Created by Jenny Housego and Asaf Ali, together with his brothers in Srinagar, the beautiful lake capital of the Indian province of Kashmir. Jenny Housego and the brothers, with their team of master craftsmen at Kashmir Loom, have infused a modern soul into the woven and embroidered shawls from Kashmir Valley. Their endeavor has been to preserve heritage while fostering its progress. As the creative force behind the company, Jenny’s training in Art History and her deep love, knowledge and respect for textiles from India and the Middle East are an inspiration to the age-old art of shawl making at Kashmir Loom.
But the greatest inspiration is Kashmir itself.
A myriad of influences, ranging from the valley’s unique location on several trade routes and not least 19th Century French and British culture and fashion, have left their unique stamps on the Kashmiri shawl. Production in Kashmir takes place in small family workshops, nurturing dignity, pride and humanity at every level. Women sitting at the traditional hand ‘charka’ wheel spin a pure gossamer yarn known the world over as Pashmina (or cashmere). This yarn is hand-woven by men into a wonderfully supple, soft, yet warm fabric. The end product is a piece of extraordinary beauty and workmanship, a distinct impression of the human hand -- An amalgamation of rich history, unprecedented quality and artistic innovation.
Kashmir Loom focuses on sustaining and supporting this vital handicraft industry.
Jenny Housego, textile historian, designer and co-founder of the Kashmir Loom Company, has helped inspire a generation of Indian craftsmen to raise their skills to new heights of creativity and excellence. During her nearly three decades in India, she has ventured across the country to sit with weavers and embroiderers to forge new ways of combining their traditional craftsmanship with contemporary designs. She co-founded two successful companies that secured markets for their unique products while putting Indian textiles firmly on the world’s luxury map. Also active in numerous social projects in India, Jenny has not only revived ancient weaving techniques that had all-but disappeared but also ensured the livelihoods of families from Haryana to Kashmir and West Bengal.
Asaf's passion for textiles started when he was all of 15 year’s old, as an apprentice to his uncle a collector of the finest old carpets in Srinagar, Kashmir. Growing up surrounded by these beautiful carpets, he learnt a great deal about them. That's how he happened to meet Jenny Housego an avid collector of old carpets, and was very knowledgeable about the history of textiles and carpets. In her quest to learn more about where and how the fiber from the Changra goats of Ladakh region was spun and woven into beautiful Cashmere shawls, she turned to Asaf who being of an enthusiastic and curious nature, was more than happy to embark on that journey. That was the beginning of Kashmir Loom 18 years ago, and Asaf has been instrumental in realizing its vision as co-founder ever since.
Workshop & Artisans