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INTRODUCTION

Pashmina is considered as diamond among fibers. Pashmina is the Cashmere


wool of the highest grade. Pashmina is probably made from the finest wool in the
world. Pashmina is a fine trendiest fashion fabric of this modern era. Pashmina
wool is also known for the softest, most luxurious and the best pashm wool in the
world.

Pashmina is the name given to the wool shorn from the underbelly of goats
indigenous to remote and frigid Himalayan regions of Nepal, Tibet and Central Asia
at a height of 12,000 to 14,000 feet or even higher, a desolate place with little
vegetation and extremely cold conditions. But the Nature has blessed these animals
with a very short inner coat of hair, which has been found to be the best natural
insulation in the whole world. The inner coat of hair is called pashmina. In fact, the
"Pashm" which is Persian word for "wool", refers to the inner coat fu r of certain
Tibetan animals, particularly goats.

CASHMERE GOAT

The elegance of pashmina is incomparable to the other fibers. Combine the beauty
of pashmina and the warmth it provides, and there can be no better choice for
outwear. It is strong yet flexible, light in weight, warm and luxurious wrap or wear for
evening and daytime wear in every season. Pashmina has been valued for centuries
throughout Asia and the Middle East Asia, and the wonderful qualities of pashmina
are making it just as popular in the West. Nepal is also known for its finely woven
pashmina products, pashmina is an indigenous and unique product of Nepal.
Pashmina is hand made from the wool sheared off from mountain goats Chyangra
(Capra Hircus) that are found in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Let us
assure that no animals are harmed during the making of pashmina. Our pashmina
shawls are remarkably soft, light and comfortable, considering how much warmth
they provided. We have been receiving great response from our customers through
mails and phone calls how much they love and appreciate their pashmina shawls,
pashmina stoles and other pashmina products and we are pretty glad that you have
been enjoying comfort ness, warmth and softness for all kinds of season when you
wear them.

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Now the pashmina is considered as the royal luxury and is being offered in wide
variety of pashmina shawls, pashmina stoles, pashmina, mufflers, pashmina
scarves, pashmina sweaters, pashmina blankets and other pashmina products. This
luxurious pashmina products are hand woven by traditional weavers of Kathmandu
valley whose families have been in the business from generations and they inherit
this art from their ancestors. The tradition of this art continues from generation to
generation. Pashmina Stores.Com presents pashmina shawls, pashmina stoles,
pashmina scarves, pashmina sweaters, pashmina blankets, and other pashmina
products in pure pashmina wool and in silk blended pashmina in all possible colors,
patterns, sizes and qualities in reasonable price. Increasingly sought by stylish
women of all ages who recognize the elegance of these pashmina products a well
chosen pashmina can transform the simplest attire into the most stylish ensemble
and appreciate their practicality and versatility as a snug shawl, stole, muffler or
sweater.

A pashmina is worn close to the face and the color must suit each person's skin
tone. The colors of pashmina that are particularly fashionable this season are
shades of purple; from pale lilac to a deep violet shade of prune. Pashmina trends
this year are slightly ethnic embroidery and pleats. Due to the timeless and season
less versatility of the pashmina, many women opt for a classic color that can be worn
season after season, perennial favorites include pink - shades through to bright
fuchsia - butter, yellow, white and of course jet black. It takes the wool from four and

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over 200 men hours (spinning, weaving, dying and decorating) to make just one
pashmina shawl. Hand spinning the wool for a single pashmina takes 15 days, so
naturally the labor - intensive production is reflected in the price.

Pashmina is all about warmth, sophistication, elegance, softness, luxurious and


timelessness in fashion. Original and exclusive Pashmina cashmere is always in
demand.

To be more clear about the term pashmina, let us define pashmina more clearly;

You have every right to know about pashmina before purchasing pashmina products.
The following description and definition will help you to understand pashmina term
more clearly. So please follow the headings and find your answers regarding the
term pashmina.

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REVIEW
What is PASHMINA? What is chashmere, and what is a shawl anyhow?

It is derived from a farsi (Persian) word shal, originally meaning various kinds of
woollen materials;and in iran shal continues to refer to a variety of textiles.It may
have been around the 16th century that the word in Kashmir,and elsewhere in India
came to be applied primarily to the fine fabrics twill-woven from the underfleece of
goats reared in Tibet.

From the 16th to the 19th century,the Kashmir valley was the only region where thre
skills existed to exploit the full potential of fine goat-fleece-known locally as
Pashm,another farsi word,originally meaning any kind of wool-to be woven into
patterned textile of superlative softness and delicacy.Till well into the 19 th
century,shoulder-mantles were only one of several score items produced by the
shawl-looms of Kashmir;and many English speaking observers continued to use the
term “shawl” to refer to a fabric rather than to a garment. Meanwhile the Kashmir
style shoulder mantle,in India worn by men and women alike, became popular in
Europe as a luxury accessory for women’s wear.what followed was that, on one
hand,the farsi word for the fabric woven from the finest goat fleece became restricted
to this one type of garment,while on the other its meaning was extended to include
shoulder mantles,woven,knitted,or crocheted,in any kind of material,whether
silk,cotton,lace or Shetland wool.

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A parallel semantic shift has given rise to endless confusion about the raw material.
When Pashm-the delicated fibre which gives the Kashmir fibre its special
properties,but which is produced by goats reared on high altitude pastures in Ladakh
and Tibet, hundreds of miles from Kahmir’s smiling Valley-made its appearance in
the west in form of the shawl,it featured as “cashmere”. From the second quarter of
19th century, as Europe’s modernizing textile industry started sourcing similar
materials from different regions of Asia to make shawls and other items,the term was
extended to cover almost any kind of goat fleece, not necessarily that of Tibetian
goat,as well as the knitwear and other garments fashioned from it

.The bulk of “cashmere” today comes to Western woollen mills from China and
Mongolia, where it is produced pre-eminently by the Mongolian goat.If this had
happened in the 21st century, such misappropriation of a location-specific term for an
internationally produced and traded commodity could have been challenged under
the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS(Trade related aspects of Intellectual Propert
Rights)regime;asa things have worked out,however,it has to be accepted that
“cashmere”has become a generic name,divorced from its place of origin. The term
Kashmir Pashmina has recently been registered as a geographical indication under
TRIPS.Whether it will end the misuse of the word “pashmina” for brightly colored
stoles in any kind of wool or blend remains to be seen.Properly, Pashmina is the
material woven from Pashm,and Pashm is the downy undercoat of the Tibetian
goat.That’s it.No other product deserves the term. Pashm/Pashmina,
accordingly,may be defined as the finest quality of cashmere, coming from the
Tibetian goat;all pashmina is cashmere,but not all cashmere is pashmina.

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At its finest the Kashmir shawl-pashmina fabric in the form of shoulder mantle,
waistband, turban, or in form of coat cloth-was among the most exquisite textiles
ever woven. But more than that, its beauty and economic worthmade it,for atleast
three centuries, the centre of a huge and elaborate commercial operation, involving
in its heyday, tens of thousands of people, and worth several king’s ransoms. In
1823,the total annual turnover of the industry at first price(before the addition of
taxes, manufacturer’s and middlemen’s profits, broker’s fee and transport costs)was
estimated at some Rs.30 lakh, amounting perhaps in today’s money to Rs.120 crore.

