The delicacy and charm of a Kashmir shawl reflected the creativity of the designer and the wide palette of colours he worked with. This ranged from bright and vibrant shades in the early 18th century to more muted tones by the middle of the same century. The shawl shown here is woven in subdued shades of blue, green, and red on a cream background.
The multi-floral buta (paisley) motifs in the pallav (end panels) are finely delineated with their elegantly curving tips. After leaving an outline of the base fabric, the space between is filled with small flowers meandering off a vine. A narrow border, with blooming flowers and curving leaves, runs all the way around the shawl and separates the pallav from the field. The field is covered with smaller butas facing alternate directions, and changing orientation at mid-point so that the shawl hangs correctly at both ends. These smaller butas are also worked from a multi-floral pattern; around them scrolls the same floral pattern as in the pallav. The use of one element repeated in an all-over design on the shawl accentuates the use of the motif but also adds to the rather symmetrical charm of the piece.