The origin of Pashmina actually dates back to the early civilizations and has been traced back during the times of Mahabharata. In the olden days, Pashmina shawls were worn by the royalty, including the Nobles, Rulers, Princes, Kings and Emperors. This remarkable fabric was popularly known as the Fiber for Kings.
In Nepal, the origin of Pashmina started long back to the prehistoric times when the mountain people depended on the fabric they wove for survival, easy travel and warmth. In many semi-tropical jungles and high mountain areas, they continued to weave for comfort wear and protection.
Because of the gradual commercialization and popularity of pashmina, a variety of pashmina mufflers, sweaters, pashmina stoles, scarves and a wide variety of other pashmina products. These elegant pashmina shawls were woven by hand by the traditional weavers whose family has been in the industry since they inherited this art from their ancestors. The tradition of weaving pashmina continues from generation to generation.
Many Nepalese women have worn pashmina shawls traditionally. Their ancestors have described it has sensual sublimity. They were the ones who perfected the skill of retrieving pashmina up to ninety-five percent purity.
Pashmina shawls were worn by royalty. It has also been treated as heirloom and has now evolved to fashion accessories that offer both style and warmth. In the past, only the elite and rich had the privilege to enjoy the luxurious fabric. In fact, it was the pride of the French Queen and adorned the court of Caesar. Highly impressed with the remarkable aesthetics of Cashmere shawl, Emperor Napoleon presented it to Josephine to impress her.
Until the middle to 20th century, the kings of Kashmir had the sole right to buy all pashmina from Tibet, Nepal and other high reaches of Himalayas, which led to the establishment of the thriving cottage industry in Kashmir, and also perfected the art of making pashmina.
The Making of Pashmina Shawls
The making of Cashmere Pashmina is very labor extensive. In fact, it takes almost 200 to 250 man-hours on average to make one pure plain pashmina shawl without any embroidery. They were carefully made and crafted by hand and is still even practiced today, especially by those who inherited the pashmina making from their ancestors.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, many foreign entrepreneurs began to commission pashmina shawls. This is especially true for the French market, adapting the styles and designs to match the European taste. Today, pashmina items are highly popular among both men and women from all over the world.
Nowadays, silk pashmina and pashmina shawls are embroidered by men, and in recent years, the US market has opened to pashmina as people started to discover its great, soft texture. Many fashion gurus also pronounce it as valuable items to anyone’s wardrobe.
Silk Pashmina has also been highly popular. Many pashmina items have been used by an increasing number of people. From just only an item for royalty, pashmina shawls have now been a remarkable fashion accessory to have.