Silk Chassis - Heavenly pashmina handwoven in the Himalayas

December 09, 2013 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Ever wondered how a mountain goat keeps warm in the Himalayan winter? Their very own pashmina of course. Silk Chassis' pure pashminas are the ultimate luxury: incredibly soft, warm and light. Once worn, never forgotten…

They are handwoven in Ladakh, in the Indian Himalayas, from 100% pashm, the superfine hairs of the Changra goat, which inhabits this stark, beautiful land. Our Apsara pashmina is so called after the celestial flying figures of Buddhist art. Each is a generous two-metres long but, as the ancients marvelled, light as 'woven air'.

Apsara comes in three subtle tones: earth, shell and cloud - the natural colour of the goats' finest hairs, which are carefully combed out each summer, before the winter chill.

Ladakh's cold climes are the secret to the famous fleece. Pashm is the raw fibre of down-producing goats in the high mountains of Asia, where it can reach -40C. Pashmina is the yarn spun and material woven from pashm.

Pashmina has a long and fascinating history – it's no surprise that pashmina goats are revered in Ladkah, with nomads carefully tending their prized herds. White and cream goats are the most valued but as Apsara's shell and earth shades show, there is a wonderful (natural) coloured coat for many tastes!

Apsara's subtle matt look reflects its purity - 'shiny' pashminas contain silk or synthetics. You can be confident Silk Chassis' Apsara pashmina is pure – we source from local suppliers in Leh, who committed to producer communities in the Changthang region of Ladakh.

'If you are looking for an understated look yet luxurious feel, Apsara pashminas are perfect,' says Fiona Holland, founder of Silk Chassis. 'They are elegant and practical – offering year-round comfort as summer wraps and winter warmers.'

Apsara pashmina shawls, priced £95, are available from:

Silk Chassis finds designers, weavers and cooperatives who use hand-and-foot-powered looms and maintain traditional textile techniques unique to their region. Using fine natural materials – silk, cotton, pashmina and wool – they create beautiful pieces for us, which take at least a day, and sometimes a week, to craft.

Silk Chassis is inspired by the growing demand from savvy shoppers for excellent quality, to know the provenance of their purchases, and for something very different from high street fare.