Manufacturing Woolen Shawls, Srinagar, Kashmir, India

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
In this view you behold an ancient civilization. Some of our famous scholars believe that the cradle of the human race was somewhere in the valleys of the southern slopes of the Tibetan Plateau. Some even place it along the Indus River, which is in the province of Kashmir, in the very section of the country here shown. At any rate, the trade in which these people are engaged is one of the ancient crafts. On the mountain slopes of the province of Kashmir feed great herds of goats which are named after the country. They have long, silky hair, which, when woven into cloth, makes a soft garment extremely rich, very warm, and of unusually fine quality. The woman in the foreground is weaving goat hair into yarn. The spinning wheel she is using is simple and crude. You will note its likeness to the spinning wheels that our great-grandmothers used. The processes by which these machines work are simple, but they are essentially the same as those used in all spinning. A layer of the cashmere threads, as you see, extend lengthwise up and down the loom. The crosswise threads are beaten together by the suspended part of the loom directly in front of them. Most beautiful cloth is woven in these simple machines. The designs are very complex, and many of the pieces of cloth are elaborately colored. The province of Kashmir is about the size of Kansas, and has a population of over 3,000,000. Its capital is the city of Srinagar. This was once a great shawl-weaving center, since a large part of the cashmere hair was made into shawls. The people are now largely engaged in weaving carpet and manufacturing leather and paper. To what race do these people belong? Keystone ID: 12565 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.