A staple clothing item that has been in use since before recorded history. Made from various materials but mostly in wool for the warmth. The prices of shawls vary depending on the size and quality of wool.
An ancient clothing item
Shawls have been around for centuries, as one of the most simple items of clothing to keep warm. Worn loosely over the shoulders, wrapping the body. Some wear it over the head as well, if it is colder and one needs to cover up more.
Design and materials
A shawl is usually a square or rectangle shape. Of course, other shapes have evolved over the years. Shawls are available in nearly all the possible colours, some plain some with extra work on them. The work is generally embroidered on, with the gold and silver thread being the more luxurious version. The embroidered patterns can be geometric or animals and flowers. These designs vary depending on where the shawl originates from. Shawls can be unisex or some more specific designs are available for men and women.
The materials for a shawl used to be more varied before wool became the staple. With two materials that are more well known, Pashmina and Shahtoosh. Pashmina is also known as Cashmere in the west, due to its origins in Kashmir. Belonging to a wild Asain goat that roams the high plains of Kashmir. Shahtoosh is banned today, but it was the pinnacle of quality shawls. The fabric is extremely soft and fine and a shawl could pass through a ring. The word originates from Persian and means 'king of fine wools'. Shahtoosh is illegal to buy or possess in most countries as the Tibetan antelope or Chiru is an endangered species, from which the wool was harvested. Aside from these two more fine qualities, any form of wool can be made into a shawl. With mixed fabrics also in use today.
Shawls could be worth a few hundred to a few hundred thousand, depending on the quality of the wool. The size of a shawl also influences its price. The one you decide to buy is a matter of the budget you have in mind.