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.