We all know about the Pashmina fabric from Kashmir, but what is its true background?
Pashmina shawls and Pashmina suit sets have been around for decades, and never seem to be out of fashion. Pashmina is now widely available all over the globe. The lush fabric is a fine cashmere wool that comes from Kashmir and a few parts of Nepal as well. The name ‘Pashmina’ is derived from the Persian word ‘Pashmineh’ which literally means ‘made from Pashm’- and Pashm, means wool in Persian. The term 'Pashmina' was finally coined by the Iranians in Kashmir, who entered by the Ladakh route.
Pashmina wool is made by the wool from Changthangi goats or Pashmina goats, which are indigenous to the high-altitude regions of Nepal and India. The fine fibre from this then makes your favorite Pashmina shawls and others.
An eminent Muslim scholar, Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani first discovered the Pashmina goat in Ladakh, in the 1300s. The fabric was known as pashm earlier. The first instances of Pashmina wool shawls were found in Afghan texts dating back to times between the fourth century BC and tenth century AD. The Cashmere wool industry was finally kickstarted in the fifteenth century by the then Kashmir ruler Zayn-ul-Abidin, who introduced weavers from neighboring states in Central Asia.
The Changpa clan from the Changthang area in Ladakh are known to be original makers of this type of wool. This tribe would rear cattle in the harsh unforgiving climate, lead a nomadic lifestyle and produce this type of wool. Every year, during springtime, the goats would shed their winter coats. Around 80- 170 grams of fibre would be collected from each goat, and would then be spun to create Pashmina fabric. Throughout the days of winter, the inner layers of the goat's wool would regenerate and would be ready for extraction by the next spring.
Pashmina wool is also produced in the Gobi Desert, and this variant is placed higher than its Himalayan counterpart owing to the compatibility of the procedure with modern machinery. It can be more commercially produced.
There are two main varieties of Pashmina- Pashmina that comes from Ladakh and Pashmina that comes from Nepal. Between the two, Pashmina from Nepal is regarded as the best in quality, as the mountain goats are adjusted to the harsh and cold atmosphere. Throughout the years, they’ve developed an extremely warm, light Pashmina. One of the most notable instances of Nepal Pashmina being in the limelight was when it was worn by Princess Diana.
The Pashmina from Ladakh, similar to Nepal Pashmina, is produced in the high-altitude regions of Kashmir, near the Indo-China border. Within these low temperatures, the goats build up an extraordinary, sheer inner coat. The fibre is so fine that it cannot be spun by machines. It thus demands to be hand woven into shawls, scarves, gloves etc.
Pashmina is an evergreen fabric and a must have for every home. With the onset of winter, it is essential to stock a few Pashmina Winter suit sets for your collection. Treat yourselves to some high-quality Pashmina products in a variety of designs, colors and styles from our website!
-Posted by Janhavi Deshmukh