Knitted wool lined with coarser undyed knitting
Ludhiana, Punjab, India
Mid 19th century
Museum no. 4719(IS)
Knitting is not a craft traditional to India, but was introduced by Europeans, probably in the late 18th century. This piece was probably knitted by the Kashmiri immigrants who created the woollen shawls. Kashmiris left their homes because of a famine and settled in Ludhiana in 1833, where the piece originates. The knitted hats are strongly reminiscent of Kashmir shawls in their use of the 'boteh' or paisley motif. Knitted garments made in the Punjab and Kashmir include socks, stockings and gloves as well as headgear. It is likely that the shawls and knitted items found a market in Simla, the summer hill-station of the British administration.