Cashmere and Pashmina are products we sell proudly through our store, so we thought of posting this information about the real deal.
Making of Cashmere:
The story of the cashmere scarves starts in the Himalayan mountain range in India. The softest of cashmeres in the world are made by the wool of a local Himalayan goat, Chyangra (Capra Hircus). Every spring, the wool is collected from this goat. The wool collected comes in varying softnesses. The soft fine cashmere is then separated from the thick coarser hair. Both the soft cashmere and the thicker hair are taken for further processing.
The cashmere wool is basically spun by hand. The yarn is spun on a spinning wheel, “Charkha”. Prior to spinning, the raw material is treated by stretching and cleaning it to remove any dirt, and soaked for a few days in a mixture of rice and water to make it softer. Hand spinning is an extremely labor-intensive process. It requires immense patience, dexterity and dedication.
The cashmere yarn is too fragile for the vibration caused by power-looms. The weaving of the traditional 100% cashmere shawls is, therefore, done on the hand-looms. It is essential for the weaver to have a uniform hand for par excellence fabric. Weaving is done here with a shuttle carrying the soft cashmere yarn through the cashmere warp. The weaving process is in itself an art, which has been passed down over generations, to give you the fabulous shawls, we offer. It takes over four days to weave a single cashmere shawl. The weaving of cashmere products differ according to the nature of cashmere products. Different looms are required to weave different cashmere products.
The cashmere shawls, cashmere stoles, mufflers, scarves, blankets and sweaters are all woven on different looms, and each takes a different amount of cashmere fibers, and time accordingly.
Dyeing is also done by hand, and each piece is dyed individually. Dyers with immense patience and generations of experience are the one who dye the cashmere shawls, scarves, and other cashmere products. Even the smallest negligence would reflect on the quality of the product, therefore this too is the work of experts. Only metal-free and azo free dyes are used. Dyeing is done at a temperature just below boiling point for nearly an hour. Cashmere wool is exceptionally absorbent, and dyes easily and deeply.
In this way a fabulous cashmere shawl, cashmere scarf, and other cashmere products are made. Pashmina, which is a very famous name in the woollen shawls category, is basically the finest and softest form of this very fine fabric.
The making of cashmere products is labor intensive, artistic and time consuming process. And so the prices are higher than any other similar product of different material. However, the beauty and quality of a cashmere scarf or a stole justify all the work that goes into it, and all the prices one has to pay to own it.
A word of caution here is necessary for all the cashmere lovers. Do not be fooled by the low priced Pashminas and cashmeres that flood the market. It is impossible to get a cashmere or Pashmina wrap for less than $30. A lot of times, these fakes are actually polyester or viscose fabric, and do not really resemble cashmere in look, or feel, or quality.