Business Overview (Introduction)
Cashmere Shawls are found in various forms, and Pashmina Shawls are one of those, that are derived from mountain goats. The fine fiber thus obtained is also called pashm or pashmina as it is used in handmade shawls of Himalayas. The fiber is obtained from a special breed goat called capra hircus, which is found in the high altitude of Himalayas. That is why Pashmina wool is the finest and lightest cashmere wool found, which possess high insulating characteristics. In authentic Pashmina Shawls, no additional fibers like silk or cotton are added. Moreover, real Pashmina Shawls are handwoven as a single piece.
The beautiful valley of Kashmir is renowned for its skilled artisans. The weaving of colored threads was primarily introduced in 15th century by the ruler of Kashmir. These shawls were worn by the patronage of Akbar and his successors, but after the collapse of the Mughal Empire, many craftsmen were left unemployed. Gradually, immense increase in demand from Europe in the 18th century lead to the adaptation of designs in the French markets. In France, Pashmina raised violence when Napoleon gifted a rare shawl to Empress Josephine. The European market finally collapsed due to various reasons like change in taste, tough competition and economic prostration. As a result, the weavers either migrated to India or started production of another sort.
Presently, Pashmina Shawls are embroidered by proficient artisans and has grown their occupation into huge business. Moreover, Pashmina shawls discovered huge market due to its plush and soft texture. These shawls are now pronounced as an essential in a wardrobe, by some style gurus.
As mentioned earlier, Pashmina is just one of many forms of Cashmere Fibers. There are various grades of cashmere and Pashmina is one of those. Pashmina is ideal for making light weight dresses like fine scarves as its fibers are finer and thinner than cahmere fibers. Pashmina is not available in 100% label as as Pashmina is not recognized by the Wool Act. Additionally, Pashmina is a rare wool, found specifically in the Himalayan regions of Kashmir in comparisons to other fibers. Pashmina is identified as one of the most lightest, finest and softest fiber and hence is majorly demanded over other kinds of shawls.
Pashmina Shawls are exceptionally soft, light and warm. Pure Pashmina is obtained without any additional fibres like silk or cotton. These shawls are especially hand woven to offer authentic and traditional embroidery and craftsmanship. The original and ancient embroidery designs are provided concurrent touch with modern approach in terms of colors and designs. But still these shawls are hugely in demand for their originality and authentic craftsmanship. In the market, scarves made from synthetic fiber or artificial fibers are sold in the name of Pashmina and the word is favorably used, just to create confusion.