Background

Inspired by the beauty of nature
and the people

WOMENMIND’s hand-embroidered scarves are inspired by the wonderful nature and the beauty of the people of the Punjab region in Pakistan. There, the women embroider traditional designs combined with modern elements on fine cashmere. They turn every scarf into a captivating piece of art.

The history of WOMENMIND began in Punjab, a region in India and Pakistan – in the immediate vicinity of the Kashmir region, where the making of shawls has its roots.

The Kashmiri scarf

The word ‘scarf’ comes from ‘shal’, a Persian word for fine wool clothing. The origin of Kashmiri shawl production dates back to the 15th century, flourishing during the period of the Moghul Empire between 1587 and 1758. Back in time the shawls were recognized as a particular feature of the aristocracy throughout the Persian-Indian region.

A former general of Napoleon, Monsieur Allard, who served in the army of Ranjit Singh in 1822, established a connection between a scarf manufacturer in Kashmir and Paris. Napoleon’s wife Josephine loved the soft and elegant cloths and helped them to become a fashion trend in Paris and later throughout Europe. (Mehr erfahren)

The fascination for the scarves is unbroken, women all over the world enjoy the soft fabrics and beautiful handicrafts, and not only during the cold seasons.


Painting of Josephine Bonaparte (Antoine-Jean Gros)

The beauty of handcrafted textiles
lies in the culture and creativity
that is woven into each unique piece.

WOMENMIND went to Punjab, Pakistan and met the women, with whom the hand-embroidery of the cashmere scarves was designed. The basis of these special scarves is its extraordinary material. Cashmere is pure nature and is taken from the chin area and the lower abdomen of mountain goats. They live in 3000 to 4000 meters altitude in the Himalayas at temperatures up to minus 40 degrees in a pollutant-free world. The thermal conduction of cashmere wool is a gift of nature. Cashmere wool warms about 6 times better than sheep’s wool because the interstices store heat perfectly, moisture is quickly absorbed and lead to the outside. At the same time, the cashmere wool is water repellent.

In a collective process, the designs of the scarves are reviewed and finally selected. Then the women embroider the precious cashmere with the finest thread, turning it into wonderful piece of art. Inspiration finds the women in their beautiful environment that is reflected not only in the enchanting nature but also in the heart of the people. That is how traditional crafts, cultural conditions and modern influences all come together in the work of the artisans.

The embroidering happens as part of a communal exchange of family and cultural nature. Depending on the details of the design, the women can sit together up to 120 hours per scarf making every single one unique.

Was