What is a shawl?
Shawls are fabrics that are worn on the upper body, across the shoulders, down the front of the body and to protect the neck or end in place of a cape, collar or a fur, in much the same way that knickers protect your lower back.
For thousands of years people have been wearing shawls, not as an item of attire but as a sign of religious matrimony, a universally accepted custom in places like ancient Egypt where wrapped cloths were kept for protection against the extreme fiery heat in the scorching desert.
The lush regions of the Asian countries are renowned for the production of a wide range of fabrics, some of the most popular of these being shawls, scarves, kaftans, and astrakhan. These remarkable examples of stylized woven fabrics that are cherished for their eye catching shapes were traditionally woven by skilled tribes belonging to the areas that are now Afghanistan, India, Turkey and China.
During the nineteenth century the shawl became a fashion accessory, worn for both practical and fashionable purposes by both men and women and even harvested during the winter seasons to provide warmth. This lead to the establishment of many textile workshops in the Asian countries especially China which were able to compete with the thriving European textile industries during the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries.
Nowadays the shawl makers still produce exactly what they did during those pioneering days, handling the special weaving and sewing techniques that make these remarkable garments not only a timeless treasure of one’s personal collection but also a highly comfortable garment for the winy and practical elegance it brings to the wearer.
The modern term ‘shawl’ has been derived from the Persian word ‘shal’.’Shal’ was the name of a garment which is at once practical, functional and stylish and definitely more than a style statement. Its main purpose was to protect the human upper body against the tremendously cold weather, which at one time was experienced only in the high regions of the Himalayas. Another purpose of this piece of clothing was primarily a fashion statement. During the times when man had to work outdoors under harsh and difficult conditions, what he needed was a piece of clothing that keeps his body warm and active so he could do his work with total confidence and not wander about half dead through the snow-covered field.
To this end, shawls were created that were meant to be practical, functional, and attractive, with graceful designs that grab everyone’s attention. When you see anyone strut on these today, you immediately assume you are looking at a fashion icon. Made entirely from polyester, these glossy accessories are durable, yet stylish, selling the wearer’s confidence like nothing else. They are certainly not for the fragile-minded, mere, and the older ladies or gentlemen in the audience with their knitted cuffs and curled ankles. No, these shawls are not for them, but for the confident, professional and daring public who wants to give their best look a moment away from their usually buttoned up professionalism.
There are actually many different forms for these accessories. They can be starched or un-starched, knit or knitted, made from different materials, each intended to serve a different purpose.
The most popular form of shawl to wear is the terry, which roughly means shirt in French. These are the probably the most loved by those who want to look professional but do not want to look over worked or overly formal. You can easily wear one top a short sleeved top underneath a matching shawl. They are lightweight so you can easily carry them around without any worry. Things have become much easier, that is all certain part of the charm of these accessories.
T scatter has some distinctive and perhaps surprising properties. For a brief moment, it will create a fog around the wearer that can return to the set it of that very moment. Jean sneaks therefore allow the user to retain a sense of casualness and yet be unfussy. Finally, it can be used to conceal stains. Jean does not have strong odors so that you only have to predict the weather forecast to be on guard.
A Jean can also be stretched to a maximum of six feet, and you can get one that is just as long as you want it to be. This is usually not necessary though, unless you want to keep it cosy.
The perfect wear
The perfect wear for a formal evening would be for the bride to have a black tie, instead of the usual white tie. Although some ladies would never be caught dead wearing white again, this is one occasion when the bride, or whoever is wearing the footwear if a black pump slim line, can say to the rest of the room that they are to be replaced by their spouse. The black shoes are then never to be seen again.