I had received this evening shawl as a gift. I am not really a shawl kind of person. I prefer covering myself with sturdy jackets and boots. But I have started using this shawl once in a while. The material is quite soft to touch and it feels exquisite to the hands. The designs on the shawl are intricate and the embroidery patterns are unique. I found that this work is called Aari work that is done in some parts of India with a sharp edged needle. The designs are what have attracted me towards this shawl. The detailed embroidered work is beautiful to look at and I do not own any other item of clothing with such intricate and detailed designs.
Though I was doubtful to wear the shawl as my protective clothing layer in the cold, it does provide a comfort and warmth that is different from my old winter wear. The material is quite lightweight and easy on my shoulders and neck. The tag in the shawl says it is made of 100% wool and imported from India. The handiworks in the shawl are originally from the Kashmir area of India. The silk embroidery works are present in different floral designs. The shawl has the aari work done in pink and beige colors. I use this as a wrap tossing one end of the shawl on my right shoulder and wrapping it around myself and tossing the other end on the other shoulder. The shawl is big enough to be used as a wrap on people of any size. Though I can pair the wrap with my work clothes, I avoid doing that because the material is delicate and even a small tear would become impossible to fix. Also, stains are a nightmare with this kind of delicate material. Even though the advertisement says it is durable, I do not want to damage the material by over using it. So, I use it as an evening shawl when I have to attend a party or visiting someone or for special occasions.
While I am using this shawl as an accessory in winter, I have already thought out how it is going to be used once the cold days are over. I am interested in authentic crafts from all over the world. This looks like a fine piece of work from weavers in Northern India. I believe this will look well in my living room covering the couch. This would also make a perfect bed linen as a throw spread over the covers in the master bed. I am leaning towards keeping it in the living room on our dark brown couch. I feel the colors of the shawl will go perfectly with the couch and the wall color in the living room.
Overall, I am happy to have received this shawl as a gift for my birthday. I would recommend it for someone who is looking for an exquisite piece of accessory for the winters and chilly spring.