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 versions. 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.