The temperature continues to dip and the frigid cold is finally here. How are you going to keep yourselves warm this winter? Saima Bhat has a few suggestions.
The world-famous Kashmiri Pashmina isn’t the only product that will keep you warm this season. Tweed is another Kashmiri product known for its pure quality of virgin wool, and it’s comfortably warm. Tweed coats are made from indigenous virgin wool, and as a result, they provide good insulation during colder days.
Tweed cloth is available across the globe, especially in colder, European countries. The world-famous tweeds are Scottish and British tweeds. Tweed can be tailored into long winter coats, blazers, jackets, suits, waistcoats, trousers, shooting jackets, caps and even wedding suits. However, in Kashmir, it can also be tailored into a traditional Pheran.
“Kashmiri tweed is made of 100 per cent wool, meaning it is of superior quality compared to another tweed like that from Amritsar which has also viscose in it. In Kashmir, there is an emphasis is on handmade weaving only, more closely woven because that way the product is of superior quality,” shares an employee associated with tweed sales. Tweeds from states other than Kashmir is reconstituted/recycled wool which is of inferior quality whereas Kashmiri tweed is the only tweed of 100 per cent pure wool and sold at affordable price.
Tweed cloth is sold at Rs 500 per meter and the cost of a gent’s readymade coat is Rs 2710 whereas a female readymade long coat costs around Rs 3500. Presently there is a discount of 10 per cent on tweed coats.
If you’re out shopping for tweed, you can get it in a variety of textures, such as checkered, herringbone, plain, striped, hopsack, matte, a hounds tooth and in twills — as is the case in foreign countries. It also comes in different colours. Tweed can be lightweight, of 9NM (400-450 grams) or heavyweight, of 7NM (525- 550 grams). 9NM meters goes for Rs. 435 and 7NM for Rs. 500.
Tweed coats have been in fashion for many years and they never go out of season. Kashmir Tweed is durable and intricate in its design, and it lasts longer than other fabrics in your wardrobe. It is widely accepted as both formal and informal wear all over the world and is also used as a uniform in some foreign schools. Some big fashion houses like Bookster (UK) deal exclusively with the tweed suiting, and the brand Burberry also deals with tweed coats, which they sell for about Rs 82000.
The readymade tweed coats available in Kashmir are stitched outside the state, usually in Delhi, and are available in universal sizes.
They can be ordered online as well.
A tweed coat is stitched in the same pattern across the world, and changes to the standard pattern are made only once in a blue moon. The usual styles are Italian cut or Asian cut, with two or three buttons.
Tweed cloth has been in the Kashmiri market for centuries together and was initially produced in south Kashmir, mostly around villages of Pulwama with the popularity of various fabrics produced in and around Pampore. The initiative was taken by the Poshish corporation with the aim of generating employment, so initially, people associated with weaving tweed were local, underprivileged people who would manufacture looms at their homes through a loan scheme from the Common Facility Center (CFC). However, as the demand for tweed increased, the craft shifted to areas like Budgam, and Bandipore. Areas falling in Rajouri, Baderwah, Udhampur, and Doda districts were famous for the production of Pattoo cloth.
Poshish is a part of the J&K State Handloom Development Corporation. Officials from the organization say the demand for tweed coats exceeds only 2000 pieces per season as not everyone is aware of the qualities of Kashmiri tweed.
A survey from the late 70s states there were 37,000 tweed weavers in Kashmir, but now the number of weavers has reduced significantly and is feared to be around 15,000 approximately.
People associated with this trade say the purity of tweed cannot be measured except in laboratories, but after a wash, Kashmiri Tweed remains as it and others get degenerated in quality and look like a nylon rug.
if you want to make a purchase, access the website: www.poshish.in