Colourful folds of elegance & comfort

Colourful folds of elegance & comfort

North Indian weaves

Colourful folds of elegance & comfort

Those who would like to shop in Haridwar and Rishikesh must consider buying the eye-catching Garhwal shawls. Sure, they rescue the wearer from harsh winters. But their popularity is not just limited to the Uttarakhand region of the Himalayas. They can be bought across the country and at all times.

Garhwal shawls are primarily of two kinds — those woven using handloom (easy on the pocket), and the elegant ones woven using power loom. However, before the production of handloom shawls, pure-wool shawls were the staple in Haridwar. But they lacked a soft texture. They are still made, and one may have to cough up a minimun of Rs 10,000 for one shawl.

Close to 5,000 families of weavers in the cities of Najibabad and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh are involved in the manufacture of  handloom shawls.

A weaver usually designs upto 10 shawls a day. Some of them are decorated with silver-coloured beads and flower motifs. There are some adorned with miniature designs, popular locally as kullu buta. These shawls come at a wallet-friendly price, some cost less than Rs 200. The yarns used to make these shawls are multicoloured and dyed. These days, the variety of yarns also include acrylic, Chinese and polyester; and the yarn-manufacturing factories are concentrated in Ludhiana, Punjab.

The softer variety of Garhwal shawls made using power loom would cost a buyer upto Rs 5,000. Thanks to technology, about 1,000 shawls are made in a day. Some shawls are free from designs and impart a touch of sobriety to the wearer. The Jamawar shawls, elegant and stylish enough for the wearer to make a style statement, have floral designs. The weavers use double-layer, multicoloured yarn to design these shawls.

Garhwal shawls make for great gifts and souvenirs. At Moti Bazar in Haridwar, you’ll find retail outlets that sell the shawls at every corner. Walk into Khadi Bhawan to watch these shawls flying off the racks. You will be spoilt for choice, but do not forget to bargain.