Vintage Indian artefacts from ancient times

Posted by SharonEvans on November 10th, 2014

India is known for its rich culture and heritage. For years, people from all over the world visit India to get a glimpse of it and experience this richness. Ancient traditions and the rich culture of India have given the modern world the gift of vintage artistry. The craftsmanship and intricate designs have made vintage Indian artefacts a hit in these modern times. Kashmir, the crown of India, has been termed as ‘heaven on earth’. Famous for its natural beauty, the valley of Kashmir is visited by hundreds of travellers around the year. Like any other Indian state, Kashmir is also famous for its handloom industry. Pashmina is a cashmere derivative that is a speciality of Kashmir. There may be no such tourist who visited those altitudes and not purchased a Pashmina scarf.

Pashmina scarves have been known since the 3rd century BC and they are still in fashion. Made from wool of a special breed of goat, this fabric has always been a favourite. The fibre is 15-19 microns in diameter and can’t handle the pressure of going through machines so they need to be hand woven. The more pure the fabric, the less tension it can handle. Therefore, these days they are mixed with some amount of silk to give it durability and it also enhances the sheen. Most vintage Indian artifacts are made of metal or wood. Items made of metals such as brass and copper are usually more popular although some artifacts are also made of clay. These are generally pottery related.

Vintage Indian artifacts like bells, oil containers, water dispensers, kohl boxes and ghee containers that have participation in prayer are mostly sought for. In case of glass items, ink pots and perfume vials are quite famous. Talking about shawl, Pashmina scarves can be worn with a variety of attires. They can be teamed up with traditional kurta or they can be worn loosely around the neck with short tops.

Because of the delicacy of Pashmina scarves, they are to be handled with utmost care. Dry cleaning them is the best and only option. Subjecting them to harsh detergents can totally destroy them. Maintenance of vintage Indian artifacts is a bit tough. The metal ones are to be polished and kept away from moisture. Small metal items should be kept in a muslin cloth to prevent blackening. Wooden items too should remain distant from water to avoid fungal growth and insect infestation.

Pashmina scarves are often adulterated by mixing different fabrics and machine-processing, robbing it of its authenticity. To test a true Pashmina, you can look at the corners of it. If they are asymmetrical then they are authentic as hand-made things are never perfect. Also, you can ask for the consent of the shopkeeper and burn a tiny part of the fabric. If it smells foul like that of burnt hair then its genuine but if it doesn’t smell and curls up like plastic then its fake. Vintage Indian artifacts should also be tested and then bought to avoid fraud. The weight of the metal is a pointer. A reliable online store will give you genuine products which are always tried and tested.

Pashmina scarves are expensive. Vintage Indian artifacts are great showpieces but should be tested before buying.

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