Pashmina” is the softest, exotically delicate, weightless and the finest natural insulating fiber of the world. It is extracted from the inner coats of the hardy little mountain goats (capra hircus) locally called “Chyangra”, which live at the altitude above 3000 mtrs in the Himalayas. Such wonderful and gossamer properties of “Pashmina” has popularized it as the “Diamond Fibre”. The outer layer fibres of “Chyangra” are discarded as they are comparatively thicker & coarser. Thus only the inner layer fibres measuring under 16.5 microns are specified for use as “Pashmina”. These extraordinary qualities of Pashmina fibres have encouraged weavers to produce various types of wraps for warmness.
The Fur combing process is performed every spring without harming the goats. Pashmina fibers thus obtained are spun into thin yarn which is woven to make different types of pashmina products like blankets, shawls, stoles, scarves as well as pullovers, cardigans, etc. This exquisite craftsmanship of Nepalese weavers has established “Nepalese Pashmina” worldwide as the most precious possession.
In ancient times “Pashmina” was used in unblended form but later combinations with silk, cotton etc., came in practice. In due course of time and after long years of experience and experiments, Pashmina yarn and silk yarn were combined to get better fiber-strength, durability, colour-pleasantness and finish which has now become most popular all over world and recognized as “Nepalese Pashmina”.
History of Pashmina:
The origin of Pashmina dates back to ancient civilization. Those days it was renowned as the ” Fiber for royals & emperors.” In Nepal also it has been traced back to the prehistoric times (or the time of Mahabharat). People living in the high mountains discovered the unique and wonderful properties of “Pashmina”.
Nepalese Pashmina :
They developed a very delicate and skillful pashmina extraction method where the goats are not harmed and more fibers can be collected regularly every spring from the same goat for many years. They also learned to spin the fibers into fine yarn and then weave it to get an extraordinarily soft and warm fabric. This exquisite art of weaving was passed on from one generation to another and to the present times as well. The popularity of Pashmina encouraged entrepreneurs for product diversification and as such various kinds of pashmina products like shawls, stoles, blanket, scarves, sweaters, cardigans etc. are developed and marketed.
Nepal is famous for hand woven Pashmina products all over the world.
Useful tips for Pashmina products:
Pashmina products are very durable with proper care. Owing to air tight packing in transit during shipping, in rare cases, the natural smell of the pashmina fibers may not pleasant for anyone .It should be aired for an hour or so to remove this smell. To iron the pashmina, always use piece of cloth and iron on low heat. Pashmina products should be stored in a dry, cool and away from sunlight. To remove wrinkles in pashmina shawls, it should either be steam pressed or lightly ironed under a pressing cloth. Although the contents are natural products, the silk and raised nap of the fabric cause silk/pashmina shawls to wrinkle more easily. Home pressing can often flatten raised nap. Therefore it is best to have silk /pashmina professionally dry-cleaned