Cashmere and pashmina are two luxurious fabrics that are often associated with each other, however, there are key differences between the two fabrics that make them unique. Here, we’ll explore the origins and production of both cashmere and pashmina, as well as the key differences that set them apart. We’ll also discuss the characteristics that make each fabric so sought after, and how to care for them to ensure they last for years to come!
Whether you are a fashion aficionado looking to add some luxury to your wardrobe, or simply curious about these two beautiful fabrics, this article will provide you with all the information you need.
History of Cashmere and Pashmina
The fine, soft cashmere and pashmina fabrics have been used to make luxurious shawls and wraps for centuries. Both fabrics were originally made by hand, with the fibres being collected and spun into yarn before being woven into fabric.
Today, modern manufacturing techniques have made it possible to produce both fabrics on a larger scale, making them more widely available. Despite this, both cashmere and pashmina are still considered to be luxury fabrics, prized for their softness and warmth.
How are Cashmere and Pashmina made?
Pashmina is made from the soft fleece of the Capra Hircus goat, which is native to the high altitudes of the Himalayas, whereas Cashmere is typically made from Changthangi goats. The process of making these fabrics begins with the collection of the fleece, which is typically done once a year during the spring moulting season. The fibres are collected from the undercoat of the goat, which is the soft, downy layer of hair that grows close to the skin to keep the animal warm in cold mountain climates.
The fleece is then sorted and cleaned to remove any impurities, such as dirt or debris. Next, the fibres are combed or brushed to remove any tangles and to align them in the same direction. The fibres are then spun into yarn using a spinning wheel or machine. The yarn is then woven into the fabric using traditional hand looms or modern weaving machines. The resulting fabric is soft, light, and warm, making it ideal for use in clothing and other textiles.
Composition and Quality of Cashmere and Pashmina
The composition and quality of cashmere and pashmina are both determined by the fineness and softness of the fibres used to make the fabrics. The wool fibres are extremely thin, measuring between 10-14 microns in diameter, making them much finer than a human hair. This gives pashmina garments an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio, making them very warm and comfortable to wear. Pashmina has been a popular choice among the elite for many centuries due to its luxurious feel and excellent warmth.
Many pashminas are made from a mixture of 30% silk and 70% pashmina wool, which is the fabric blend used in our Classic, Cut-Fringe, Shaded, and Reversible pashminas. This blend adds a sheen and weight to the garment, while still retaining the softness and warmth associated with pashmina.
Pure pashmina, made from 100% cashmere wool, is extremely expensive and prices have risen significantly in recent years. Therefore, many online retailers use a blend of cashmere and merino wool, which offers the same weightless warmth and softness as pure cashmere, but at a more affordable price. Our pashminas are made from a blend of 30% cashmere and 70% merino wool, which is handwoven by our supplier in Nepal.
Cost of Cashmere and Pashmina
The cost of cashmere and pashmina shawls is what separates them most. Considering Pashmina is softer and warmer, and even more comfortable to wear compared to Cashmere, Pashmina is often more expensive. The cost of cashmere shawls varies depending on the fabric quality and type of shawl. For example, the cost of an open-weave cashmere shawl is much lower than that of a full-weave cashmere shawl because the open-weave fabric is less expensive to make.
Care and Maintenance of Cashmere and Pashmina
Like all wool products, cashmere and pashmina shawls require special care. When you are wearing cashmere or pashmina, be sure to avoid extreme temperatures and never use hot water when washing them. Instead, use cold water and mild detergent. When storing your shawls, keep them out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Caring for cashmere and pashmina shawls is pretty much the same. First, you should always hand wash your pieces so that the ends are not pulled out. Next, soak the fabric in lukewarm water and add a mild detergent. After a few minutes, gently squeeze out the water and lay it out flat to air dry.
Cashmere and pashmina shawls are two luxurious fabrics that are made from the softest wool. They are used to make shawls, stoles, and scarves and, although they are often confused with one another, both are still considered luxurious fabrics that are made from very fine, soft wool.