The shawl’s journey, repeated year after year for centuries, was long and arduous.It
started on the winswept plateaux of Tibet where the pashm was produced, and
finished in shawl dealer’s establishment in the bustling marts of cities both east and
west of Suez. Growing on the bodies of goats and reared by nomadic herds people
in an ecological niche tha only they could fill, and harvested at the onset of the
summer, the fibre was carried by Ladakhi and Kashmiri traders down from the high
altitudepastures, over the rocky trails that passed for traderoutes through the
mountain, to Srinagar, Kashmir’s capital. There, complex commercial and technical
processe transformed the grubby greasy fibre into the most delicate and decorative
of textiles which, prized by India’s elites, were also carried by horse- and camel-
caravan across Asia’s mountains and deserts to the bazaars of Isfahan and
Baghdad,Cairo and Constantinople; or down to the great ports of India’s west coast
and onward by ship to the Gulf, or Europe and America.

The emperor Akbar had such a fondness for the Kashmir shawl that he gave it an
affectionate nickname: parm-narm, ”supreme soft”. It was an object of desire not only
for mughal emperors and sikh maharajas, but also for Indian and Iranian nobles,
American merchants, French empresses and their ladies-in-waiting, British
aristocrats and, eventually, for the wealthy bourgeoisie created by thr Industrial
revolution on both sides of Atlantic.It inspired any number of imitations,but none that
could even approach the original in softness, delicacy and charm of design;and it left
a lasting imprint on the aesthetic sensibility of the modern world in the so-called
paisley,a motif developed in the ateliers of the Kashmir’s shawl designers. But alas!

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While the Kashmir shawl contributed to the romantic 19th century vision of the
“Orient”,it also fell victim to the vagaries of the Western fashion.Worse,it became an
item in the imperialist’s economic project of taking anything they fancied of beauty
and value from colonized world,commodifying it,using it as a template for mass
production in Europe’s mills and factories,and sending the cheapened product to
undercut the original in its traditional markets.Western demand for an article thus
deprived of its exclusive cachet slumped;the industry which had become largely
dependent on it, crashed.

Not completely, though.Even when the west was done with it the Kashmir shawl
survived, though shourn of some of its glory. Throughout the 20th century the
pashmina shawl, woven nad embroidered in Kashmir, remained an indispensable
item in the winter wardrobe of ladies of noth India”s affluent middle-class;and since
the mid 1990’s ,the exponential increase of wealth consequent on the economic
reforms started in 1991 has created a patron-class for the revival of ancient
techniques and skills which had all but disappeared.

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HISTORY
To understand and feel the real importance about pashmina garments and pashmina
products first of all it has to be started with its history. But pashmina history has been
mentioned differently by different groups in different way in different places. We are
including all about pashmina history mentioned by different people in different way in
different place.

Pashmina, from the Persian word for wool, is popularly known in the West as
cashmere wool, from the old spelling of Kashmir. The fine wool comes from the
undercoat of the Himalayan mountain goat, called Chyangra (Capra Hircus) which
lives in the high Himalayan regions of Nepal and the most remote regions of Tibetan
Plateau. For over a thousand years cashmere has been woven into shawls and
blankets, prized by royalty and common people alike for its softness, warmth, and
long life. Kashmir was for centuries the only place the fiber could be woven into
shawls, according to treaties that gave the Maharaja of Kashmir exclusive rights to
Tibet's pashmina supply.

While shawls, stoles, mufflers, scarves and blankets woven from pashmina wool
have been adored for centuries in the far East, the Western world has been slow to
discover pashmina's unique qualities. Today most of the world's pashmina shawls
are woven on hand looms in Nepal's Kathmandu valley. And most are woven on a
warp of spun silk for increased suppleness and strength. In recent years this silk and
pashmina blend has become the adoring of the western fashion world.
Extraordinarily soft and light, yet exceptionally warm, be it pure pashmina or silk
blended pashmina.

Himalayan goat Chyangra (Capra Hircus)

Pashmina wool, also known as cashmere wool world over is the softest, most
luxurious and the best wool in the world comes from Himalayan region from a special
Himalayan goat Chyangra (Capra Hircus) which lives at the altitude of 12000 feet
where temperature drops below 40 degree centigrade. The goat is blessed by nature
with a unique very thin short inner coat of hair which is the best insulation in the
world and this inner coat of hair is PASHMINA. The Himalayan goat is survived
because of this nature gifted hair in the coolest weather. Pashmina fiber i s 15 to 19
microns in diameter where as a human hair is 75 microns in diameter. One
Himalayan goat produce s 3 to 8 ounce s of Pashmina per year.

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Origin of Pashmina dates back to ancient civilization and has been traced back to
the times of Mahabharata. Earlier in olden days pashmina shawls found favor with
EMPERORS, KINGS, PRINCES, RULLERS and NOBLES. This precious fabric was
known as FIBER FOR KINGS.

Origin of pashmina in Nepal started long back, the mountain people of Nepal had to
depend on the fabric they wove for warmth, for easy travel and for survival. In many
high mountain areas and semi-tropical jungles, they continued to weave for their
perfect protection and comfort wear. The art of wearing wool products by hand has
been practiced throughout the country remains popular today as its rugged
conditions have not changed. Due to gradual popularity and commercialization of
pashmina there are variety of pashmina is being offered in the market like: pashmina
shawls, pashmina stoles, pashmina scarves, pashmina sweaters, pashmina
mufflers, and variety of other pashmina products. These luxurious pashmina shawls
are hand woven by traditional weavers whose families have been in the occupation
since ages they inherit this art from their ancestors, and tradition of pashmina
weaving continues from one generation to another generation.

Nepalese women have traditionally worn pashmina shawls. Our ancestors have
described pashmina as sensual sublimity. It is they who perfected the skill to retrieve
pashmina up to 95% purity and the skill as such got passed from generation to
generation as a heritage of Nepalese craft.

Pashmina is the most original and authentic fibers. The king of all wools originated in
Kashmir hundreds of years ago. The art of Pashmina making in the valley of Kashmir
is believed to be as old as 3000 years B.C. In the past, only rich and elite had the
privilege of enjoying luxurious fabric. It adorned the court of Caesar and was the
pride of French queen, Marie Antoinette. Impressed with the unparalleled looks of
Kashmir shawl, Emperor Napoleon presented it to impress Josephine. Until mid-
twentieth century, Kashmir's kings had the sole right to purchase all pashmina from
Nepal, Tibet and other higher reaches of Himalayas. This resulted in establishment
of flourishing cottage industry in Kashmir and has lead to the perfection of art of
pashmina making. The making of Kashmir Pashmina is labor intensive and on an
average it takes nearly 200 - 250 man-hours to make a single pure plain pashmina
shawl without embroidery.

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The beautiful vale of Kashmir has always been famed for its craftsmanship. The
wearing of tapestry shawls was first introduced into the valley from Turkistan by
Zain-Ul-Abdin, the ruler of Kashmir, in the 15th century. Production benefited from
the patronage of the Mughal rulers like Akbar and his successors, who wore these
shawls, and also because of patronage of local government.

The collapse of the Mughal Empire left many weavers unemployed. The situation
however, was saved by the enormous increase in demand from Europe, where the
shawls became popular in the latter part of the 18th century.

