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Kashmir


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Kashmir


Interview with Dr. Monisha Ahmed, Textile Anthropologist

Filmmaker Errol Rainey and Isaac Wall

Inspired by a deep love for India and a myriad of international influences ranging from global culture and fashion, ZEZE Collective presents a selection of the finest hand-woven and embroidered products from luxurious pashminas to shawls and bedspreads from the Kashmir Valley. Through the thoughtfully curated product and acclaimed filmmaker Errol Rainey’s documentary, ZEZE brings the Pashmina Road story to life.  Alongside their nomadic herders, the mountain goats follow the Pashmina Road from Central Ladakh to Western Tibet. Having had to adapt to the harsh conditions of the high Himalayas, the goat’s coat boasts an exceptionally light and warm fibre, yielding the best quality fabric.  In honor of the unique cashmere craft, ZEZE Collective partners with noted textile historian Jenny Housego and Asaf Ali and her team of master craftsmen from Kashmir Loom, which includes 150 artisans, who, together, breathe new life into an age-old art and India's top cashmere textiles.  Kashmir Loom’s approach transcends the physical processes, embracing the rich history of Kashmir itself. Woven into the textiles are the poetic rhythms of the region’s Sufi music, as well as the energy and many stories of the makers.  Production in Kashmir is a family affair. Women sitting at the traditional hand ‘charka’ wheel spin a pure gossamer yarn known the world over as Pashmina (or cashmere). Then, the men hand-weave the yarn into wonderfully supple and soft fabric. The end product is a piece of extraordinary beauty and workmanship, reflective of the rich history, unparalleled quality and artistic inspiration.

 

A film by Errol Rainey and Isaac Wall for ZEZE Collective

"Pashmina Road” is a meditative visual story - a journey from Ladakh to Kashmir to chronicle the elaborate process from sourcing to the making of the final pieces.

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Pashmina Road – A Journey of the World’s Finest Fibre


Pashmina Road – A Journey of the World’s Finest Fibre


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A master spinner separates and cleans raw pashmina fibres before spinning


In the process, the natural oils and other impurities are removed by rubbing a fine rice powder through the wool.

A master spinner separates and cleans raw pashmina fibres before spinning


In the process, the natural oils and other impurities are removed by rubbing a fine rice powder through the wool.

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Kani


A master weaver uses the ancient technique of twill tapestry.

Kani


A master weaver uses the ancient technique of twill tapestry.

In the arid mountains of central Ladakh, water is channeled from springs and glacial streams to irrigate the valleys. Nubra Valley ‘Moonland,' Central Ladakh. In the summer months, Changra goats are herded to lower altitudes where they can graze on pastures growing along the glacial rivers and streams. Ladakh. A shepherd helps his Changra goats feed on the scarce mountain shrubbery in the Lakakhi mountains. Photography by Errol Rainey.