What is Pashmina?
Pashmina, also known as the fine cashmere wool, is the softest, luxurious and warmest wool in the world. It comes from the hair of the underbelly of mountain goat Capra Hircus, locally called "Chyangra". Mountain goat is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes ( 12000 ft. to 14000 ft.) of the Himalayan region where the temperature goes down up to-40 degrees centigrade. The thermo-conductivity of this type of wool is the best in the world as it keeps mountain goats surviving at -40 degrees centigrade. Pashmina fibre is less than 14-19 microns in thickness, making it very soft whereas human hair is approximately 75 microns thick. Pashmina is used to make luxurious products like shawls, sweaters, scarves, wraps and stoles etc. These products are hand spun, woven and embroidered by traditional weavers and artisans whose families have been in this occupation for ages.
Pashmina products have been manufactured in Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years. Pashmina and Cashmere both are derived from mountain goats, but one distinct difference between them is the fibre diameter. Pashmina fibres are more delicate and thinner than cashmere fibre, therefore, it is ideal for making lightweight apparel like elegant scarves.
Pashmina from Nepal has been considered as the best in quality because of the conditions to which the mountain goats have adapted over centuries. The high Himalayas of Nepal has a harsh, cold climate. In order to survive, the mountain goats have developed hot and light fibre which may be slightly coarser and warmer than cashmere fibres obtained from lower region goats.