At the beginning of the 19th century, foreign entrepreneurs started to commission


shawls especially for the French market, adapting the designs to suit European
taste. Indeed pashmina became the rage in France after Napoleon presented a rare
shawl to Empress Josephine. With the progress of the century, the adoption in
designs became increasingly complex. The European market for shawls collapsed in
1870 due to a combination of factors such as changing tastes and competition from
Paisley shawls. The economic prostration of France when she was defeated by
Russia added to the declining European market. The Kashmir weavers either left the
valley for Punjab or started producing embroidered shawls for tourists, mainly British
officers on furlough in colonized India.

Today Kashmiri shawls are embroidered by professional men. Lately, the American
market has opened to Pashmina as Americans discovered its plush, soft texture.
Fashion gurus now pronounce it as essential to the wardrobe as the ubiquitous little
black dress.

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What is Pashmina ?
Pashmina is made from the finest cashmere wool and is the softest, warmest,
lightest natural fabric available. It is combed from the underside of the Himalayan
Mountain Goat - the Capra Hircus goat - from the mounta
Pashmina has been valued for centuries throughout Asia and the Middle East, and
the wonderful qualities of pashmina have made it just as popular in the West.
Whether you are planning to wear it an outdoor wedding, a Caribbean cruise, or a
night at the movies, a pashmina shawl is the most versatile and elegant accessory.
So lightweight that you can carry it in your purse, and so warm that it can ward off an
evening chill, a chilly winter breeze, or the low temperatures (in minus degrees) of
the coolest climates of the colder regions of the world.
Pashmina is a status symbol, a luxury item and is a matter of pride for the woman
who wears it. A pashmina in your wardrobe adds to your sex appeal and you
become the center of attraction in weddings, award ceremonies and parties.
Wherever you go, you would like to take your favourite pashmina along with you.
Pashmina shawls are remarkably soft and light, considering how much warmth they
provide. Pashmina products are world renowned for their exotic silky texture,
lightness and warmth.
Once you have purchased a pashmina, you'll want to enhance its appeal. Browse
this website for vegetable natural dyed stoles for wholesale purchase or single piece.

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Pashmina Wool
Pashmina wool, also known as the softest, most luxurious and the best pashm wool
in the world. The wool comes from the underbelly of the Capra Hircus goat, which
wanders in the sub zero temperatures of the high Himalayas in Nepal, some 14,000
feet above sea level. The goats grow this extra layer each winter to insulate
themselves against the rigours of this extreme climate. Thus blessed by nature with
a unique very thin short inner coat of hair - the best insulation in the world - and this
inner coat of hair is known as PASHMINA. The goat survives because of this
naturally gifted cushion of hair.

Pashmina is the Persian word for pashm meaning finest wool fibre, the "soft gold"
king of fibers. Pashmina is also known as the "diamond fiber" and the "soft gold of
high Asia".
Pashmina fibre is less than 15-19 microns in thickness making it very soft (whereas
human hair is 75 microns thick) One goat produces 3 to 8 ounces of Pashmina per
year.
Pashmina comes from Himalayan region as finest Kashmiri wool which is derived at
the altitude of 12000 to 14000 ft. where temperature goes down up to-40 degree
centigrade. The thermoconductivity of the wool is best in the world as the goat
survives at -40 degree Celcius temperatures (far below freezing zero temperatures)
in cold climates
The pashmina we see on the Web and in local stores is usually a 80/20, 70/30 or
even a 50/50 blend of cashmere and silk respectively. This is said to produce a
strong yet supple, lightweight, luxurious wrap for evening or day-time wear. Most
vendors claim that the wool in their pashmina is produced by very special Himalayan
goats. Cashmere refers to the fine wool from the undercoat of these Kashmir goats -
pashmina is the crème de la crème of cashmere.

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GEOGRAPHICAL REGION

a. Geographic Domain: Asia

b. Geographic Site: South Asia

c. Geographic Impact: Kashmir (China, India, and Pakistan)

In Kashmir, with its severe winter when climate conditions are semi-arctic, craftsmen
utilize their lesiure as well as creative intelligence in creating artifacts of exquisite
beauty. Princely patronage encourged these handicrafts from early times till these
products, light in weight and rich in art, found a big market in India and abroad. The
State Government has set up many training centres for coaching young boys and
girls in traditional arts and crafts. As a result there has been a wide dispersal of
handicrafts throughout the State. Pashmina shawl industry is an old industry of
Kashmir. Pashmina wool used to come from Tibet via Ladakh but since the invasion
of China in 1962 and closing of the Leh Yarkand route, Pashmina shawl and carpet
industries have been affected greatly. Now the raw material comes from Ladakh
only. Moreover the water of river Jhelum is most suitablefor washing pashmina wool.
Best pashmina shawl is known as ring shawl, a shawl that can pass through a
wedding-ring.

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The handwoven Pashmina shawls of Kashmir were accredited with the Geographical
Indication (GI) mark. The Chief Minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah, on 5 August
2013 launched the Kashmir Pashmina GI mark, which will now be imprinted on all
handwoven Kashmiri Pashmina Shawls, in the form of label.

This GI Mark will be imprinted at Testing and Quality Certification Centre. The Centre
was inaugurated on 5 August 2013 by Omar Abdullah at Craft Development Centre.
The GI Mark labels will be attached to Kashmiri Pashmina shawl after it has been
tested on weaving technology, spinning method, originality of fabric as well as
fineness of thread. The mark of Kashmir Pashmina will also provide details of the
manufacturer as well as quality of shawl. The label will also carry a number, which
will be verifiable from official website.

This move will help in restoring the handicrafts of Kashmir. It will also help in
economic prosperity of the artisans. At the same time, it will also help in removing
the fake handicrafts sold in the name of Kashmir. As an initial action, fake Pashmina
shawls would be replaced by Kashmir patent hand woven original Pashmina shawls.
In order to stop fake as well as unscrupulous trade in handicrafts sector, the testing
lab at Craft Development Institute (CDI) at Nowshera will be used.

The Government of Kashmir has already achieved the GI for six handicrafts, which
will have same testing facilities.

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RAW MATERIAL:
ANIMAL FIBRE-PASHM

Every year,when winter’s biting winds howl over the coldest places of the world-
that’s when the resident mammals don their chillproof underwear.Goats,mountain
antelopes,yak,camels,musks,ox,even dogs,grow beneath their coarse outer coat a
thick down of superfine fibres which alone enables them to survive temperatures
plummeting to minus 40 degrees or lower,made more severe by wind chill.Come
spring,lengthening days and the rise in temperature trigger hormonal changes that
loosen the down for which the animal has no further need.

Several species including the goat,the yak,the camel,the dog and the tundra dwelling
musk ox,have indeed been amenable to domestication,enabling their down to be
harvested sustainably,for local or commercial use.Those which have resisted
domestication,especially the Andean vicuna and Tibetian Antelope,both of whose
coat are in the super-superfine category,have all too often been slaughtered for the
precious fibre.

Of all these animal fibres,the down from some breeds of domesticated goat of inner
Asia,internationally known as “cashmere”,is the most famous.In India the fleece of
Tibetian goat ,from which the classic Kashmir shawl was woven,is usually called
pashm,an urdu word originating from farsi,that can be applied to the raw fibre of any
of the down producing animals of high Asia;when the term is used without
qualification goat-pashm is understood.Pashmina is the yarn spun and the material
woven from pashm.

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QUALITY OF PASHM FIBRE
For millennia, nomadic herdspeople have spun and woven goat hair-the whole
fleece, consisting of coarse and fine fibres-into coarse cloth for their own purposes,
especially in tents, as many of them still do.

