Of Goats and Shawls

Pashmina shawls, scarves and wraps are famous for their softness and warmth. However, contrary to popular belief that the word pashmina refers to the beautiful silky shawls themselves, it actually refers to the material from which the articles of clothing are made. So what is this wonderful and stunning shawl made of?


The name pashmina comes from the word pashmineh. Pashmina is a fabric that belongs to the greater wool category.

The pashmina wool is extracted from a Himalayan breed of goats that grow an inner layer of hair for extra heat and insulation during winter time. The inner layer of hair is discarded every spring and these hairs are caught on bushes. Each goat gives off about 3-8 ounces of this type of hair, which the villagers then look for and harvest so that they’d have wool for waving.

That’s right; your wonderfully soft and warm pashmina shawl, scarf or wrap is something that comes from the Himalayan goats’ discard pile. And by the way, cashmere is, too, for both types of fibers come from the same breed of goat. However, pashmina is supposed to be warmer, softer and finer than ordinary cashmere (if you can ever call cashmere ordinary) for the goats that shed pashmina live so high up in the mountains where it is much colder. Thus, the grade of the inner wool that these goats produce are inclined to be thicker, stronger and warmer.

Anyway, clothes made of pashmina makes wonderful clothing so demands for this type of wool continue to escalate. To keep up with the demand for pashmina apparel, the goats are now being bred in the Gobi Desert area in a region that has the same climate as the Himalayas. However, instead of collecting hair from bushes, the goat herders now actually comb the goats down when it’s the right season for inner-hair shedding.

To Die For Shawls

Pashmina shawls are usually created by mixing pashmina and silk in a 70:30 ratio. Of course, these proportions vary. In some instances, pashmina fabrics are composed of 50% pashmina and 50% silk or 55% pashmina fibers and 45% silk fibers.

There are shawls, scarves and wraps that are made of pure pashmina, of course. These have the softest texture. However, garments made of pure pashmina are usually gauzy and open weaved. Tight weaving would break the wool.

wholesale shawl

Pashmina shawls and garments are known for their softness and lightness. It’s a curious feeling, actually. They are certainly warm, but they’re very light you’ll forget you’re wearing them.

A pure pashmina scarf can cost you more than a hundred dollars. A full pashmina shawl would cost more, of course. In pashmina, the quality definitely compensates for the price. However, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars in pashmina shawls and scarves. You can actually buy them direct from pashmina importers online at amazingly low prices.

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