Known As the royal robe, antique Jamvar shawls from personal collections of families from Kashmir were recently exhibited for two days in the city. Some of these family heirlooms were up for sale. The event was hosted by Maneka Gandhi. Textiles expert Rajeev Sethi hosted an interactive talk on the process of identifying different Jamevars and also gave a brief history of the shawls from different centuries.
The earliest Jamevar weave came from Persia and the weavers were summoned from Turkmenistan to teach their skills to Kashmiris. Each shawl would take upto three years to weave. The base of the Jamevar is wool with cotton added to it. The shawls are colourful with floral patterns and paisley designs.
Preparing the wrap for the shawls has a very distinct pattern. A pattern maker also called Talimguru, wrote down these instructions using the traditional signs — the shawl alphabets — which were then followed kept while weaving.
At the display, were robes worn by kings, Fuzani Jamevar Rumal, Kani Jamevar Moon Shawl and also other shawls. The Kings robe was a rich garment woven intricately with heavy paisley designs and florals with rich hues of red.
Fuzani Jamevar Rumal are finely embroidered handkerchiefs which were initially made for noblemen and were draped over the shoulder. In the Kani Jamevar Shawl, a black medallion is superimposed on a vibrant khatmaz base. The style of chadari is typical of Afghan period with stripped backgrounds spread over the field.
‘Some of the Jamevar shawls that are on display are given out from family heirlooms,’ said curator Dhruv Chand.
‘The patterns have many motifs of the Persian art,’ he added.
The proceeds from the sale would go to Gandhi’s People for Animals.