Pashmina is derived from the word Pashm, which means “finest wool fiber”. It is a fine type of cashmere wool. It is hand made from wool taken from the undercoat Himalayan mountain goats called “Changthangi”, which are found in Nepal and in Tibet. One pashmina shawl is produced by at least three goats, as one goat produces only 80 grams of wool in one year. Pashmina is known to be the softest, glamorous, and expensive wool in the world. It got its Cashmere attribute because it is hand processed in the valley of Kashmir, Northern India.
Process of making pashmina:
- Collecting of wool
All of the wool collected from the goat is gathered, and then the soft pashmina hair is separated from the coarse ones. Both coarse and soft hair are further processed.
- Spinning of the wool
Before it is spun, pashmina wool is cleaned and stretched to remove any dirt. It is then soaked in a mixture of water and rice to make it soft. Pashmina wool is then spun painstakingly by hand on a spinning wheel called “Charka”.
- Weaving of the wool
Pashmina wool is weaved on hand looms, as they are too fragile to be spun on power looms. Pashmina is carried through the fine silk warp.
- Putting fringes and design on the wool
The ends of pashmina shawls are then fringed, to ensure that it won’t run.
- Dyeing of the wool
As any other process of making the pashmina shawl, scarf or stole, dyeing is also done by hand. Dyeing of the wool is done in one hour, in under the boiling point, and in metal and azo free dyes. As pashmina wools are highly absorbent, they are easy to dye.
Uses of pashmina scarf:
- Improve the appearance of outfits
Its elegant and sophisticated look can make any outfit of yours stand out. It can be used on your neck, face or on your head. It can also be used as a belt, to be tied around your waist.
- Wrap a baby
Pashmina is the softest wool in the world, thus making it perfect material to wrap around your new-born child. You can use it as your baby’s blanket at night, as you are sure that it won’t harm you baby’s delicate skin.
- Cover your arms
It can be used as shawls, especially on occasion that require you to wear cocktail dresses and gowns. Most cocktail dresses and gowns are sleeveless, and there are times when you’d want to cover your arms. Either to hide your arms, or to keep yourself warm, you can always look classy with a pashmina scarf.
- Wrap up gifts
Pashmina shawls themselves can become a gift, but making it as wrapper can make any gift look better.
- Beach accessory
Pashmina scarves are lightweight, and soft, making them ideal for wrapping around your body while you walk under the heat of the sun on the beach. They would make your bikini stand out, and look stylish.
- Bring style to your home
Pashmina scarves is a class of their own, and what better way of beautifying your home than using a pashmina scarf. You can drape it over a chair, or put on top of your tables.
A pashmina can be more than just your ordinary scarf, they not only keep you warm during wintry months, but also a stylish part of any wardrobe.