With a phenomenally rich history, going all the way back to 3000 B.C., the Pashmina textile, also known as Cashmere, is a type of fine Kashmiri wool. It borrows its name from the Persian word ‘pašmina’, meaning ‘made from wool’, and translating to ‘Soft Gold’, in Kashmiri. One of the most sought after textiles, Pashmina is Kashmir’s pride.
Woven Through Time
Attested by history, the Pashmina textile has been known to have travelled through place and time. Some of its earliest known mentions can be found in The Mahabharata, where it earned the title of the “King of all wools”. Since then, it has caught the eye of many around the world, including Julius Caesar, Marie Antoinette, and Napoleon.
Sources consider Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani to have become the founder of the Pashmina industry when he gifted Cashmere socks to the then King of Kashmir, Sultan Kutabdin. Since then, the industry has only bloomed and has managed to stay relevant through the centuries.
(Sourced from Pinterest)
Pashmina is derived from a breed of Kashmiri mountain goat, scientifically known as the “capra hircus”. This breed of Kashmiri goats is rare, and only sheds about 80–170 gram (3–6 ounces) of fibre every winter. The Pashmina fibre is about 15 to 19 microns in diameter, whereas a human hair is about 75 microns. During spring, the goats shed their under fleece, which is collected by combing the goat.
The collected yarn is spun by hand, due to the delicate nature of the wool. Creating pure Pashmina shawls, scarves, stoles, and more, is a time consuming and laborious craft as the material easily absorbs colours and prints. The dyes used are eco-friendly, so as to not harm the textile.
The textiles are hand block printed before being sent for embroidery. Some embroideries, like Jamawar, may take upto three years to complete. The designs are neat, intricate, and mesmerizing, making it worth the wait and cost.
The 21st Century Pashmina
Pashmina remains the softest, warmest, and lightest natural fabric in the world. Excessive demand for the textile has given rise to varieties of Pashmina, some of which involve synthetic fibres as well.
Traditionally worn only by the aristocracy around the world, the 21st century has seen the incorporation of this valuable fibre in various collections by fashion designers from New York, Paris, and London; introducing the opulence of this textile to the rest of the world.
Today, the majority of the world’s cashmere textiles are hand woven in the Kathmandu valley, Nepal, and are sought after for their lightness and warmth. The purity of the material lies in its warmth and feel. Once you have experienced the luxury of genuine pashmina, you will not be satisfied with anything else!
(Sourced from Kashmirbox)
Buy pure, soft, and warm Pashmina shawls here and feel its richness first-hand.