A History of Shawls

For my fibre and textile enthused followers 🙂

julz crafts

This is a really interesting piece I found recently, by Jen of Roving Crafters written in 2016 – I’m not sure if she is still blogging as it seems she was having problems with her eyes in the last post I can find on her site – but there are plenty of free tutorials and other interesting pieces on rovingcrafters.com, and if you want to read the original of this unashamed copy click HERE

Venetian widow, Cesare Vecellio, 1585-90

Technically the shawl as a garment and as a word comes from 14th century Persia. They were woven rectangles worn over the shoulders and made from kashmiri goat. That’s significant I think because Kashmir was a major trade center. Knowledge and supplies and all sorts of other goodies coming out of India had to go through Kashmir to get to the western world. In fact I personally believe its very likely that the shawl as a garment originated in…

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Author: yarnandpencil

I'm a Christian on the autistic spectrum blogging about life and my art/craft practice.

10 thoughts on “A History of Shawls”

    1. I grew up in India where a lot of people, men and women, wear shawls on cold mornings. My mother had some lovely Kashmiri shawls. Most were woollen but she had a lace one, too, that she wore over evening wear. I have some of hers and some of my own, which I wear like those Ethiopian boys, round and over the shoulder. When I am out and hang up my coat and still feel cold, I take one out of my bag and wrap it around me.

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      1. Thanks Lesley. Yes I do that too. I find them more difficult to wear when I’m moving about, even when wearing a shawl pin or have the end tired they slip out of place. I do have narrow shoulders so maybe that’s what does it.
        How wonderful to have some of your mother’s shawls ❤ LH’s father grew up in India. He and his mum are no longer with us to talk to them about out it.
        The article is short and I’m wondering if anyone has written a book about the history of shawls.


  1. I love a shawl; it’s a perfect cover up over a summer dress when the nights get a bit chilly. Finding one large enough is difficult though as they tend to be sized somewhere between a scarf and a shawl. I should concentrate on improving my knitting so I could make my own! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for sharing some textile history. Shawls are very useful and beautiful. I also find them great in the summer when you go out on a hot night and then there is a cool change (happens all the time in Melbourne). The pashmina type will fit in a small bag. Narrow ones can be used as a scarf in winter. I also like to drape interesting shawls over sofas or beds because I love textiles.

    Liked by 2 people

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