comes from Ladakh’s Changtang valley.”
They got noticed: “Around 2003, we were featured in the Oprah’s O magazine and a few editions of Vogue starting with Australia.”
They’ve got Hollywood’s nod: Richard Gere, Thandie Newton, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, and Judi Dench are among their patrons.
The most elaborate piece they ever made: “It took us about 42 months to get the embroidery done and it was a masterpiece. It was sold to one of our patrons in Latvia.”