Raw and Dehaired Pashmina Wool
The name Pashmina comes from the Persian word Pashmina پشمینه. It means made from wool. Pashmina is one of the many types of wool. It is known to be the finest of all other wools. Pashmina is also known as Cashmere in Europe and the world over as the first woven textiles were from Indian Kashmir. Mountain goats from high altitudes like Changthangi and malra from Ladakh, the chegu from the Himalayas of northern India, and the chyangara from Nepal are the sources of pashmina fiber. The fiber is obtained from the hair of the goats. Besides other textiles, shawls, scarves, wraps, and stoles have been handspun and woven from this fiber since the days of Indus Valley Civilization (3300 to 1300 B.C.). Royalty and elite of the region and the rest of the world take pride in wearing these over or across their shoulders on both formal and festive functions.
14th-century Sufi, poet and Islamic scholar from Persia, Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani and 15th-century ruler of Indian Kashmir, Zayn-ul-Abidin are known to be the founders of pashmina industry. More than 50% of pashmina products are made in China and Mongolia, and the remaining are produced in India and Nepal. Pashmina products produced in the latter two countries are better known for their high quality than the former two.
Pashmina products are soft and light, yet very warm. These comprise of either 100% pashmina fiber or with a blend of silk which varies from 20 to 50%. A moderate blend of 30% makes the product gently shiny and retains its other qualities of lightweight and warmth. Silk-blend pashmina products are cheaper than the 100% pashmina or pure pashmina.
Over the years, the word pashmina has been redefined to be a substitute of pashmina scarf, shawl, wrap or stole. Owing to its popularity and high demand among fashion-conscious women of the elite, dubious market activities are also in vogue. Scarves and shawls made from the ordinary wool, and mixes of acrylic, silk, cotton, viscose etc. are sold as pashmina.
Shahtoosh pashmina is banned as it is produced from the extinct species of Chiru after these are killed. The fiber is obtained from the underbelly of the Chiru. Some traders with vested interest are trying to undermine the popularity of pashmina and are spreading falls news that all pashmina products are banned which is not the case. Despite ban, owing to its demand from the high elite, Shahtoosh is very expensive with its price varying from 5,000 to 20,000 US dollars. The regular pashmina shawl costs around 100 US dollars.
If you want to be stylish, pashmina shawl is an indispensable women’s fashion accessory for you. You can wear it across or over the shoulders during all seasons and all events and occasions. Whereas pashmina shawl is a must-have item of your wardrobe, as a responsible citizen you should not buy Shahtoosh shawl, even if you can afford it.