The two main determinants of quality in textile fibres are fineness(fibre diameter)and
staple length, both of which will affect the feel or “handle” of the finished poroducts.
Colour is another important consideration. fibre diameter is measured by micron. For
comparison, a human hair has a diameter of around 70 microns and the finest
sheep’s wools, from the Shetland and marino breeds, are in the range of 16.5-20
microns.

In today’s international market, the standard for cashmere to be made up into the
finest quality knitwear is 15.5 microns and the high end manufacturers look to
purchase material measuring 16 microns or less; but across the board the micron
count can vary between 13 and 19,the higher counts being suitable for woven
fabrics.The Tibetian ,Mongolian, and Xinjiang breeds provide knitwear quality
fibre,while the Iranian and Afghan clips lean towards the higher
measurements.When these fine fibres are spun into threads,a multitude of
microscopic air pockets are formed;it is these that give the material its extraordinary
warmth and softness.

There tends to be a negative correlation between fineness and fibre length.The


western cashmere industry,with its emphasis on whisper soft knitwear,puts a
premium on fineness;its merchandized spinning can cope with mean fibre length as
little as 3.5 cm though it takes 3.8-4 cm to produce the best quality yarn.Longer
fibres are needed for fine,smooth yarns known as Worsted.For the hand spinners of
Kashmir,the crucial quality was and is staple length,which should on average be not
less than 5 cm.As a rule,among the traditional breeds,the more extreme the
conditions in which the goats have been raised,the longer the staple;this is why in

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former times Kashmiri traders preferred the fibres from the high altitude pastures of
western Tibet which had a long staple rather than shorter,though finer,pashm
produced in Ladakh,where the pastures were slightly lower.

As regarss colour,white has always been at a premium,whether among the Kashmir


shawl weavers of yesteryear,or the contemporary cashmere moguls,on account of
the range of shades it can be dyed.Breeders select for white,a process made easier
by the fact that,genetically,white is dominant to colour.For this reason,the great
majority of Cashmere goats in the world today produce white fibre.The browns and
greys which are other natural colours of the fibre are identified in the the 19th century
texts as khudrang,self coloured;they form the field colour of a fair proportion of both
antique and contemporary Kashmir shawl goods,but in the international market
command prices two-thirds to three-quarters those of white.Khudrang,however,dyes
well into darker shades,the base colour giving them vibrancy and depth.

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CHANGRA AND CHANGPA:THE GOATS AND THEIR
HERDERS

The Changpa(northern people) are nomadic pastorlists,whose yak hair tents are
scattered throughout Tibetian andLadakhi changthang,a vast and complex terrain of
flat expanses of land interspersed by mountains and valleys.for centuries,they have
lived in this bleak,high-altitude landscape,herding the goats whose pashm supplies
the Kashmir shawl industry.The changpa camps at altitudes ranging from 3600 to
4500 metres,in an extreme environment where winter temperature can drop as low
as minus 50 degrees.

While pastoralism is the main occupation for all the groups,some of them also
practice agriculture,growing barley and potatoes in what are believed to be the
highest arable fields in the world.Their livestock consists of sheep,pashmina goats
and yak,as well as the horses essential to nomadic existence.In 2007,according to
official records,the number of pashmina goats kept by the Ladakhi changpa was
about 170,590; they also reared 52,549 sheeps.

Till the 1960s most of the pashm for the Kashmir shawl industry came from western
Tibet,and Ladakh was merely the conduit for the trade.But the Chinese occupation of
Tibet,and the closure of the border between India and Tibet,together with improved
connectivity with Indian plains,changed the old established trading patterns.Today it
is the Ladakhi changpa who are the main suppliers of raw pashm to Kashmir.There
may be any unbroken continuity between these early nomadic tribes and large
number of true nomads surviving today,depending entirely on their flocksof sheeps
and goats and their herds of yak.However,there is practically no historical or visual
documentation for the Ladakhi changpa,apart from their own rich store of oral

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history,myth, and legend.The numerous rock cravings found throughout the
region,and the wall paintings in Ladakh’s monasteries,are valuable sources of
information,respectively,on the hunter gatherers who may have been the region’s
original inhabitants,and on later courtly lifestyles.

Among the changpa,wealth is defined in terms of sheep,goats,yak and dimo.Till the


end of 1950s,almost all the changpa remember keeping large herds of sheep and
goats,the better-off owning more than 1000 animals.they kept more sheeps than
goats,usually in the artio of 3:1.This was because,on the one hand,they could barter
wool against grain brought up by traders from villages in Ladakh’s lower
valleys,zanskar,or himachal Pradesh;and on the other,their pashm hadlittle value
since the traders preferred the fibre from western Tibet.

The next 40 years saw critical changes,with increased pressure on the pastures due
to political and soc ial developments.As a result of the Sino-Indian war of 1962,
37,500 square kilometres of northeastern Ladakh were occupied by the Chinese,and
several groups in southern and eastern changthang lost valuable paturelands at
kangyung,where they used to migrate after the Ladakhi new year in December and
stay for about three months.At about the same time,in the wake of Chinese
occupation of their country,some Tibetian changpa arrived as refugees and their
livestocks had to be accommodated;later there was also competition from the horses
accompanying trekking groups,and form a population of wild animals,mainly the wild
ass,possibly increasing due to the efforts of conservationists.Inevitably,the
changpa’s own practices altered.Till the 1960s they made regular trading journeys to
Tibet,Himachal Pradesh,ladakhi valley of Zanskar accompanied by a large part of
their livestock-for goats and sheeps,as well as yak,were used as pack animals.The
animal’s absence for weeks at a time lightened the load on the pastures;but with the
chabgpa’s gradual integration into the money economy such expeditions became
unnecessary,and this relief came to an end.

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As a result of all this,livestock holdings in changthang decreased.by the 1990s,an
affluent family was defined as one that owned 300 head of sheep and goats,and 30-
35 yak,and an average income family would have about half that number.Herd
composition also changed,the ratio of sheep to goats having fallen to 3:2.As the cash
economy began replacing traditional systems of barter and exchange,and with
pashm commanding a higher price,the changpa preferred to keep more goats.Since
the turn of the century,while total livestock holdings have remained more or less the
same throughout the Ladakhi changthang,the number of goats has continued to
increase.The ratio is now(2008) roughly three goats to evry sheep,the reverse of the
pre-1960s one.The changpa expected this trend to persist,as long as the price of
pashm remains high.

The traders claim that the finest quality pashm comes from southeast changthang-
kharnak,korzok and rupshu.They say the excellence of the fibre reflects the quality of
the grazing lands and the manner in which livestock are cared for. The changpa from
these regions,for instance,do not always keep their goats in pens during winter.The
disadvantage of keeping goats in pens is that,as they are less exposed to the
cold,their pashm does not grow to its full potential;also it becomes
discoloured,turning yellowish from contact with urine.In addition,the changpa from
these areas feed their livestock salt which increases the animal’s strength,making
them more resilient.

The harvesting of fibre starts around the beginning of june.Pashm is the first to be
ready and so is harvested first,followed by yak hair,and then sheep’s wool.

