Today, cashmere is still unrivalled as the world’s most luxurious fibre. The world’s finest cashmere is born and bred in China and Mongolia. From Tibet, the rooftop of the world, to the high plateaus of the Gobi Desert, the downy fleece of the Kashmir goat bestowed delight on maharajahs, the Roman Empire, and the courts of Europe. For hundreds of years, only royalty could afford to indulge in the pleasures of cashmere. It was one of nature’s most priceless treasures, right up there with gems.
Pure Pashmina shawls or cashmere shawls were a fashion symbol among film stars and the rich and famous in the 90s. Unlike shahtoosh, they are legal and, literally speaking, hot! You can buy them online, or pay a visit to any Asian country and buy it cheaper there. Many pashmina/cashmere fabrics have been featured in some of the best-known fashion magazines such as Vogue. If you are thinking of buying pashmina shawls, read on.
The Kashmiri goats of the Himalayas are the source of the word “cashmere.” The downy undercoat that all goats generate from July through winter in varied degrees of quality is known as cashmere wool. Long guard hair shields the cashmere undercoat from the outdoors and is sheared or gently combed to remove the down in the spring. Each goat produces 3 to 8 ounces of cashmere per year and the average single-ply women’s sweater requires the wool of 3 or 4 goats or approximately 10 ounces of wool. The length, consistency, and diameter of the fibres indicate the wool’s quality. The environment in which the goats are raised and the nutrients they eat have an impact on these quality standards.
Mongolia’s climate and geography are suited for herding cashmere goats, who thrive in harsh dry mountainous climates and produce the highest quality of wool Goats lose their capacity to develop the downy coats that provide high-quality cashmere for clothing in temperate conditions. Between wool produced in Britain and the Himalayas, there is a sizable quality difference. Before the ongoing competition over the supply of cashmere caused anxiety, the British were happy to acquire raw wool from China.
Pashmina Shawls Facts
- The pashmina wool, the softest and finest of all wool, is derived from the Himalayan variety of goats found in Asia.
- Cashmere goats are not a breed, but a type. With the exception of Angora, the majority of goat breeds can generate this down in varying amounts and are hence eligible to be called cashmere goats. A “purebred” cashmere goat does not exist.
- Most fabrics are hand woven as the fibres are too fragile for a power loom.
- It takes each of these rare goats four years to produce enough fibre for one sweater. In order to collect the fibre, each goat is combed by hand every spring. The fleece is then gathered and manually sorted. In addition, sweaters are usually knit on hand-operated machines. Converting into our luxurious garments is achieved only with extraordinary time and skill.
- The fleece consists of the very fine, crimpy down and the usually longer, outside, coarse, straight guard hairs. A goat that does not have both kind of fibre should be avoided.
- Fibres must be separated, either by combing out the down or by using a commercial detailer on sheared fibres. In contrast to woven textiles, knitted clothing uses the longest, finest down. The guard hairs that are separated are utilised to make rugs or hair canvas for customised clothing.
- Napoleon gifted a cashmere shawl to his wife, who then asked for more.
A ply is a count of the number of fibres used in the basic building thread. One-ply fabric is woven with a single fibre. A 2-ply fibre is made of a thread that contains one fibre wrapped or woven around another fibre.
Pashmina Shawls Fraud Protection
Be aware of the look and feel of the fabric. Ensure that the label/tag tells you the percentage of pashmina/cashmere. This is mandatory. Cheap bargains may be poor-quality pashmina blends. Beware of mislabelling which happens more than often.
If you’re looking for genuine pashmina shawls, then look no further than Angela Jey. They offer a wide selection of high-quality, authentic pashmina shawls that are perfect for any occasion. Their products are handcrafted by experienced artisans using the finest materials, so you can be sure that you’re getting a quality item that will last for years to come.