Doshala (Shoulder Mantle)

18th century CE

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

With increasing demand of the long Kashmiri shawls (shoulder mantle) in the European market in the 19th century, the traditional Kashmiri patterns started to vanish. The size of kalgi (paisley) in the pallu increased, hashia (borders which run the length of the shawl) and zanjir (the narrow horizontal borders between the pallu and the field of the shawl) declined and matan (central field) almost disappeared.

This shawl is a typical example of shoulder mantle popular in Europe. The shawl is made on a semi automated jacquard loom invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in Europe and was first demonstrated in 180TXT-1. This invention caused a major set back to the hand woven and embroidered Kashmir shawls. It is said that the wife of Napoleon Bonapart was instrumental in popularizing the fashion of Kashmiri shawls in Europe.

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  • Title: Doshala (Shoulder Mantle)
  • Date Created: 18th century CE
  • Location: India
  • Provenance: Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection
  • Type: Shoulder Mantle
  • Medium: Wool
  • Region: Kashmir
  • History of Style of Technique: In Indian textile tradition, pashmina shawls from Kashmir hold a pride place. They were made of wool from a special breed of goat called pashm. A single shawl was a result of the collective eff orts of spinners, dyers, designers, weavers and embroiders. The designs composed of buta, badami (almond), ambi or kairi (paisely), meander and fl ora, khat-rast (stripes) and shikargah (hunting) motifs. The craft of making the woollen shawls received immense patronage from Mughal emperors. As mentioned in the Ain-i-Akbari, Emperor Akbar gave these shawls the name param naram meaning very soft. It was a special prerogative of the royal to wear such shawls. Others could wear it only if it was presented by the ruler or permitted by him. In the 17th and the 18th centuries, both embroidered and woven shawls from Kashmir were in great demand by the Europeans and by affl uent families in India. In the 20th century these shawls were considered a signifi cant gift at the time of weddings in particular by Parsis. Apart from shawls, doshalas (shoulder mantle), patkas (sash or kamarbandha), rumals (square shawls), jamewars (garment piece to stitch jama) were also made.
  • Accession Number: 22.1204