20
The pashm is removed by combing.During winter,it lies close against the goat’s
body,providing insulation against the bitter cold.The changpa say it is only when the
winter is over and the goat eats the first new grassthat the pashm rises above the
surface of the animal’s body and can be combed out easily.The old style combs
were locally made by yak horn or wood.Today,however,these traditional combs are
seldom made;instead,combs made of steel are used.The comb consists of heavy
wires bound together by finer wires,and each tine is curled at the tip into a hook.The
pashm as it is combed out contains an admixture of coarse hairs as well as dirt and
the animal’s bodily secretions.The women who clean the fibre in Kashmir reckon that
on average the quantity of pure fibre in a given lot of raw pashm is no more than
about 35 percent by weight.After combing,the animal’s shaggy outer coat,made up of
coarse hair,is cut with metal shears.
A male goat yields upto 300g of pashm,though a really large male may give as much
as 500g.Males always yield more than females,as the latter are smaller and are also
weakened by repeated pregnancies and milking.The female goat accordingly
produces about 200-250 g.These figures refer to the weight of fibre before it is
cleaned and the coarse hair is separated out.As soon as the pashm has been
combed out of goats,it is made up into bundles and stored in large sacks or
saddlebags,awaiting the traders.

21
SPINNERS,WEAVERS AND NEEDLEWORKERS
Pashm is no doubt among the finest fibres ever woven; but on its arrival in Srinagar it
is no more than a grubby and greasy mass as it has come from the goats, mixed
with all sort of dirt and dandruff and coarse hairs from animal’s outer coat. To
transform this unpromising material into a fabric of gossamer fineness, and with
patterns as delicate as the flowers they evoke, takes all the artistry and skill of
kashmir’s spinners, dyers, designers, weavers, and embroiderers, together with a
host of ancillary workers.This has been true for the last 400 years, and remains true
today.

The distinctive technical feature of the classic Kashmir shawl is the weave, known to
textile scholars as twill tapestry. tapestry is the technique of weaving designs into the
very structure of fabric. Tapestry is one of the most ancient textile techniques,
perhaps as much as 4000 years old.It seems to have originated independently in
widely scattered regions of the world: there were tapestry weavers among the
ancient Egyptians and their descendents the copts, among the Chinese,among the
Incas of Peru,and in tribal groups from Central Asia to New Mexico.

Tapestry-weaving is a labour intensive process, in which the weft yarn is inserted


between the warp threads, not by a shuttle, but by a series of small bobbins loaded
with yarns of various colours needed to create the design. One line of weft,
depending upon the complexity of design, can involve scores or hundreds of
insertions. Within the broad technique of tapestry weaving several methods are used
to manage the junction of the differently coloured threads in a single line of the weft.
In the simplest, the two adjacent different weft threads turn back on themselves,
leaving a tiny opening in the weave which,if repeated at the same warp point in
successive lines of weft,creates a gap in the fabric.This technique is accordingly
called slit tapestry.To avoid the formation of such gaps,slit tapestry textiles often
have a design based on textile design.A continuous surface without slits is created

22
either by looping the two weft threads around a single warp thread at the point of
intersection,a technique known as dovetailing;or looping them round each
other,which is called interlock.

The technique used in Kashmir shawl weaving is known as double interlock,meaning


that where the weft threads of different colours meet,they loop round each other in
successive rows,thus creating a firm and permanent join.

This gives a clear demarcation of the the colour change on the ‘right’ side of the
material;but leaves on the ‘wrong’ side a minute nub in each weft line which,as the
design is built up,develops into a tiny ridge with the two colours interchanged. Only a
very few shawls are known in which single interlock joins have been used,
eliminating this feature and creating a textile with no ‘wrong’ side.In the finest double
interlock pieces,where the design is fairly open,the only differentiation about the right
and wrong side is the tiny colour interchanged ridge at the edge of each motif;no
loose threads or ‘floats’ are carried across the fabric from one motif to the next.

23
The narrow guard-borders above and below the main motifs,which usually have a
regular geometrical design,are often woven in a technique akin to brocading,with the
coloured wefts carried along the whole width of the fabric.In the later shawls, with
their dense designs involving frequent colour changes and repeats of the same
colour,the wrong side is often a messy site,with a multitude of floats along eac line of
the weft.

The thread count typically varies between 30 and 36 warp-and 30 and 38 weft
threads per centimetre,but may be as high as 42 warp- and an astounding 87 weft
threads.

Its astonishing fineness apart,the remarkable feature of tapestry weave used for
Kashmir shawls is its basic structure,which is 2x2 twill.This may be understood in
contrast to a plain weave,in which the weft goes alternatively over and under only
one warp thread at a time.In twill,the threads of the warp are arranged on the loom in
such a way that the weft thread passes over two,under two,the pairing of warp
threads changing by one unit from the line to adjacent line of the weft.Twill,which
drapes more softly than a plain woven fabric,is recognized by the fine diagonal rib on
the surface;this adds its own charm to the pattern woven into it-though the diagonal
progression also creates technical issues in interpreting the pattern,which the
designer and weaver have to take into accout.

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PASHMINA MAKING PROCESS
Nepal is well known for its finely woven pashmina products. Pashmina product is an
indigenous and unique product of Nepal. Pashmina products are hand-made from
the wool sheared off from mountain goats that are found in the high Himalayan
regions of Nepal and Tibet. Most of the skins come from high altitude of 12000 to
14000 feet above sea level. Depending on their preference skins are usually of four
colors gray, white, black and cream.

The pashmina making process undergoes pain staking process and the entire
process is done completely by hand.The pashmina wool is collected every spring
from the Mountain goat "Chyangra" (Capra Hircus). Pashmina is the goat's soft
underbelly down, which lies under the coarse and thick outer hair. Each goat
produces only about 3 ounces or 80 grams of pashmina wool each year. One woven
pashmina shawl require wool from about three goats, and is basically spun by hand.
The yarn is spun on a spinning wheel locally known as 'Charkha'. Hand-spinning is
extremely painstaking and time consuming task. It requires immense patience,
dexterity and dedication of experienced and expert weavers.

Pashmina yarn is too fragile for the vibration caused by power looms, the weaving of
the traditional 100% pashmina shawls are therefore done on hand-looms. The
weaving process is in itself an art, which has been passed down over generations to
give you the fabulous pashmina shawls and other pashmina products.

The making of the distinctive pashmina fringe and design is perhaps one of the most
interesting stages of shawl making. It takes hours to fringe each pashmina shawl,
pashmina stole or pashmina scarf or pashmina sweater or pashmina blanket.

Dyeing is also done by hand. Dyers with immense patience and generations of
experience are the one who dye the pashmina shawls, as even the smallest
negligence reflects on the quality of the product. Only natural dyes are used, making
the shawls completely eco-friendly.

Thus pashmina production process includes:

Fiber Collection >> Fiber Spinning >> Weaving in Hand-looms >> Mending White
Pieces >> Washing White Pieces to Remove Spot, Blots, etc. >> Dyeing >> Fringe
and Designs Making >>Embroidery >> Ironing and finally Packing.

The entire process of manufacturing pashmina products like pashmina shawls,


pashmina sweaters, pashmina scarves, pashmina stoles, pashmina mufflers and
pashmina blankets etc. are similar.

How is Pashmina Made?

Origin of Pashmina dates back to ancient civilization. In olden days though the
pashmina making process was same as today, pashmina were made by hands,
collecting pashmina fibers, spinning the pashmina wool, no extra colors were added
and there were no dying system and the pashmina products were woven for their

25
own use. As time changed the pashmina products found favor with the royal families,
emperors, rulers, kings, etc. This precious fabric was known as the ROYAL FIBERS.
Now this royal luxury is being offered in wide variety of shawls, stoles, scarves,
mufflers, sweaters and blankets. These luxurious pashmina products are hand
woven by traditional weavers whose families have been in the occupation since ages
and they inherit this art from their ancestors, and tradition of this art continues from
one generation to another generation.

