Pashmina is a Persian word referring to soft, silky wool that was exported by the ruler of Kashmir in the 15th century. In essence, a Pashmina is a very fine grade of cashmere wool obtained from indigenous goats from high up in the Himalayan Mountains of Northern India, and Nepal.
Due to the high altitude and cold weather conditions that exist in the goats’ habitat, their wool is both light and warm. The cashmere wool obtained from the mountain goats is finer, thinner, and less smooth than the wool from those that reside in the lower altitude of the Himalayas.
Why is the pashmina so special?
Other than coming from goats from a certain region, there are other reasons why the pashmina is so special. Below is a brief look at some of the reasons why these scarves are so special:
- They are the softest, warmest natural fabrics in the entire world.
- They are thinner than human hair – with a thickness of between 10 – 15 microns, about 1/6th the size of human hair.
- One goat produces no more than 170 grams of wool per year! Imagine how long it takes to collect enough to make a pashmina shawl.
- The population of goats that produce the wool is only 0.1% of global wool production.
- The goats also live in the harshest climate conditions, at nearly 14,000 feet above sea level where the temperature drops significantly below freezing.
- The wool is super delicate and can only be processed by hand.
Varieties of pashmina scarves and pashmina shawls
There is a lot of variety among pashmina scarves and shawls, and this is worth knowing because the price of a pashmina scarf is likely to depend on that. We at Monsoon will be happy to assist you in selecting the type of pashmina that will suit your needs and requirements.
How did the Pashmina scarf become famous?
Let’s conclude with a short history lesson. It was in the 18th century when King Napoleon presented Queen Josephine, his wife, with a Kani Pashmina shawl. Queen Josephine was thrilled and very excited about the craftsmanship and softness of the fabric. Shortly after, all the ladies of France became interested in these scarves, which caused the pashmina to become a fashion icon and a must-have in every wardrobe.