Dusala – The Brand
Translated as ‘shawl’, the name Dusala speaks of everything about comfort, class, warmth, emotions and stories. Brought to you from the land of the Himalayas, Dusala is a label for everything Pashmina.
Established in the year 2020 with its headquarters at Raipur, Chattisgarh, Dusala aims to bring to the world pure and handcrafted Pashmina shawls, stoles and scarves for men and women. We, at Dusala, believe in excellence, perfection, expertise; each stage of the process is inspected by our team to make sure that the same level of quality and beauty is maintained for all products. Each piece under our brand is unique, charming, gorgeous and made just for you.
Dusala works with the local craftsmen of the northern belt of India, with over 50 skilled weavers in its family. We ensure extraction of the super-soft wool with cruelty-free practices, with an aim to enhance the livelihood of our weaver family, bring front their amazing craft and provide the world with pure, luxurious and one-of-a-kind winter-wear.
The brand is already a pride draped on the shoulders of hundreds of people, including celebrities and influencers, a part of designers’ collections and collaborations, and accredited for being the trendsetter in reviving the age-old lost traditional craft with a dash of modern creativity,
hence making our products a desirable work of art worldwide.
To accentuate the presence of pure Pashmina fabric and the weavers behind the making, enhancing the livelihood of the amazingly skilled local craftsmen, and bringing to the world the luxury of owning a pure Pashmina through the brand.
Dusala - The Emotion
Dusala’s fibre started with Sugandha’s growing up years in North India, her love for hand worked pieces, and her professional experience as a fashion journalist and then fashion vlogger, entrepreneur and social media influencer, though the weaving story began with Sugandha’s journey around the world and through the mountains and valleys of India.
A self-taught designer, she worked as a journalist for Zoom, NDTV Good Times, Ibn7, Focus TV, Property TV Dubai, Home Shop 18 for 8 years (with fashion journalism being her niche’), and then entered her entrepreneurial journey with ONE – the Multi designer Store at Raipur that boasts of many designer brands such as RANI-SVA, Anju Modi, Saaksha & Kinni, Deme by Gabriella, Anavila, Limerick and several others, and is also the first store in the city to have the country’s favourite Sabyasachi.
When visiting world markets, she noticed the demand for pure Pashmina to be high, yet the supply of replicas in the name of genuine being evident. Machine-made pashminas were being sold as pure and authentic, with the buyer having no knowledge of differentiating between the two. Not only was the charm of the original hand-made soft pashmina lost, also was there a decline in the worth of what a pashmina stands for, and a loss of work and income for the weaver community who still believe in upholding the traditional and authentic methods, and refuse to resort to machine manufacturing to earn money.
An art as gorgeous as the making of Pashmina, which is one of the finest, warmest, delicately hand-woven materials, just had to be brought to the people to let them relish what it feels like to be enwrapped in feathers with the warmth of a loved one. The Pashmina is also perceived by people to be a drape of the older generation only, and hence Sugandha was determined to make the pieces a craze amongst youngsters, who were bound to fall in love with it once they saw the quality, felt the softness and experienced the exotic richness of the designs that she would offer.
She decided to launch her own brand that would not only connect people to a pure Pashmina, but also support the livelihoods of the magicians –the tribes that herd the goats and the weaver community that reside in the northern belt of India. The brand visualizes to be a pride of every age with its unique designs and trendy experimentation combined with the traditional heritage, in its original form and through collaboration with designers to bring to the world the essence of a Pashmina.
Dusala is today proud to be a part of hundreds of wardrobes,
from the millennials to celebrities and influencers, and has also been featured in Vogue, YourStory, LuxeBook, The Voice
of Fashion, Elle India, Swirlster, The Hindu Weekend, for its beauty, charm, and its efforts at preserving the ancient heritage of India and empowering the artisan community by going ‘Vocal for Local’.
Dusala – Our Family
Our weavers are our reason for existence. The weaver community’s passion ensures each piece is a head-turner, unique and stunning, and are a part of our big extended family.
Pashmina products are made from the fluffy fur of the Himalayan mountain goat, Changthangi. The wool goes through 30 stages of craftsmanship, each stage involving high levels of detailing, precision, expertise and patience – a shawl can sometimes take 400-550 days to be made!
What is Pashmina? Know everything here
Pashmina is one of the finest quality of wools across the world
made from the refined version of cashmere that is extracted from fleece of the Changthangi goats. These goats are found in high altitude mountains exclusive to the northern belt of India, and are cared for with gentleness by the Changpa tribes.
The wool is sent to the Kashmiri weavers, and are hand-spun, woven and passed through different stages of art to make a light and super-soft fabric that is not just magnificent, luxurious and comfortable, but also keeps you warm in freezing climates. The exclusive location of the goats as well as the legacy of expertise and knowledge of the Pashm weavers passed down through hundreds of years is what makes the fabric royal and one-of-a-kind!
Derived from the Persian word ‘Pashm’ meaning ‘soft gold’, Pashmina is a centuries old craft of India. In fact, the Mughals emperors, the French queens, the Iranian nobles as well as the Indian maharajas adorned their courts, gifted them and owned many pieces in their royal collection! Wars were fought to gain control over the exclusive trade of the craft.
Even today, the making of Pashmina is an art that isn’t known to anyone other than the weaver community. Pashmina owes its priceless beauty, timeless elegance and royal grace to the warmth and comfort of the super-fine wool, the weaver expertise and the exclusiveness of the cashmere and its making.