Every summer, Himalayan farmers climb the high Himalayan regions to comb the
fine woolen undercoat from the underbelly of, Himalayan mountain goat 'Chyangra'
the Capra Hircus goat which is the source of pashmina, and which lives at elevations
of 14500 feet (4500 meters) and above, where temperatures rarely rise above minus
40 degree centigrade in winter. Not to be confused with the endangered Tibetan
antelope, chiru that is killed to produce Shahtoosh shawls, some also call these
Chyangra goat as the Cashmere Goats. To survive the freezing environment at
14000 feet altitude, it grows a unique, incredibly soft pashm, inner coat, six times
finer than human hair. Because it is only 15 - 19 microns in diameter, it can not be
spun by machines, so the wool is hand-woven into pashmina products including
shawls, stoles, scarves, mufflers, sweaters, wraps, throws, blankets, etc. to export
worldwide.

With the coming of summer, the Himalayan goats shed their warm winter coats,
Their underbellies are covered with two different types of wool: 1) The fine soft inner
coat which is called pashmina and 2) a thick coarse outer layer. The wool is
gathered by local women, who comb it thoroughly to separate the pashmina from the
thicker, less luxuriant wool.

Each fiber is about one sixth the width of a human hair, and one shawl requires
about 24 ounces of wool, the annual output of about 4 goats. The wool is too delicate
for mechanical looms, and must therefore be spun and woven by hand. The
techniques for producing fine pashmina products have been handed down through
the generations, and sometimes the women in a family have carried out the practice
since the days of the Mughal Empire.

26
METHODOLOGY
The traditional process of making pashmina shawl in Kashmir is divided into four
broad heads:

A)PRE SPINNING

B)SPINNING

C)WEAVING

D)FINISHING

A) PRE SPINNING PROCESS

1.Harvesting: The pashmina is harvested during spring season when animal


naturally shed their undercoat.On the basis of weather conditions and
seasons,the goat starts moulting over a period from mid march to late may.It is
done manually by combing.AS pashmin afibres are intermingled with an outer
coat called guard hairs,so the process of combing if followed by manual
dehairing.

Harvesting of Pashmina by combing

2.Sorting/Dehairing: sorting or dehairing means separation of innercoat/pashmina


from the guard hair.The process of sorting is done manually and mostly by women
folk.Now-a-days at some places the process of manual dehairing is replaced by
machine dehairing.

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Raw pashmina ManualDehairing of Raw Pashmina

3.Combing: Raw pashmina is having lot of impurities like vegetable


matter,slought epithelial cells,dust etc with it,which needs to be removed for
efficient processing.The objective of combing is
to remove these impurities and parallelize the
fibre.Traditionally,combing id done by impaling
dehaired raw pashmina repeatedly on an
upright comb(10 cm wide) set on a wooden
stand.The small lump of fibres are straightened
on the teeth of comb by drawing each tuft
through it by hand.The process is repeated for
3 or 4 times until tuft seen is in a clean enough
state to be spun.The step of combing is
eliminated when machine dehaired pashmina
is used for processing.

Combing dehaired pashmina

4.Glueing: Glueing means application of glueing material to pashmina.This is done


by applying pounded rice.The pashmina is placed in a container over which pounded
powdered rice (kharioat) is sprinkled and left over pashmina for a night or two.The
purpose of glueing is to provide extra strength,softness and moisture to the
fibre.Pashmina is again combed tpo get rid of all traces of crushed rice powder.The
pashmina so cleaned is now given the shape of a patty,locally called thumb.

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glueing dehaired pashmina

B)SPINNING:
Spinning converts the continuous untwisted strand of fibres into required yarn
count and twist suitable for further processing.Traditionally,spinning is being
carried out on a spinning wheel termed charka.In this method,a small thumb of
pashmina is held between the second and third finger of the left hand supported
by the thumb.As the spinner turns the wheel with right hand,she raises and
lowers the hand holding the fibre in perfect harmony to the rhythm of turning
wheel.This is a skilful operation.The yarn produced by spinning wheel is spun on
the grass straw or any light holder,locally called phumblet.The spun yarn on
holders is doubled on hand reeler.The doubled yarn is subjected to twisting/pilling
on the same charkha with the direction of twist reversed.These yarns are made
into hanks on the wooden reeler locally called yarandul for marketing.

Thumb formed after combing Spinning of Pashmina

Plying of pashmina yarn to make hank hank of pashmina yarn

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C)WEAVING:

Weaving is started by opening the hanks on large wooden stands locally called
thanjoor and is mounted on a wooden spindle termed prech.The yarn is
separated for use as warp and weft and is weighed before weaving.If the yarn
needs to be dyed at this stage,it is sent to the dyer(rangrez).The yarn is washed
with soap in luke warm water and sun dries.Ater drying,the yarn is reeled back on
the racks.The next stage is to make the warp.It is the warp makers job to twist the
yarn into required twist and strength for warp.The spun yarn is now placed in a
copper bowl,where it is steeped in a rice water starch called maya.It is taken out
after two days and spread out in sun to dry.The dried yarn is wound now on a
wooden spool called prech,whereas the process is called tulun.Four to six rods
are being erected on the ground.Two persons work together and transfer yarn
from each prech onto the iron rods by using sticks.This process is called
yarun.About 1200 threads are stretched in this manner to form warp which is
enough for 4 to 6 shawls.

The warp is now given to warp dresser to stretch the warp.He spends a week or
so to fix each warp thread into the saaz(heddles of the loom).the loom is
constructed of woods with a bench in which two people can sit
comfortably.During the course of weaving,if a thread breaks,as it frequently
does,the weaver picks another skein from the bunch that hangs infront of him on
the loom.Approximately 10% wastage is considered acceptable during the
weaving process.The finished length of woven material is known as thaan.This is
washed in cold water with powdered soap nut.

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11-opening of hanks ; 12-mounting of yarn on wooden stand ; 13-warp formation spindle prech
14-weaving of pashmina shawl on handloom

D)FINISHING:
1.purzgar with wouch:The washed fabric is now sent to the purzgar.Here the
fabric is tweezed,clipped or brushed out to rid it of any superficial flaws on the
surface.The frame on which this process is carried out consists of approximately
2/3 m in diameter and 1.25 m long which are set at an angle of 45 at a distance
of a meter from each other.The fabric is now mounted on these rollers named
mound and held taut between the two where it is worked on to remove uneven
thread by long handled tweezers called wouch.

2.Kasher: In this the cloth is rubbed with a dry,wiry core of gourd,bitter gourd or
maize cob known as kasher

3.Washing: The fabric is now washed by washer man who washes the fabric in
running water by repeatedly striking it against a hard,smo/oth surface or stone.

4.Dyeing:If the fabric needs to be dyed,it is sent to the dyer who dyes it as per
the demand and requirement.

5.Stretching:The fabric is rolled and left stretched for several days.It is then
ironed packed in plastic bags and finally handed over to the broker who sells
it.The plain shawl is then sold @ Rs 5000-6000/per piece while the embroidered
shawl varies,depending upon the quantity and quality of embroidered work and
starts from Rs 10000/piece.

