Introduction: There is a beautiful world out there of weaving wool and making beautiful shawls on Tibetan border. They are wearing finest and time-consuming wool which is absolutely cut off from rest of the world due to following reasons –

  • Inaccessibility of area·       
  • Climate·       
  • Lack of trust in modern technology.
  • Technique was stolen from over a century ago and has been commercialized vastly. 
  • This community refuse to commercialised their heritage


Following are the uses –

  • Kinnaris are weaving shawls for centuries for intro familial requirements. ·       
  • Shawls are not sold for commercial purposes·       
  • Suffice the need of family members·       
  • Weave the basic design to weave for family members·       
  • Wool with design is used for wedding purposes. ·       
  • Passed from one generation to another·       
  • Offered to God and goddess.

History – The history of Kinney shawls are as follows-·      

  • cut off from surrounding valleys during its long snowy winters, severe cold weather and long distances to remote, almost inaccessible made this self-supporting economy. ·       
  • Designs on shawls carry religious significance. ·       
  • Colours used in pattern background carry mythological background. ·       
  • Different shades are used in shawls as per requirements. ·       
  • Vegetable dyes are used in Kinnari shawls.

Design –

They are known for the intricate and minute details. The objects of religious importance are woven with colours of mythological origins. The colours which are used have meaning like green signifies air. Blue means ether, white stands for water, yellow stands for earth and red for fire. The geometric design on shawls gives the central Asian influence. The extra weft is done just for design. The design is being imprinted in on both ends.

  • Challenges -Following are the challenges being faced-        
  • Hydro power electric projects led to displacement of locals living along river Sutlej. · Heavy
  • power cuts for months forced locals to lose trust on modern civilization. ·       
  • Craft of Kinney shawls is limited to local circuits. There is minimal tourism and lack of communication with outside world. ·       
  • There is manufacturing of shawls in outside World as heritage is not maintained as designs are copied and sold at higher prices which are against their beliefs.

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