What is Pashmina?
Pashmina is the Indian/Persian name for cashmere, which is collected in the high plateau regions of Kashmir, Nepal and the central plains of Inner Mongolia.
Cashmere is the down of the Capra Hircus goat, which is found at elevations of 14,000 feet and above, where temperatures rarely rise above minus 30 degrees centigrade in winter. Pashmina is the goat’s soft underbelly down, which lies under the coarse outer hair. Each goat produces only about 3 ounces or 90 grams of cashmere wool each year. One woven Pashmina shawl requires the fiber from three goats.
What is the difference between pashmina & cashmere?
There is absolutely no difference between the two. Pashmina is the Indian/Persian word for cashmere. The word “cashmere” is derived from the Kashmir region of India, whereas Pashmina is the original name for the same fiber.
How is a pashmina made?
The Capra Hircus goat which is the source of the pashmina fiber lives at elevations of 14,000 feet and above, where temperatures rarely rise above minus 30 degrees centigrade in winter. Pashmina is the goat’s soft underbelly down, which lies under the coarse outer hair. Each goat produces only about 3 ounces or 90 grams of Pashmina wool each year. One woven Pashmina shawl requires the wool from three goats.
Spinning Pashmina Yarn
The pashmina fiber is collected every spring, and is basically spun by hand. The yarn is spun on a spinning wheel locally known as Charkha. Hand-spinning is an extremely painstaking task. It requires immense patience, dexterity and dedication.
Weaving Pashmina Fabric
Pashmina yarn is too fragile for the vibration caused by power looms, the weaving of the traditional pashmina shawls are therefore done on handlooms. The weaving process is in itself an art, which has been passed down over generations, to give us the fabulous pashmina shawls.
Making the Tassels
The making of the distinctive Pashmina tassel is perhaps one of the most interesting stages of shawl making. The tassel of a pashmina shawl is hand twisted and knotted at the ends. It takes the weaver a couple of hours to fringe each Pashmina shawl.
Dyeing a Pashmina
Dyeing is also done by hand. Dyers with immense patience and generations of experience are the ones 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
What are the different grades of cashmere?
Cashmere is available in several grades, including “Grade-A”, “Grade-B” and so on. We offer only the highest quality cashmere products made with “Grade-A” cashmere. The best grade of cashmere is 14-15.5 microns in diameter and all the pashmina and cashmere products that we offer are made with this very fine grade of cashmere.
How many ply’s are your cashmere products?
Ply’s are strands of yarn twisted together to make one piece of yarn. Two-ply is thicker than one-ply, and so on. Our products are offered in the following ply’s:
- 2 ply: Hats, Gloves & Socks, Pashmina & Silk Shawls, Wraps and Scarves
- 3 ply: Shawls wraps and ponchos, Pashmina shawls wraps and scarves
- 3 and 4 ply: Scarves, Robes, and Throws, Sweaters & Cardigans
- 4 ply: Blankets & Overcoats
What is the difference between the pure pashmina & the pashmina with silk blend?
Our pure pashminas, all our cashmere apparel, throws and blankets are made with 100% pure cashmere and do not contain any silk in it. The pure pashmina is softer, warmer and heavier than the pashmina-silk blends.
The pashminas with silk are woven with silk running the length of the weave, and cashmere on the width of the weave. Hand-weaving gives the shawl its distinctive character and produces its slender drape, elegant silk sheen, and soft, delicate feel. It’;s no wonder the shawl has become a fashion favorite.
This weave, combining silk and Pashmina, was first produced in the 15th century, and has been hand made in India and Nepal ever since.
The content of our pashminas with silk blends ranges from 65% to 70% pashmina with 30% to 35% silk. Shawl-making in Nepal and India is not a science but an art, a craft involving many hand processes. As such, the exact content of Pashmina and silk may vary slightly from shawl to shawl.
Can I see a close up of the different weaves?
Pashminas with Silk
The fabric of the pashminas with silk is denser than the pure pashminas, and also has a sheen, due to the silk blending.
Close up of Pure Pashminas
The fabric of the pure pashminas is like 100% cashmere fabric. It’s softer and fluffier than the pashmina with silk.
Close Up of Waffle Weave
The fabric of the waffle weave pashmina has a knitted effect, with a square weave pattern.
What is the fringe like on your shawls, scarves & throws?
