Cashmere wool originally comes from the the high plalteaus of the himalaya.
The sheperds who garded the goats that could stand the cold winds of the altitude, picked every spring some very fine wool from the bushes where the goats rubbed their wintercoat.
That wool was so rare and so fine, for centuries it was by punishment only allowed to the rulers of the region to wear this fine yarn. Only a bit more than 300 years ago this fine wool found its way to the West.
Today only around 5% of the worldwide production of cashmere wool is from the Himalayan range, the rest comes mostly from China and Mongolia.
Cashmere has been manufactured in Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years. The wool is used for the handmade shawls of Kashmir and scarves from Nepal.
The cashmere crafts were introduced in the 14th century by Mir Ali Hamadani who came to Kashmir along with 700 craftsmen from parts of Persia. When he came to Ladakh, the homeland of cashmere goats, for the first time in history he found that the Ladakhi goats produced soft wool. He took some wool and made socks and gave them as a gift to the king of Kashmir, sultan Kutabdin. Afterwards Hamadani suggested to the king that they start a shawl weaving industry in Kashmir using this wool.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Kashmir (then called cashmere by the British) had a thriving industry producing shawls from goat down imported from Tibet and Tartary through Ladakh.
The Shawls were introduced into western Europe when the General in Chief of the French campaign in Egypt (1799-1802) sent one to Paris. The shawl's arrival is said to have created an immediate sensation and plans were put in place to start manufacturing the product in France.
Being commited to the culture of Kashmir and Nepal we still today produce all our products by hand on classic looms.
Our asset is the connection to the region that allowed us to have the most talented craftsmen to work for us. The Kashmiri and Nepali skills paired with Swiss precision makes us produce the worlds softest and most sofisticated shawls and scarves.
The passion for the raw material led us to only use original local cashmere wool form the Himalaya. For our 'vonoz selected' collection we even have a final dehairing made by hand before woman spinn the wool on traditional old wooden spinning wheels.