Is real cashmere Pashmina or is it a fake?
Cashmere or pashmina?
It happens that we ask ourselves the question. In fact, the pashmina corresponds to the best part of the cashmere. If the diameter of a fiber of cashmere is about 19 microns, the pashmina is even finer and its fiber approaches 15 microns diameters. He is collected during the period of transformations of goats Capra Hircus, because the latter possesses one of the finest and softer hair over the world.
This hair is developed in extreme conditions at more than 4500 meters in height and with temperatures which can go to -50 ° in winter, where goats live, in the chains of Himalaya. Every year, goat Capra Hircus, produce on average 150 grams of pashmina, in Spring. The hair collected is then combed and is going to follow 7 steps of making process.
The Origin and History of Pashmina
The origins of the pashmina go back to the Antiquity, where already, the valleys of the cashmere knew how to develop a strong reputation regarding the weaving of shawls. But it was really during the 16th century when this artisanal industry has acquired the status of royal patronage, under the emperor moghol Akbar, and knew an intense development.
It was during the 18eme century that, finally, Europe also discovered the noble art of the pashmina, by discovering this luxury product.
How to Identify Pure Cashmere Pashmina and Fake shawls?
The “100% Pashmina” Scam
Unfortunately, over the centuries no label “pashmina” was created. Therefore, the pashmina is not considered a material on a legal point of view. Thus labels deducing to be made with 100% of pashmina are not always honest. Because it has become over the centuries, a high-quality symbol, some storekeepers do not hesitate to use it in a commercial purpose, which sometimes hides from unpleasant surprises.
As no law forbids to use the term pashmina, the latter is often used, so you could find some viscose or some acrylic in this shawl that you though was only made with fiber of pashm.
Nevertheless, forewarned is forearmed, and there are certain methods to spot the difference between real and fake.
Pashminas lined with fringes braided which can be find almost everywhere, are almost, never real pashminas, as the fiber of pashm is too fine to be braided, the authentic pashminas are endowed with small open fringes stemming from the loom.
Irregular weave & craftsmanship guarranty
Handwoven pure pashmina has a distinctive. Real pashmina shawls comes with sharp edges and irregular weave due to the hand loom when seen through the back-lit stole. Real pashmina never comes with fringes as they are possible only possible in blended fabrics. Because of the delicate nature of the pashm fiber, real pashmina stoles are one of a kind and always come with these kind of small irregularities. A perfectly regular woven cashmere stole is done using power loom and is not considered as a real pashmina because the finest cashmere fiber can only be hand woven and hand spun.
The world of fakes spread out from East to East and North to South of the planet, covering the intangible desire for exclusivity and privilege. Pashmina and cashmere as one of the most elegant materials in the world, are not exception to the rule. Even in their motherland, India and Nepal, one can find clothes described as “100% cashmere” or “70% cashmere, 30% silk”, which curiously cost up to 15 euros.
In fact, the lowest price of the raw material, the gross cashmere, is about more than 100USD for kilo. Wherever you are in the world, the finest raw materials and the best craftsmanship with fair wages using ethical working practices come at a price. Considering the previous conditions, real pashmina is not cheap and cannot be sold for $10 a piece.
Real pashmina made from the finest cashmere harvested in Ladakh are a real luxury. They are not only exclusive because of the high cost of the raw cashmere fiber but also because of the handmade and local and family production. Because there is no middle man in the process, Florenz is able to produce a luxury stole pashmina scarves collection at a fair price.