All our pashmina shawls, wraps, scarves and throws have tassels at both ends. The tassels are about 3″ to 4″ long and are twisted and knotted at the end. The length of the tassels in not included in the given dimensions of these items.
The 4 Ply cashmere scarves, as well as, the cashmere plaid scarves have a 3″ straight fringe at each end, which is neither twisted nor knotted at the end.
What are the different styles of wearing a pashmina?
Belt Style or Sarong
Just wrap around your waist, drape attractively and go.
If one pashmina shawl is great, two must be twice as good.
Full Shawl Wrap
Simple, elegant, warm. Perfect for work, shopping or fun!
The Pashmina Stole
It’s terrific for evening, particularly with the higher-end, beaded pashmina shawls.
The Noose Wrap
This stylish look is easy to create once you know how:
Fold your pashmina shawl in half along its length, making sure the folded edge is at the top or facing you
Fold the pashmina shawl in half again, this time along its width. You should have an end that’s folded and an end that’s open.
Place the folded shawl behind your head. Pull the open end through the loop at the folded end. Voila! You’re suddenly chic!
How do I care for my pashmina and cashmere products?
We recommend dry cleaning all pashmina and cashmere products.
For more information on how to care for cashmere products, please see below.
How to wash your Cashmere Garments
If you do opt for washing your cashmere items at home, please follow these instructions (cashmere coats, jackets and pants should never be washed at home):
- Hand wash in lukewarm water using your hair shampoo. Be sure to dissolve the shampoo thoroughly then put the sweater into water. Rinse with hair conditioner, this would make your cashmere sweater softer. Wash colored garments separately.
- Do not bleach.
- Squeeze gently, do not twist or wring. Twisting the wet sweater would stretch the shape of your sweater.
- Dry flat after removing excess water, away from direct heat and sunlight.
- Press with damp cloth, using a cool iron, iron from the inside of the garment.
How to store your Cashmere Garments
- Before storing your precious cashmere garments in basements or attics, check carefully for leaks, dampness and sunlight.
- Fold clothes or pack them neatly in tissue paper or plastic bag and store them in a closet away from light, dust and dampness.
- Cleaning 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 palate; they feast only on natural fabrics. Mothballs (naphthalene) and cedar chips are standard protection from moth infestation of woollens.
- To store a pure cashmere sweater during summer, the most important thing is to keep moisture away, so please do not store your cashmere sweaters in a damp place. A well-sealed plastic storage box (available in most stores) is good enough (a see-through one is better as you can notice that if there is any moisture inside). Make sure the box is dry before you put sweaters in.
- To keep moths away, the first thing to make sure is that the sweater 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 moth proofing products are helpful, or simply spray some perfume on a piece of paper and put the paper next to your sweater inside the box.
Additional Care Tips for Cashmere Garments
To keep your cashmere garments always clean and beautiful, here are some basic rules to follow:
- Do not wear the same garment too frequently. Allow the garment two or three days’; rest after a day’;s wearing.
- A silk or pashmina scarf goes well with cashmere tops and cardigans. Used between your cashmere top/cardigan and your neck, a scarf will also prevent powder or other cosmetics stains.
- Do not wear a cashmere garment next to rough clothing, metal necklaces, bracelets, belts and rough leather items such as crocodile leather bags. Dress up your cashmere with a silk scarf and pearl accessories instead of accessories with a rough surface.
- Pilling is caused by abrasion during regular use. It often develops around elbows, on the seat of skirts, and in areas rubbed by a bag or briefcase, even a seat belt. Soft, fuzzy surfaces are more susceptible than others. So for cashmere products, some pilling is normal after repeated usage.
- To avoid pilling, it is important not to allow the cashmere garment to rub against rough clothing, metal accessories, bags and belts.
To remove pills, please do one of the following:
Step 1: Buy a plastic de-pilling comb, designed for this purpose, at a fabric or drug store (Evercare brand available at most drugstores for $3 to $5). This comb is much smaller than any hair comb you could find, and it has stiff, tiny teeth about 1/8 inch (3 mm) long.
Step 2: Lay the clothing or blanket on a flat surface.
Step 3: Hold the fabric taut with one hand. With the comb in the other hand, use a brisk but gentle stroke to remove the fuzz.
Step 4: Repeat as often as necessary.
Use a battery-operated fabric shaver. You can buy these for between $6 and $20.