“Every Pashmina is Cashmere but every Cashmere is not Pashmina.”
What is genuine pashmina or cashmere? is the question of every customer. Have you ever thought that why Pashmina and Cashmere words are the most famous words used in the luxury fabric and fashion industry? And where they originated from? Even very few people know what is the difference or relation between them. This short article will enlightene you that what actually these two luxury words are.
Pashmina OR more technically “Kashmir Pashmina” is to fabric industry what Rolls-Royce is to automobile industry, even more than that. It is thinnest commercial natural/organic fiber, 6 times finer than human hair and 3 times more insulating power than Alpaca wool with its amazing health benefits. First pashmina yarn creation dates back to 300 B.C. in a extremely beautiful valley named as Kashmir (Cashmer).
Fabric of Royals.
Extraordinarily soft, scare and higher priced, brilliantly colored; as light and warm as a feather; admired by the Mughal Kings to the Queens of British Empire; worn lavishly by some of the richest persons of this planet – Pashmina. Yes, that is Pashmina we are talking about.
Also known as India’s scarf for royals, Kashmir based hand-spun, hand-woven and vegetable dyed genuine pashmina is made on Traditional loom (NOT Hand-loom). It has inspired the imagination of art collectors across the globe and the word pashmina (Kashmiri) has migrated to different corners of the world by same name ‘Pashmina’ or by ‘Cashmere’.
Where Cashmere get its name from?
The word Pashmina is derived from a Persian meaning ‘soft wool’ which is obtained beneath the throat of goat which is usually known as Capra hircus or Pashmina goat. Before 800 years several Persians came as preachers to a beautiful valley on the north of India with their followers and other artisans. This vale is known as Kashmir. Then During 17th and 18th century Western colonial powers created colonies in the far east. Travelers traveled to the far east through silk route. All came across through this very beautiful. Every one who entered into this valley came across through a unique very luxurious fabric which they started naming Cashmere – on the name of its production place ‘Kashmir” (Cashmir).
Since then Pashmina is also known as Cashmere in the West. But original Kashmiri for which it was famous for more than 800 years is only made in Kashmir with centuries old traditional process. The pashmina goat from which the pashmina fiber is obtained is reared on the high Himalaya above 13000 feet of sea level in Ladakh region of Kashmir. This pashmina goat is the only goat in the world which can create pashmina/Cashemre fiber of less than 12 microns diameter.
Mr. Rouf Ahmad -one of our professional adviser who has visited high altitudes of Ladakh where these pashmina (original Cashmere) goats are reared states , “During my visit to high altitudes of Ladakh several times and my talk with pashmina goat shepherds and overall expertise in this field it has been found that if the same pashmina goat is brought to the little lower altitudes of Ladakh region, the same pashmina goat can not make 12 to 16 microns diameter of pashmina fiber.”
The Altitude, Temperature, Geographical Area, and even Air Pressure are the main factors for the creation of thinnest, most luxurious, and most insulation natural fiber which world has ever seen. This condition is not provided by other parts of the world even if the same goat is reared there. The pashmina wool which is obtained from the near goat species in other parts of the world is called ‘Cashmere’ but the fiber diameter is more than 25 microns which is far less than the original pashmina. So “Every Pashmina is Cashmere but every Cashmere is not Pashmina.”
Birth Place of Pashmina or Cashmere.
Yes! A place in the lofty high Himalayas called Kashmir is the birthplace of this luxurious craft; it is historic and prestigious for the past four centuries in the western world and last word for women in luxury and fashion. we won’t hesitate by saying that Pashmina is undisputedly the finest fabric the money can buy in the modern world. It has been an entity of desire for French emperors, Iranian nobles, Indian Kings, Sikh rulers, Russian Czars, British aristocrats and indeed the elite classes like Rothschild, Rockefeller etc.
Recently “Kashmir Pashmina” or real Cashmere has been put under the Geographical Indications (G.I) product category and is being stamped with U.S Patent online tracked Stamp called ‘GI Stamp’ at Craft Development Institute Srinagar website at http://www.kashmirpashmina.secure-ga.com/ad_search_label2.php ,which is an autonomous body under the Directorate of Handicrafts, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India.