Pashmina Shawls - A Luxury Apparel to Have in Your Wardrobe
For generations, Nepalese people have been passing down pashmina shawls as it is believed to be a sign of personal connection and affection. Pashmina garments date back to 3000 B.C and nowadays, a pashmina shawl is believed to be the best handcrafting luxury apparel to have in the wardrobe. As you buy Pashmina shawl online, you will find a spectrum of colors and infinite designs to choose from.
Fine Cashmere wool of Himalayan goats is used to make the traditional pashmina shaws. The wool goes through an intensive process before they are fashioned into Pashmina shawls in Nepal. It’s not the process that makes it special but there are many other reasons for Pashmina shaws to be the best clothing option. Let’s explore some interesting facts about the Pashmina shawls.
What Are Pashmina Shawls?
The name Pashmina in Pashmina shawls comes from Pashmina goats (Changra). Pashmina goats are the Himalayan goats that reside high in the mountains of Nepal. The word ‘pashmina’ comes from ‘pashm’ which means ‘inner layer of hair’. Pashmina is the most refined version of cashmere and is the finest quality wool you would find ever. Tibetians were the first to create Pashmina shawl to survive in severe cold conditions in the Himalayas.
While normal cashmere is 20 microns thick, pashmina cashmere is typically 12 microns thick. FYI, one human hair is 75 microns thick which means Pashmina cashmere is 6 times finer than the typical human hair. It takes at least two to three Himalayan mountain goats to produce enough hair to make a pashmina shawl. Changra goats live at a high altitude of above 15,000 ft. in the mountains of Nepal and because of the colder climate, the quality of the Pashmina cashmere wool is considerably higher.
Quality of Pashmina Shawls
Pashmina cashmere is graded with a rating system similar to diamonds and Himalayan pashmina cashmere, which is used to make pashmina shawls in Nepal, is graded as a ‘Grade A’.
There are pashmina shawls with a lower percentage of cashmere (50-70%) with the rest being made of silk. Some add silk to pashmina shawls to improve their durability and make the garment fuss-free. But the highest quality pashmina shawls are made from 100% Cashmere. However, the one with an added silk is popular among the masses.
Himalayan pashmina shawls from Nepal have 95% purity with a 5% of added silk. Silk blended pashmina shawls provide you with the beauty of the traditional accessory with added durability, making the shawls versatile for everyday wear.
How Pashmina Shawls Are Made?
Pashmina shawls are made by traditional weavers in Nepal. The manufacturing process of Pashmina shawls involves a number of steps including collecting the wool from the Pashmina goat, sorting raw Cashmere, weaving and spinning.
It takes at least three to four weeks to make a pashmina shawl. The making of a Pashmina shawl starts from the selection of the finest hair which is a complex and sensitive work. To maintain the quality of the cashmere, the Himalayan goats are regularly combed to separate the coarser hair from the thinnest ones. Cashmere is delicate for its softness and exclusivity and hence, talented and skilled weavers weave Cashmere fiber manually with their hands so that it does not have to face the harsh processing of a machine.
The fiber is then warped using continuous lengths of yarn to create wrap threads. Once the required number of warp threads is set, they are lifted, spread and smoothened out. They are then fit on a warp beam. The warp beam is then detached from the loom and suspended from the ceiling.
The artisans then cut the loose ends of the warp and insert them into the heddles individually.
The wrap is then again set into the loom and given a few turns to tighten the warp. After 6-7 inches of warp, it is ready to start working on. A handloom is used to weave perfect Cashmere yarn and it is a 3-4 days long process.
Once the weaving process is completed the next step is spinning. Cashmere wools are then spun on a spinning wheel to form pashmina yarns. The fiber is manipulated as it leaves the spinner’s fingers & onto the spindle. The spun yarn is doubled up and twisted again on the spinning wheel. The pashmina shawl is now ready but it is completely plain. Now, it is time to dye it and do some embroidery work. Plain pashmina shawls are dyed in the desired color and sent to the embroiderer.
Why Pashmina Shawls?
Besides its looks and quality, there are plenty of reasons why Pashmina shawls are a winter wardrobe essential. Below are listed the top 5 convincing reasons to choose pashmina shawls.
Pashmina shawls have stood the test of time due to their warmness. If warmth is all you want for this winter season, it’s the best idea to pick a pashmina shawl. With perfect insulation properties, Pashmina is best at preventing cold from touching your skin as it traps heat inside. Pashmina shawls are ideal for sudden temperature drops. A pashmina shawl adds an extra layer and keeps you warm against the cold.
Pashmina shawls are handcrafted from Cashmere wool weaved from Himalayan mountain goats. The goats shed their hair in Spring following the harsh winters in the region. The Cashmere fiber is collected and cleaned, to begin the manufacturing of pashmina shawls. The fiber is manually spun on a wooden spinning wheel to convert lumps of wool to yarns. Skilled weavers hand weave the yarns over wooden handlooms indigenous to make luxurious pashmina shawls. Pashmina shawls are later hand embroidered or hand-dyed as per the customer's preferences.
Pashmina shawls are one of the most popular and versatile wrap accessories in winter. One can buy Pashmina shawls in various forms, from, informal to semi-formal to casual to styles. You can find embroidered pashmina shawls as well, which you can use at weddings or other special occasions. If you want a casual look, then you can choose from prints, patterns, and ombre-shaded Pashmina shaws.
Cashmere is one of the lightest materials ever - the yarn of Cashmere ranges from 12 to 16 microns only in diameter. As for the weight, one Pashmina shawl of 100*200 cm weighs only 400 grams which makes it exceptionally lightweight and easy to carry. If you are among those who don’t want to be laden with heavy mufflers and prefer comfort instead, the Pashmina shawl can be the best choice for you.
As far as the style is concerned, the Pashmina shawl will never disappoint you at making you stylish. Besides being versatile, you can use pashmina shawls in many different ways to add its style quotient. From solid pashmina shawls to printed pashmina shawls to embroidery pashmina shawls, each pashmina shawl is elegant enough to add a unique style to your look.
A luxurious pashmina shawl from Nepal is the perfect fashion accessory, no matter what season it is. It gives a perfect finishing touch to your outfit. We at NepaCrafts offer a variety of Pashmina shawls from Nepal. Buy Pashmina shawl online from us and breathe new life into your wardrobe.