Cashmere vs Pashmina


The words cashmere and pashmina mean one and the same thing. High quality scarves, wraps and shawls are produced from the wool obtained from the high altitude mountain goats. These mountain goats are found in Indian Kashmir and Nepal. The three or four ply wraps produced in Indian Kashmir are commonly referred to both as cashmere as well as pashmina and even by some as cashmere pashmina. The scarves produced in Nepal are more commonly referred to as pashmina. The word cashmere, as can be easily understood has its origin in the word Kashmir with same pronunciation but a different spelling. The word pashmina has its origin in the Persian word pashm which means wool. The high quality wool obtained from the high altitude mountain goats and even the sweaters made from this wool are also referred to as cashmere wool or sweaters and pashmina wool and sweaters. The scarves, wraps and shawls with three or four ply comprising of 100% cashmere or pashmina wool are prefixed with the word either cashmere or pashmina. Once we look at the definitions of cashmere and pashmina in the dictionaries, we find that the two words have somewhat the same meanings. 

Cambridge dictionary defines cashmere and pashmina as, "very soft, expensive wool material that is made from the hair of goats from Kashmir" and, "a long piece of soft material such as wool that is worn by a woman around her shoulders. Some pashminas are made from the wool from a particular type of goat" respectively. Please visit URLs and

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines cashmere and pashmina as, "fine wool from the undercoat of the cashmere goat; also :  a yarn of this wool" and, "a fine wool similar to cashmere made from the undercoat of domestic Himalayan goats; also :  a shawl made from this wool" respectively. Please visit and defines cashmere pashmina as, "Fine, soft wool, originally that from the Kashmir goat." and, "A shawl made from fine-quality goat's wool". Please visit and defines cashmere and pashmina as, "the fine downy wool at the root of the hair of the Kashmir goat" and, "a scarf or shawl made of pashm. from Persian pashmina; see pashm. Contemporary definitions for pashmina. noun. a fine woolen cloth with a soft plush texture similar to cashmere" respectively. Please visit and

There are three other categories of scarves, wraps and shawls which are in vogue. These are ring, silk blend and shamina. Surprisingly, the word cashmere is not used for any of these. We will talk about it later.

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