Did you know ?
Pashmina originates its name from the wool shorn from the underbelly of indigenous goats which live in the remote and freezing cold high altitude areas of the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Tibet and Central Asia . These animals are blessed with a very short inner coat of hair, which is one of the best natural insulation in the world.
The “Pashm” which is the Persian word for “wool”, refers to the inner coat fur of the Tibetan goat named Carpa Hircus. These goats only graze in the west Himalayan Mountains.
What is the difference between Pashmina and Cashmere ?
Karl Spilhaus, the president of Boston’s Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute said “Pashmina is just cashmere … there’s no difference between the two. The Pashmina is simply the Indian word for cashmere.”
Pashmina products are usually made either from 100% Pashmina or from wool, pure silk and different ratios of Pashmina wool. Commonly the ratio is 70/30 silk -pashmina but you also find a ratio of lower pashmina wool content like 50 /50 .Quality
Be aware that with the advent of viscose and silicone softener you often get sold products which seem extremely soft and pleasant on your skin but which are made of silicone treated normal wool or often even viscose.
The difference between the low priced pashmina and the best quality pashmina lies in the quality of the fibers from the Capra Hircus goat . The good quality pashmina wool is taken from the underbelly of the goat, whereas often the wool of the cheaper pashmina is culled from the rougher parts of the animal for example the goat’s back.
Unfortunately, many of the pashminas sold today are of this variety.
Customers from around the world are constantly being offered by manufacturers, “quality pashmina. ”India is especially a great source of fake pashminas, which don’t even contain any shred of pashmina wool. While they’re made of wool, manufacturers use softeners to fake the appearance and pass it on as genuine pashmina.
This is fine if you pay the price for wool or viscose but not of if you get charged prices for pashmina wool.
Some cheaper pashminas are made from acrylics, or from the regular cotton and wool. Over the years, the word pashmina has come to acquire a rather generic meaning which encompasses even the cheap quality pashminas, or the pashminas woven from a blend of inauthentic pashmina wool and silk.
Dyes and manufacture
The other qualities or the factors that distinguish a quality pashmina from a synthetic one are the specific fabric blend and the looming method as well as the dye. The authentic pashminas use only natural dyes, which are heavy metal and acid-free dyes.
Why would anyone want to buy a pashmina of inferior quality?
Well ,the faux pashminas do look often very similar to the real counterpart . They can also be machine washed, contrary to the real pashminas which needs more care. For daily use at the office, in the outdoors or even just to keep warm at home they can be of good use. They are easily and cheap to replace.
But once you own a real piece of pashmina you will see the difference and will never go back to the artificial one.
I refer to my shawls as my security blanket and like to quote Wikipedia :
A security blanket is any familiar object whose presence provides comfort or security to its owner, such as the literal blankets often favored by small children.
Did you know?
- It takes 4 years to get a Capra-Hircus sheep grown up, that gives enough hair to weave a Cashmere woolen sweater.
- The Cashmere wool more easily absorbs the water than ordinary wool.
- The diameter of Cashmere has to be less then 19 microns (the diameter of our hair is about 75 microns)
- According to experts, the Cashmere will keep you warm 8 times better than ordinary wool