What Is A Shawl?

A shawl is a type of scarf or wrap worn around your shoulders. They come in various lengths and styles and are usually knitted from wool yarn.

Shawls are often associated with cold weather, but they also look great during warmer seasons too.

What Is A Shawl?

The length of the shawl depends on the style and fabric chosen. Some are long enough to cover the entire body, while others are shorter and only reach the neckline.

There are several ways to wear a shawl. For example, you can tie them at the back of the neck, knot them around the waist, or tuck them into a skirt. There are endless possibilities when it comes to wearing a shawl.

What Exactly Is A Shawl?

The word “shawl” comes from the Persian word “shahla”, meaning “a covering”.

In ancient Persia, it was a traditional way to wrap oneself against cold weather. Today, shawls are still popular in many parts of Asia and Africa.

A shawl is an exceptionally finished piece of woolen fabric that is really lengthy and may be shaped as a square, rectangle, or maybe an oval.

There are generally huge sufficient to be wrapped around the shoulders more than once; shawls too could be everywhere from casual, like those used each day, or more classic, corresponding to a formal dress or attire or perhaps a prayer shawl.

They’re produced of wool or some other warm material to maintain you warm and comfy during winter months. Many women wore shawls throughout the 19th century for everyday wear and in the 20th century for typical weddings. 

What Is The Difference Between A Shawl And A Wrap?

A shawl is slightly larger than the scarf and available both in a rectangle and a square shape. You can find it in different colors and patterns.

Its purpose is not just to wrap around the neck like a scarf. In fact, it covers the entire upper half of the body.

Generally, the dimensions of the shawl are about 100x200cm. It looks very elegant and classy. You can use it for either formal or casual occasions.

A wrap is usually worn around the shoulders and neck during cold weather. This type of garment is often called a shawl because it resembles one.

A shawl is a long piece of cloth that is wrapped around the body. In some cases, it is tied into a knot at the front. Shawls are generally considered to be feminine items of clothing, although men sometimes wear them too.

What Do We Know About Shawls In History?

The shawl is one of the most versatile garments and it dates back thousands of years. But what exactly is a shawl? And why do women still love wearing them?

Let’s take a closer look at the shawl’s history and see where it came from.

The shawl originated in the Middle East around 3,500 years ago. In ancient times, women wore shawls over their heads and shoulders to protect themselves from the sun.

Over time, the shawl evolved into different styles, including wraps, scarves, head coverings, and even hats.

Today, shawls actually come in many shapes and sizes, such as long, short, square, circular, rectangular, and triangular. They can be worn alone or layered under jackets and coats.

Central Asia Beginnings

The origin of the term “shawl” is uncertain. One theory suggests it comes from the Persian word “shal,” meaning “shawl.”

Regardless, the name “shawl” came into common usage during the 18th century.

Today, shawls are still produced in the same way they were centuries ago. In fact, the production process hasn’t changed much since the early 1900s.

Kashmiri shawls are woven traditionally using hand looms. Each piece takes approximately 15 hours to complete. 

The yarn is spun from the hair of goats native to the area. Once the yarn is ready, it’s dyed and washed several times. Finally, the shawl is cut and sewn together.

The end product is soft, light, warm, and luxurious. And because it’s handmade, each shawl is unique.

European Growing Popularity 

The popularity of shawls grew exponentially during the Regency Era. They were worn by women across England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and even Russia.

During this period, women wore shawls over dresses or under wraps. Some ladies carried shawls around their necks, while others draped them over their shoulders.

Shawls were popular because they were lightweight and could be easily removed without being noticed. Women often chose lighter colors like white, cream, or pale blue to make themselves look thinner. 

This trend continued into the Victorian era when women favored darker shades such as black, navy, and burgundy.

While some people believed that shawls were too warm, others thought they looked elegant. Even Queen Victoria herself owned a number of shawls.

How Can You Wear A Shawl?

A shawl is one of those accessories you never know what to do with. They are versatile enough to wear casually or dressed up, and there are endless ways to style yours.

Here are a few ideas to help you find out how to wear your shawl.

A solid-color or patterned shawl can actually be styled as a form of a sweater and cuffed at your waist with a suitable wide belt. 

A flowing, lightweight shawl can even be tossed over your shoulders alone as a cover-up for a bright and summery styled dress or a long skirt and blouse combination.

A cashmere or wool shawl can first be folded and then wrapped up around your neck to then serve as a thicker scarf during a chilly winter day.

Final Thoughts

There are so many different ways to wear a shawl that it’s hard to choose just one! But if you’re looking for something new to add to your wardrobe, then a shawl may be just the thing you need.

Willa Price
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