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32
PASHMINA COLOUR CHART
Pashmina products may come in different colors and sizes. The intricately woven
pashmina shawls are distinct from each other in color, shade, embroidery, the
manner of weaving and implication of designs that give them a matchless look. We
can make pashmina in any color

Amethyst Apple-Green Antique-gold Aquarius Autumn-Leaf

Beached- Blue-
Blue-Iris Blue-Ribbion Bonnie Blue
Denim Ribbion

Concord
Burgandy Celery Classic Green Cobalt
Grape

Corn Flower Deep


Cream Pink Deep Jungle Degonia Pink
Blue Purple

Glass
Elmwood Fir Green Fuchsia red
Green Green Ash

Hay Ivory Jacaranda Jade Lime Kashmir

Light
Lavendor Lemonde Lichen Light Blue
Turquoise

Lime Punch Baby Blue Living Coral Luxury Majesty Blue

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Mango Orchid Bloom Orchid Ice Peach Prime-Rose

Purpul-Potion Radient-Orchid Razoo Ribbon Red Rose Voilet

Royal Blue Royal Lilac Sauterne Sky Blue Snap Dragon

Spring
Sooting Sea Spicy Orange Suraz Surf
Bouquet

Veniyard Voilet
Sweet Lilac Thrust Water Lily
Green Strong

Wind Lime Wind Orchid Wishper Zinc Black

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TYPES
On the basis of length of end use product:

Pashmina Scarf Pashmina Stole Pashmina Shawl

Pashmina accessories are available in a range of sizes, from "scarf" (12" x 60") to
"wrap" or "stole" (28" x 80") to full sized shawl (36" x 80"). The most popular
Pashmina fabric is the 100% Pure Pashmina and the 80% Pashmina / 20% Silk
blend, but 70/30 is also common. They are known for their softness and warmth. A
craze for Pashminas in the mid-1990s resulted in high demand for Pashminas, so
demand exceeded supply.

When Pashmina shawls rose into fashion prominence during the mid-'90s, they were
marketed dubiously all-throughout the world. Cashmere used for Pashmina shawls
was claimed to be of a superior quality, which was really due to the enhanced sheen
and softness that the fabric (cashmere blended with silk) had. In the consuming
markets, Pashmina shawls were redefined as a shawl/wrap with cashmere and silk,
notwithstanding the actual meaning of Pashmina. Some shawls marketed as
Pashmina shawls contain wool, while other unscrupulous companies marketed the
man-made fabric viscose as "Pashmina" with deceptive marketing statements such
as "authentic viscose Pashmina"

On the basis of fibre blend and fabric density:

"Superfine Pumori weave, 100% pashmina"(120-count, diamond weave). This is a


particularly sheer fabric, much lighter than our conventional 100% pashmina, shown
below, definitely not for someone who appreciates a hefty shawl. The photo at right
is a detail of the photo at left. Due to the tight weave, this fabric is labor-intensive and
it costs a bit more.

35
100% pashmina is a rather loose weave, extremely soft, with a puffy buttery feel.
We use 28/1 pashmina yarn both for the weft (sideways thread) and warp
(lengthwise thread). The reason the weave is loose (compared to the 70/30 and
50/50 silk blends) is that the pashmina warp threads cannot be subjected to the
same high tension as silk. Pure pashmina is purportedly the softest and warmest
[legal] fabric. Tends to cling a bit, as compared with the heavier silk blends. Pure
pashmina is not compatible with beading or embroidery.

70% pashmina/30% silk is the international trend-setter, combining the warmth


of cashmere wool and the durability of silk. Many people believe that the fiber
itself is a blend of cashmere and silk. In fact, the weft (sideways) threads are the
same 28/1 cashmere as in the 100% pashmina shawl, while the warp
(lengthwise threads) are 210-grade silk -- which is comparable to a very fine
human hair. Due to the silk, which is much more dense than the pashmina, the
blended shawls have a more elegant drape, and can support beading and
embroidery. They also have a bit of a sheen, and are not as likely to snag. On
the other hand, they are nowhere near as soft, and for their weight they are not
nearly as warm as the pure pashmina shawl.

36
70/30 muffler.

50% pashmina/50% silk looks quite similar to the 70/30 blend, but is a bit more
robust due to the use of the slightly heavier 140-grade silk. Compared side-by-
side, the 70/30 is distinctly softer than the 50/50

Fabric Density

To begin with, the term ply refers to a distinct thread that may or may not be
twisted together with one or more similar threads to form a thicker thread.Single-
ply is a fabric made with elemental threads ; double-ply or two-plyfabrics are
made with double-twisted threads (at least in the weft, but presumably
sometimes also in the warp).

shawl producers in Nepal have been using an adjustment of paddles in the loom to
control fabric density rather than actual double-ply yarn. What we have been
marketing as double-ply shawls are actually four-paddled shawls -- as opposed
to two-paddled. By default, we sell four-paddled 70/30 and 50/50 shawls and
mufflers, and two-paddled 100% pashmina shawls. A few clients have requested
single-ply 70/30 or 50/50 shawls and we supplied them with two-paddle single-ply
shawls. Even fewer have requested double-ply 100% pashmina shawls, and they got
four-paddle single-ply shawls.

Fringe Style and Length

Three-inch (8 cm) knotted fringes on wraps (full-size, medium, and muffler) are
standard; however, you may select shorter lengths (e.g. 1 inch/ 2.5 cm) or none
at all. Baby blankets are generally hemmed (no fringes).

37
Standard 3-inch (8-cm) twisted and knotted fringes.
Shorties (1 to 1.5 inches) are also available.

Natural ("ragged") fringe

"Gathered tassels." Measuring tape shows centimeters.

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IDENTIFYING PASHMINA

 The price and the label factor- if it’s the real thing, it is going to be very expensive.
There is nothing called a cheap pashmina as retailers cannot afford to discount
too much on something which comes at such a high price. Hence, if the label
boasts of high discounts, be wary. Also, the label of the pashmina says a lot
about it. On a real pashmina, the label will be sewn and not glued. Also the label
will say “100 percent cashmere” and not “100 percent pashmina”. It would also
say “Made in Kashmir” or “Made in Nepal” as these two are the areas where such
goats are found.
 The touch factor- by touching a pashmina you can gather a lot of information on
whether it is the real thing or not. The material should feel soft to touch and
should be all cashmere wool. If seen under a light, the material should not
produce too much sheen. The sheen is usually the result of the mixing of
synthetic fibers like viscose or rayon which add the luster to the fabric thereby
fooling the customer. Real pashminas do not appear so casino online reflective
under a light. You can also touch it and try to produce static electricity. If it is the
real thing, it will not produce any static electricity. One can also try and rub the
pashmina under their chin as that area is very sensitive. If the skin starts to itch
then it is a sign that the pashmina is not a real one.
 Damping the material- this is another way of differentiating real pashmina from
the fake.
If possible, dampen a small part of the pashmina with water and smell it. If it is the
real thing, there would be a slight whiff like that of a wet animal. The odor might
be very light, but usually it is recognizable.

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Signs of Pure Cashmere Pashmina
Texture and Weight:

The first tell tale sign of Pure Cashmere Pashmina is that it will be very light and very
soft. It is not a shiny like silk fabric; rather Pure Pashmina is dull (although in
finishing process it does get some shine but not like silk). It is not cold to touch like
Viscose or silk, it gives a nice warm feel.

