Pashm – the fine cashmere weave that comes from the Chyangra goats of the Himalayan domains gives rise to the cashmere pashmina wrap, a product of high international demand. A completely natural product, one obtains this from the Himalayan tops where these goats have their habitat.
Covered with the thickest of wools, their soft hairs are used to create such cashmeres which are not only elegant in terms of quality but provide the much-required warmth.
Their hair shades determine the wrap color as well. Generally, the available colors are black, peach, grey or white, but in recent times – violet, blue and pink are rapidly gaining ground.
Cashmere – The Himalayan goats and their wools
With the chronology dating back to Iranian royalty and the product coming from the ‘Capra Hircus’ goats of the Kashmir region, these goats have smooth and silky wool on their belly, which is used for making a pashmina.
The farmers, who are in this business of collecting wools, make these goats lie down and then collect the wool from their body with utmost precision. The softness of these hairs does not allow the use of any machinery. Hence, one’s hands separate these hairs from the body.
(Note: The spring season is the perfect time for removing the wool from the body of these goats).
Weave the pashm to create the pashmina wrap
This pashm undergoes a complex set of procedures before they are sold via retail outlets. After removing the wool from the goats, it is spun followed by the weaving process, patchwork procedure, and spot removal. Once all this is done, the workers dye the pashmina and do the fringing and embroidery on it. It is then that it is ready for sale!
Spinning pure cashmere pashmina is an art that is inherited from centuries by the families of pashmina traders. The spinning takes long hours and is patiently done by hand.
This is followed by the fringing of this wool and its tale ranges back from the Mughal period. A single fringe could take hours for perfection.
That’s not all! The pashmina work is only complete when it goes for dyeing. This step is also a time-consuming one wherein the workers place these dried cashmeres under cold water for a certain period. The color is complete after the pashmina is stained in it.
Finally, for the retail market, this pashmina wrap is embroidered by professional weavers.
Pashmina – The wrap has its cost!
Since it originates from a natural source and is created strictly by hand, the price range is quite justified. The magic of pashmina rests in the fact that -every cashmere is unique and no two cashmere’s match in terms of standards, style or pattern.
It is this softness of the wool that causes the lightness of the scarf and enables it to be styled in multifarious ways! (A violet pashmina against a backless white gown for a formal dinner party – sounds nice? Looks great as well!)
Clearly, the pashmina that you buy is truly a once-in-a-lifetime investment.