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What is “Pashmina”

by Susan on February 24, 2011 23:17:24

Pashmina is a textile which became popular in the West in the late 1990s. It is very soft and warm, and used primarily in scarves and shawls. The word is derived from the Persian word pashm, which refers to the undercoat of fur on many animals – in this case, the goat.

Pashmina is the wool shorn from the underbelly of goats living in the highest altitude of the cold and snow covered Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. These goats live at a height of 12,000 to 14,000 feet in an extremely cold environment. , These goats have a natural protection – a very thin but very warm coat of hair – to keep themselves warm. This inner coat of hair is called Pashmina.

Pashmina is usually made with wool from the underbelly of the Himalayan goat. Pure pashmina scarves and shawls are available, though many people find them too coarse or rough. A softening process is used by some manufacturers dealing in 100% pashmina. This process gives the pashmina a soft, almost silken quality. Because of the softness of processed pahmina garments, pure pashmina will often be referred to as cashmere. However, pashmina is slightly different — and it comes from Tibet, not Kashmir.

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