Weaving:

Pure Cashmere Pashmina or its high concentration silk blends are delicate threads
and cannot be woven on a power loom. The Pashmina thread is woven into wraps
and scarves by handlooms by expert craftsmen. This hand weaving shows clearing
near the tassels where the thread is not so closely woven. Holding a shawl to the
window shows the fine weave. And you should be able easily to see through the
shawl when backlit. It has a distinctive, not so close weave due to the handloom.

Cost:

A biggest tell tale sign that a Pashmina is fake is if someone is selling them in the
market for cheap – e.g. 10-20 dollars. Pashmina is fine Cashmere. The Himalayan
Goat sheds this wool only once a year in spring. A wrap made with Pure Pashmina
will be pricy due to the worth of fine Cashmere Pashmina in it.

Branding:

Pure Pashmina is classified as Cashmere in international Market. Wool made of goat


hair that is up to 19 microns thick is classified as Cashmere by www.cashmere.org -
CCMI-Cashmere and Camel hair Manufacurers Institute. (EXTERNAL SITE LINK)
Pashmina per say is not a controlled word that signifies Cashmere. Thus most
reputed Pashmina sellers use labels that clearly show Cashmere % on their product.
The fake Pashminas many times show on label as “100% Pashmina” and no
mention of Cashmere on their content labels.The Ring Test: A real Pashmina shawl
will always pass through a normal ring. The only problem with this test is that even a
medium quality shawl will pass through the ring. However, a real, absolutely pure
Pashmina will just glide through it effortlessly, butter-softly

.The Burn Test: Now this test if for the brave-hearted because it involves setting
your precious Pashminas on fire. OK, not exactly but yes, it does mean you have to
burn an end, just a tiny little part of it. If you burn a little piece of the shawl it will smell
like hair burning and what is left is just ash. With this test you will be able to
distinguish between a wool/cashmere product and one made with synthetic fibres,
which has a slightly chemical smell and when you blow out the flame, there will be a
little hard particle left which stays attached to the fabric.

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PASHMINA PRODUCTS USEFUL TIPS
Pashmina products are very durable wool with proper care, your pashmina products
will last long after other woolens wear out. Pashmina products can last a lifetime with
proper care. Owing to air tight packing in transit during shipping, in rare cases, the
natural smell of the pashmina fibers may not be pleasant for you. It should be aired
for an hour or so to remove this smell.To iron your pashmina, always use piece of
cloth and iron on low heat. Store pashmina in a dry, cool and away from sunlight.

Pashmina shawls, pashmina stoles and other pashmina products can be delicately
hand/machine washed in cold water with a light detergent such as woolite. You can
also use comfortable warm water to wash your pashminas with a good, natural
shampoo. They should then be rolled in a towel to remove excess water and laid flat
to dry.

During the dyeing process, all items are kept in water between 30 to 60 minutes at a
temperature just below boiling, and are washed twice more, so do not fear washing
pashmina in water.

To remove wrinkles pashmina shawls should either be steam pressed or lightly


ironed under a pressing cloth. silk/pashmina shawls, however should be dry-cleaned.
Although the contents are natural products, the silk and raised nap of the fabric
cause silk/pashmina shawls to wrinkle more easily.

Because home pressing can often flatten raised nap it is best to have silk/pashmina
profession ally dry cleaned.

All our pashmina shawls and other pashmina products are quite versatile can be
worn just about anywhere in any occasion. The fabric is extremely lightweight, so
they can be safely rolled up and placed in purses or other small spaces.

We recommend that your pashmina shawl be cleaned at a professional dry cleaning


establishment. However, they may be carefully hand washed.

To Hand Wash

* Gently remove excess dirt and fiber by brushing gently with a soft brush.

* Gently hand wash your pashmina products using cold or warm water and a mild
detergent soap. Shampoo can be used.

* Place pashmina products on a towel and roll up together to squeeze out excess
water.

* Place the pashmina products on a flat surface and lightly stretch it to its original
shape. Allow the shawl to air dry completely.

* Once dry, you may lightly press your products with a steam iron and use a very soft
brush to give the pashmina products a soft, plus texture.

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SOME USEFUL TIPS REGARDING PASHMINA PRODUCTS
!!
1. How to wash your pashmina products?

* Hand wash in lukewarm water using your hair shampoo. Be sure to dissolve the
shampoo through then put the pashmina products into water. Rinse with hair
conditioner, this would make your pashmina products or any pashmina garments
softer. Wash colored garments separately.

* Do not bleach pashmina products.

* Squeeze your pashmina shawl gently, do not twist or wing. Twisting the wet
pashmina shawl would stretch the shape of your pashmina shawl.

* Dry flat your pashmina products after removing excess water from pashmina
products, away from direct heat and sunlight.

* Press your pashmina products with damp cloth, using a cool iron, from the inside of
the garment.

2. How to store your pashmina products?

In order to store your pashmina products few things has to be remembered. Here we
have summarized few of them:

* Dampness, sunlight and leakages are very harmful to your precious pashmina
products. So before storing your pashmina products in basements or attics, always
keep in mind that your pashmina products don't get in touch with dampness, sunlight
and leakages. Fold pashmina products or pack them neatly in tissue paper or
polythene bag and store them in closet away from light, dust and dampness.

* Cleaning pashmina products before storage is recommended, as fresh stains that


may not yet be visible will oxidize and become fixed during storage; they may also
be the food for moths. Moths have a discerning; they feast only on natural fabrics.
Mothballs (naphthalene) and cedar chips are standard protection from moth
infestation of woolens.

* To store a pure pashmina products during summer, the most important thing is to
keep moisture away, and so please do not store your pashmina products in a damp
place. A well-sealed plastic storage box (available in most stores) is good enough
(be sure that if there is any moisture inside). Make sure the box is dry before you put
your pashmina products in.

* To keep the moth away, the first important thing to make sure that the muffler is
clean before long-time storage. Pay close attention to any food stains as moths are
particularly attracted to our normal food proteins and cooking oils. Those
mothproofing products are helpful, or simply spray some perfume on a piece of

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paper and put the paper next to your pashmina products inside the box.

3. Few more extra tips.

You can use the following tips to keep your pashmina products always clean and
beautiful:

* Avoid wearing or using the same pashmina products frequently, allow the
pashmina products two or three days' rest after one day's wearing.

* A silk scarf goes well with pashmina shawl or stole to and cardigan, to put between
your pashmina shawl or stole top/cardigan and your neck will also prevent powder or
other cosmetics stains.

* Do not wear the pashmina shawls or pashmina stoles or pashmina scarves or


pashmina mufflers next to rough clothing, metal necklace, bracelet, belt and rough
leather such as crocodile leather bags because these things may harm your
pashmina products. Dress up your pashmina shawl or pashmina stole or pashmina
muffler or pashmina scarf with silk and pearl accessories instead of accessories with
rough surface.

* Pilling is caused by abrasion during regular use, it often develops on elbows, on the
seat of skirts, and in areas rubbed by a bag or briefcase, even seat belt. Soft, fuzzy
surfaces are more susceptible than others. So for pashmina shawl or other
pashmina products, it is normal when pilling develops in some areas after times of
wearing.

* To avoid pilling, it is important not to rub the pashmina shawl or other pashmina
products with rough clothing, metal accessories, bags and all kinds of belts. In case
you can not avoid the belts such as seat belts, cover your pashmina shawl or your
other pashmina products with a silk or synthetic fibers shawl, make sure it has the
smooth surface that is next to your pashmina shawl or any other pashmina products.

* To remove pills, just manually pick them off. Do not rub and brush the pashmina
products.

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