Pashmina – The Changthangi Goats
The Changthangi is a breed of cashmere goats that dwell in
Ladakh where temperatures drip to as low as -40°c. The fleece of the goat is thick and super soft to protect them from the freezing temperatures. We, at Dusala, ensure that the goats are shaven during summers during their natural shedding season, owing to the need to keep them cool. The animals are our reason for being, and we make sure no harm is caused to them during the entire
Pashmina – The Journey
The first ever Pashminas to be made were the ‘kani’ shawls that comprised of intricate work with extreme attention to detail, taking from months to years to make one piece, hence giving it a fine finish that is a feast for the eyes.
Through the years, the shawls incorporated in them embroideries, which made them look breathtaking, took lesser time, were priced lower and yet added a variety of beautiful designs that kept the on-lookers in awe. From the ‘amlikar’ to the ‘do-runga’ shawls, the latter half of the 18th century were a tribute to the Pashmina heritage.
Designs and patterns were incorporated on the shawls, each carrying a feel of its own. Embroidery was done either with the silk yarn that gave a finer finish, or with the staple yarn that had the ability to hold colour for longer time than the former. The most well-known ones were the buti, buta, buta-buti, paisley, khat-rast, shikargah, lahariya, zanjeer, hashiya, cypress and bouquets. Today, the sozni, tilla, papier mâché, kalamkari and kantha embroidery are the preferred go-to choices of the people. The love for the fabric gave the embroiders creativity to experiment with more techniques and present their customers with a class and choice they had never seen before.
Pashmina – The Luxury
The making of Pashmina involves ample time, efforts and expertise; from the combing of the fleece that takes over a few months, to the separation of fibres, spinning, weaving, dyeing and intricate gorgeous embroidery work, the complete process of the making of one marvelous piece takes from months to years. The intricacy of the craft, knowledge passed on over generations, expertise exclusive to the snow-clad region and the efforts
that go into the making is the reason for Pashmina products being worth more than the price offered.
Pashmina – The Making
The making of Pashmina begins with the collection of fibres from 3 goats, as only 35% of the fibre is of the finest quality. The fleece is combed and separated to individual fibres. The fibre is then spun into yarns, the process requiring skilled hands as the fibre leaves the spinner’s fingers and onto the spindle if not properly spun. The yarns are then dyed and sent for weaving, where the weavers use lengths of yarn
to lay the warp. Once spread, wrapped and ready to weave, only around 6- inches of warp is left for the weavers to work on. The magicians then embroidery their love, enchantment and stories onto the fabric, converting them into pieces of art that are treasured by collectors all over the world.
The ‘kani’ shawls, though, have a different making. The design is hand-drawn by a pattern maker. A colour-caller expert fills in the colours, replicates the design on a graph paper, and estimates the amount of yarn to be dyed. The fibres are first dyed and spun
onto kani sticks, with the graph paper as the base for design, after which the weaving begins. A lengthy process, this takes from 6-9 months to complete depending on the intricacy of the designs.
The entire process of the making of Pashmina involves skillset, expert hands, traditions, emotions and a legacy of knowledge, wherein even a small offset can lead alter the quality, smoothness and finish of the final product.
Pashmina – The Identification
Even though we know all about Pashmina, identifying a real one and differentiating it from the fake ones can be difficult. Here, with our simple tests, put on your detective cap (or do we say detective scarf!) and find the pure ones for yourself:
Softness Genuine Pashmina is as soft as being on a fluffy cloud of feathers. If the wrap feels rough and scratchy, it’s a red alert. Also, pure Pashmina is made from hypoallergenic fibre, leading to no allergic reactions.
Opaque Pure pashmina is opaque. Hold the cloth under light, and if you can see through it, it isn’t pure.
Irregularity On a close look, you will find that genuine Pashminas are irregular and uneven. This is due to the intricate weave handwork done on them.
Burnt Smell On burning, the genuine ones leave a burnt smell and a powdery residue behind. However, the fake ones will burn more brightly, smell like burnt leaves and leave a lumpy residue behind.
Check the Label Real Pashminas will mostly carry a label, which is legally bound to display the quality composition on it. Check them out for originality and trust.
Also, original ones would have the label stitched on them, and
Rub for Static Electricity An original Pashmina wouldn’t generate any static electricity nor attract dust on being rubbed. The synthetic versions are bound to generate static electricity, helping you identify the fakeness of it.
Pilling is Essential Original animal fibre will pill and if your material offers no pilling or does not pill, be sure it’s a fake one.
Pashmina - Care Procedure
Cleaning Pashmina has the unique ability to get softer after use every time. However, owing to the super-soft nature of the fabric and vibrant colour
usage, the fabric is best when dry cleaned. This helps maintain the softness of the material and retain the beauty of its colours.
However, if dry clean isn’t possible, wash it softly in cold
water with a mild liquid detergent. Hang it in the shade to dry out slowly. Steam iron carefully.
- Fold the Pashmina inside out and store in a soft mulmul cloth or plastic zip bags to increase its life and avoid pest infestation.
- Do not use naphthalene balls. Instead, use dried neem or Indian lilac sachets or lavender sachets.
- In case the garment comes in contact with moisture, take it to a dry cleaner.
- Once in a while, aerate your product.
- Do not expose the Pashmina to direct heat. To iron it, use a protective cloth at low temperature.
- Go in for professional restoration every few years to maintain its freshness and quality.