What is a pashmina?
What is a Pashmina?
In this article you will learn:
+ What Pashmina means
+ Which wool makes up Pashminas
The term "Pashmina" has become a buzzword for textile products of all kinds. Anyone visiting a major German city or surfing the internet will find numerous shawls and cloths, which are advertised as Pashmina. However, those expecting high quality goods are soon disappointed. In many cases, the term serves to publicize second or third-rate pashmina products. Given this situation, it only seems appropriate to revisit the origin of the term and examine its true meaning.
Origin and meaning of the word "pashmina"
The term "Pashmina" is generally understood as a thin cloth, which is either made ??of pure cashmere or cashmere and silk. Conceptually, the name goes back to the Persian tribe "Pashm", which means "wool". In northern India and Nepal, the original term "Pashmina" stands for the locally best-known precious hair, cashmere wool. In short, Pashmina is just "the product of cashmere wool".
When and how did the term come from Asia into the world can no longer be traced. Given that Indian and Nepalese cashmere goods proved very popular in the 19th Century with European aristocracy and the emerging industrial families, it cannot be excluded that the term "Pashmina" was already known at that time. No evidence is unfortunately available in this respect. The term was first popularized in the mid-nineties of the 20th Century, when pashminas became a popular accessory for haute couture collections and appeared in the European and North American fashion magazines.
The wool of Pashmina shawls
"Pashmina" is a shawl or cloth only considered as such if made of cashmere or cashmere and silk. Now, how do these materials look like? The wool of the cashmere goat is characterized by a particular thread length, fineness and smoothness. The benefits of these properties are self-evident: a large thread length (known as staple length) confers the yarn a higher strength. The fineness (that is, the reduced diameter) of the hair and its smoothness makes the cashmere wool more flexible and softer than other wools with comparable thread length, such as sheep wool. Interestingly enough, not even cashmere is always cashmere. Only carefully selected varieties guarantee a high wearing comfort and the durability of the product. For our part, our cashmere products are regularly examined in a world-renowned laboratory under the scanning electron microscope, to ensure maximum purity and quality of the fabric.
Now, while surfing the Web, you may have often encountered a mythical creature, the Pashmina goat. Indeed, many traders do still spread the rumour that pashmina shawls are made from the wool of a special goat, sometimes called Chyangra goat. This claim is bogus, a simple fiction. In fact, the wool of the Chyangra goat is not even suitable for textile processing. Understandably, it is avoided in the production of Pashmina shawls.