What is Pashmina?
Pashmina, from the Persian word for wool, is popularly known in the west as cashmere wool, from the old spelling for Kashmir. The fine wool comes from the undercoat of Himalayan mountain goat, raised by semi-nomadic herders. The Tibetan plateau provides the ideal environment for pashmina growth. 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. The fiber is exceptionally absorbent, and it dyes very easily and deeply.
What Is So Special About Pashmina?
Good quality Pashmina protects the wearer against extreme weather condition. This is due to a simple fact that Pashmina insulate the wearer from the external environment which means that the body temperature remain constant throughout the period of wearing. The wearer will not feel extreme hot or cold underneath the Pashmina.
This is not surprising since the soft fur of Pashmina come from CHYANGRA, the mountain goat which live in high mountain at altitude over 9,000 ft! The creature will have only its fur to protect itself from severe cold and fierce blitz occurring frequently in the high mountains
What Is History Behind Pashmina?
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 era, they were marketed dubiously. Cashmere used for pashmina shawls was claimed to be of a superior quality, which was in truth 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”.
The word “pashmina” is not a labeling term recognized by law in the United States. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission:
Some manufacturers use the term pashmina to describe an ultra fine cashmere fiber; others use the term to describe a blend of cashmere and silk. The FTC encourages manufacturers and sellers of products described as pashmina to explain to consumers, on a hangtag, for example, what they mean by the term. As with all other wool products, the fiber content of a shawl, scarf or other item marketed as pashmina must be accurately disclosed. For example, a blend of cashmere and silk might be labeled 50% Cashmere, 50% Silk or 80% Cashmere, 20% Silk, depending upon the actual cashmere and silk content. If the item contains only cashmere, it should be labeled 100% Cashmere or All Cashmere. The label cannot say 100% Pashmina, as pashmina is not a fiber recognized by the Wool Act or regulations.
What About Care For Pashmina?
Dry clean only (without using bleach).