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       Pashmina Shawls :      

What You need to Know About Pashmina :

Pashmina is made from the finest cashmere wool in the world. It is combed from the underside of the Himalayan Mountain Goat = Capra Hircus, which are indigenous to the mountains of Central Asia. You may be surprised to discover that it takes the entire annual growth of three of these goats to create just one pashmina shawl. Please rest assured that no animals are harmed in the making of pashmina. This is because the wool is collected only after being shed naturally. It is almost like this special cashmere wool is the goats' gift to everyone. And what an amazing gift it is! Pashmina has been valued for decades throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and the wonderful qualities of pashmina wool are aslo making it in the West. Our pashmina wool shawls are soft in touch and light in quality, considering there should be much warmth they provide.  We know you will receive many compliments when you wear the best pashmina  wool shawls in the world.

What is Pashmina?
Pashmina is an almost generic name for accessories made from a type of yarn that is obtained from a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the himalyas Range Belt of Asia. The name comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian pashm (= "wool"). The special goat's fleece has been used for thousands of years to make high-quality shawls that also bear the same name. The Himalayan Mountain goat, Capra hircus, sheds its winter coat every spring and the fleece is caught on thorn bushes. One goat sheds approximately 3-8 ounces of the fiber. Villages would scour the mountainside for the finest fleece to be used. pashmina shawls have been manufactured in Kashmir for thousands of years, but the Indians never called them "pashmina". They were popularly called Kashmiri wool shawls. The test for a quality pashmina has been warmth , feel and the passing the shawl through a wedding ring. Pashmina is an indigenous  word which only became popular after the so-named shawls, woven in Nepal, started being popular in the west. What are commonly thought of as pashminas have their origin in Nepal, where the people have a cultural heritage of hand-weaving pashmina shawls with the well-known fringing and hand dyeing.

Pashmina Sizes
accessories are available in a range of sizes, from "scarf" (12" x 60") to "
wrap" or "stole" (28" x 80") to fullsize shawl (36" x 80"). Pure pashmina is a rather gauzy, open weave, as the wool cannot tolerate high tension. The most popular pashmina fabric is a 70% pashmina/30% silk blend, but 50/50 is also common just like the 55% Pashmina combined with 45% silk. The 70/30 is tightly woven, has an elegant sheen and drapes nicely, but is still quite soft and light-weight.

Pashmina History
Pashmina is the most original and made of authentic fibers. The king of all pashmina wool originated in Kashmir hundreds of years ago. The art of Pashmina making in the valley of Kashmir is believed to be as old as 3000 years B.C. In the past, only rich and elite had the privilege of enjoying luxurious fabric. It adorned the court of Caesar and was the pride of French queen, Marie Antoinette. Impressed with the unparalleled looks of Kashmir shawl, Emperor Napoleon presented it to impress Josephine. Until mid-twentieth century, Kashmir's kings had the sole right to purchase all pashmina from Nepal, Tibet and other higher reaches of Himalayas. This resulted in establishment of flourishing cottage industry in Kashmir and has lead to the perfection of art of pashmina making. The making of Kashmir Pashmina is labor intensive and on an average it takes nearly 200 - 250 man-hours to make a single pure plain pashmina shawl without embroidery.The beautiful vale of Kashmir has always been famed for its craftsmanship. The wearing of tapestry shawls was first introduced into the valley from Turkistan by Zain-Ul-Abdin, the ruler of Kashmir, in the 15th century. Production benefited from the patronage of the Mughal rulers like Akbar and his successors, who wore these shawls, and also because of patronage of local government.

Pashmina Definition
"Pashmina" is the Persian word for pashm meaning finest wool fibre, the "soft gold" king of fibers. Every summer, Himalayan farmers climb the mountains to comb the fine woolen undercoat from the neck and chest of, himalayan mountain pashm, not to be confused with the endangered Tibetan antelope that is killed to produce shatoosh shawls. To survive the freezing 14,000 ft-altitude environment, grows a unique, incredibly soft pashm, inner coat, six times finer than human hair. Because it is only 14-19 microns in diameter, it cannot be spun by machines, so the downy wool is hand-woven into shawls for export, predominantly to America and Europe. Although they have been popular with aristocracy in Southern Asia since the 15th Century, pashmina sales in the West suddenly took off in 1998 when designers in London, Paris and New York started to include them in their fashion collections.Since then the growing demand has helped push the price down to an affordable level.

One of the wonderful things about your pashmina accessory is that it can last for years and years - if you take proper care of it. It will even get softer and more luxurious with each wash! With regular care Pashmina articles will maintain its outlook , increase in softness and long lasting. We do suggest washing it before first use to make sure the natural vegetable dyes do not bleed. You can hand wash occassionally if you are careful and follow a few guidelines that are listed below.

Always use cold water and hand wash with low pH or normal pH shampoo or pure castillc soap. Pashmina Image advice is not to use dry cleaning , not to add any harsh chemicals like bleach and never use hot water more than 50 degree Celsius. After washing remove the excess water by hand press and lay out on the plane surface. Cover with butter paper and press with hot iron.

Pashmina Prices
The price of a Pashmina shawls may range anywhere from hundered dollars to thousands of dollars, depending upon the craftsmanship and time factor involved in its creation. Pure Pashmina shawls is a luxury even in India so local weavers combine the 12-14 micron thick Pashmina fibre with silk or angora to impart durability and lustre to the material. Although this dilutes the purity of the fabric but pure Pashmina is a passion and too delicate to wear.



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