The Word, 'pashmina'
What is pashmina? "Pashmina" word has its origin in the Persian word ‘Pashm’ which means wool. However, over many centuries, Pashmina has come to be known as a special kind of wool which comes from the outer skin of the goats living in the high altitudes of the Himalayas. Pashmina scarf, stole, wrap, shawl and throws are hand spun and woven in Nepal and Kashmir in the Indian subcontinent. The pashminas from Kashmir are also known as Cashmere (the changed name of Kashmir) Pashmina. The words Cashmere and Pashmina have come into use as a substitute of each other and also together to express high quality of pashmina wraps. Mention of pashmina shawls in writing is found between 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD. Zayn-ul-Abidin, the 15th century ruler of Kashmir, is known to be the founder of the pashmina wool industry. He introduced weavers from Central Asia. Cashmere Pashmina shawls have been manufactured in Nepal and Kashmir for hundreds of years.
Napoleon may have started the pashmina craze when he presented a Cashmere Pashmina Shawl to his wife. Ladies of the 18th century court in France and St. Petersburg were enchanted by the regal feel and warmth of Cashmere Pashmina. Pashmina scarves, stoles, wraps, shawls and throws remain an essential part of a fashionable wardrobe, attesting to the durability and appeal of this classic accessory.
The goats bearing pashmina fiber are commercially reared in the Himalayas as well as now in Gobi Desert (in Mongolia). The weather conditions in Mongolia are similar to those of the Himalayan region, and are quite suitable for the goats to grow pashmina. Owing to availability of vast open grazing grounds to produce pashmina economically and commercially, production of pashmina in Mongolia costs less than the Himalayas. The quality of pashmina wool obtained from the goats raised in Mongolia is the same as that of the Himalayan goats. Due to ever increasing demand of pashmina and not everyone knowing about the quality of pashmina, quite a few imitations have also appeared in the market. Acrylic and viscose pashmina are two of the most common imitations of pashmina. The goats shed their winter coat every spring. Approximately 4 to 8 ounces of pashmina fibre is shed by each goat. It takes fiber of two to three goats to make one good quality pashmina shawl or stole. The pashmina fiber which is closer to the body of the goat is of better quality than the one on the outer side.Quality Check
Owing to the popularity of pashmina shawl among the fashion conscious women, in particular, and others in general, the market is full of its fake ve rsions. These imitations of pashmina easily deceive the customers unless they are aware of this menace. Made from synthetic fibers like acrylic, viscose, yarn and silk, these fakes give a soft and shiny look and can easily be mistaken to be the genuine and real pashmina. These imitations are being sold at cheaper rates and customers easily get attracted towards these. Irony is that some merchants are selling the fakes at higher rates which is double cheating. Higher prices somewhat mistakenly assure the buyer that what is being bought is genuine. Yet another trend which has developed is that the merchants indicate the composition of the fiber to be that of acrylic, viscose or silk and yet sell the products under the name of viscose pashmina. However, a more deliberate look and touch would easily reveal that there is a distinct difference between the touch and class of a real pashmina wrap and its imitation. Besides the aforementioned, deliberate look, touch and feel, following are very simple and easy to follow authenticity checks:
One of the simple checks is to soak a small part of your cashmere pashmina scarf in water for a while, pull it out and smell it. If there is no smell other than that of an ordinary cloth, it is fake. The real cashmere pashmina wrap will have a subtle but distinct smell which is mildly bad odor somewhat similar to that of wet leather. Another way of testing the authenticity of cashmere pashmina is to burn for a few moments a couple of loose ends of the tassels or loose thread from one end. Ash of a genuine pashmina shawl will be in the form of a uniform powder and it will come off easily. However, if the ash makes sticky beads and does not come off easily the smell is that of a chemical, the shawl is fake. If the vendor is not offering money back guarantee, there are good chances that the pashminas being sold are fake.
If the make of a country is other than India, Nepal and Tibet, it is more likely to be fake than real as pashmina is mostly produced in the aforementioned three regions. You should buy cashmere pashmina shawl from a well reputed store, be it online or off line.
Sizes and Suitability
We offer pashminas in the following sizes:
Scarves: 12”x 60” and 18”x 72”
Stole: 22”x 80” Wrap: 28”x 80”
Shawls: 36”x 80” and 40”x 80”
Large Shawl: 45"x 90"
Throw: 50”x 100"
Cashmere scarf, wrap and stole are better suited for casual wear. Cashmere wrap and shawl are suitable for formal and party wear. If you are short in height and are petite, we recommend that you choose wrap. If you are of medium height and built, we recommend pashmina shawl. If you are tall, we recommend that you should opt for cashmere shawl large. Throw is again for casual wear, long travel and for the tall, obese and pregnant women. With less width, wrap has less of fall and spread than the pashmina shawl.
Our customer base is spread the world over in all continents, especially in USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand. We do not compromise on quality by offering low prices. The testimonials we continue to receive bear testimony to the good quality of our pashmina and our customer service.
We ship our cashmere pashmina the world over. Standard shipping is free irrespective of the shipping destination. The delivery time is fourteen working days. We offer express shipping to our worthy customers in North America (U.S. and Canada) for a nominal charge of US $ 5.00 per pashmina. The delivery time is five working days. If the shipping address is away from the main towns, it may take a day or two extra to deliver the order.
Cashmere pashmina shawl is delicate and it needs to be duly taken care of so that it lasts longer. When not in use, these should be appropriately wrapped and placed in the wardrobe on a hanger. We recommend that when required to wash, it should neither be machine washed nor hand washed. The best and the safest way to wash it is to get it dry cleaned. However, if the same is not considered feasible for one reason or the other, it should be hand washed in warm water using a non-bleach washing detergent. After washing, it should not be wrung or twisted. Instead it should be widely spread over a string or drying rack. Once dry, iron it. While ironing, a thin white or light colored piece of cloth should be placed over it. The iron temperature should be fixed as for woolen clothes. If it has some stubborn stains on it, please treat it prior to dry cleaning. While ironing, please see to it that the tassels are not ironed once these are over or under the pashmina as this will result in tassel marks on the wrap.