Pashmina: Finest Of All Wools

What is Pashmina? From the word pashmina -پشمینه- gold wool in Persian- pashmina is woven from the soft, downy undercoat of the Capra Hiracus- the Himalayan mountain goat.  The nimble, 4500+ meter high altitude creature grows this fine warm pashm on its throat and belly, keeping it warm in temperature of -30 degrees C.  The finest, whisper-soft pashm comes from Changtang in Ladakh where nomadic herders from the Changpa tribe tend flocks in the arid plateau.  The traditional shepherds comb the goats in late Spring before their herds' molt, collect the fleece.  The pashm is then transported to Leh, sold to Kashmiri weavers who then spin the yarn, which when hand-woven, gives shape to Pashmina as we know it.    

Difference between Cashmere and Pashmina? Cashmere is a term used in the Western World, describing a soft material that has origins in the Kashmir region, situated in India and in Pakistan. It derives from the old spelling of Kashmir, Cashmeere.   Pashmina is a term used by the locals. 

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Making of Pashmina:  A fascinating story, with many stages!  Yarn spinning is a painstaking task, done by hand on a wooden spinning wheel with utmost care to avoid breakages, the finesse of this task depending entirely on the skill of the spinner.  The fleece is first sorted out according to the quality and length of the fiber and cleansed from physical impurities, washed, with entangled fibers manually carded.  The yarn is separated for use as warp and woof.  To make the warp, several rods are driven into the ground at intervals, and the yarn is manually winded across them,  The number of warp threads varies 1800 to 2400 across the width of the fabric.  Prepared warp is threaded through the saaz -ساز-or heddles.  Pre-Loom stage involves dyeing done by the dyer or rangrez -رنگ رز - sizing in a rice starch, or acacia gum starch solution.  Weaving is very time-consuming due to the fragile nature of the hand-spun yarn, with several days required to weave two meters of shawl.   Weaving is done gently, with the weft inserted through a shuttle in a throw and catch motion.  Woven fabric is washed with soap nut and sent to a finisher or purzgar -پرز گر -who tweezes and brushes to remove any flaw.  The cloth is scrubbed gently with dried core of kasher - a gourd- to smooth the surface.  The cloth is then rewashed in running cold water.   I’m a paragraph. Double click here or click Edit Text to add some text of your own or to change the font. Tell your visitors a bit about your services.

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