Pashmina Shawl, Kashmiri Pashmina

Cashmere Vs Pashmina: Know The Difference

Cashmere Vs Pashmina : Know The Difference

Introduction

Cashmere and Pashmina are two of the most luxurious and sought-after fabrics in the world. They are both known for their soft, warm, and luxurious feel. Both fabrics are used to make high-end clothing, accessories, and home goods. However, there are some key differences between Cashmere and Pashmina. These factors are related to their origins, properties, and production.

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Origins Of Cashmere And Pashmina

Cashmere

Cashmere comes from the undercoat of Cashmere goats. They are predominantly found in the Central Asian regions of Mongolia, China, Iran, and Afghanistan. These goats have a unique adaptation to the harsh winter climate. Their bodies grow a thick, soft undercoat for added insulation and warmth.

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Source

Pashmina

Pashmina comes from the undercoat of Changthangi goats. They are a special breed found in the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, and Pakistan. These goats have an even finer and softer undercoat compared to Cashmere goats. So the quality of the fibre is richer. The freezing temperatures of the Himalayas necessitate this luxurious undercoat for protection.

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Properties Of Cashmere And Pashmina

Softness And Warmth 

Both Cashmere and Pashmina are renowned for their exceptional softness and warmth. The delicate fibres of these fabrics create a luxurious and comforting feel against the skin. So the garments made out of them are highly sought-after.

Lightweight And Breathable

Despite their incredible warmth, Cashmere and Pashmina are remarkably lightweight and breathable. This property allows for comfortable wear in various climates. The fabrics regulate temperature and keep the body relaxed.

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Difference In Softness

Pashmina is generally considered slightly softer than Cashmere due to its finer fibres. This extra softness adds to the opulence and exclusivity of Pashmina fabrics. They are coveted for their unparalleled texture.

Thread Count

Pashmina fabrics often have a higher thread count than Cashmere fabrics, having a diameter equal to one-fourth of human hair. The higher thread count contributes to the luxurious feel and durability of Pashmina products. However, it also results in slightly higher costs.

Production Of Cashmere And Pashmina

Hand Collection

The production of Cashmere and Pashmina involves a labor-intensive process of hand-collecting the fine fibres. After the winter, the goats naturally shed their undercoat. It is then combed or sheared to preserve the delicate fibres.

Yarn Spinning

The collected fibres are then spun into yarns. They are the foundation of Cashmere and Pashmina fabrics. The yarns are created with precision to maintain the softness and quality of the original fibres.

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Weaving

The yarns are skillfully woven into fabrics,  by hand or machine. The approach depends on the desired level of craftsmanship. Handwoven fabrics are often considered more exclusive and luxurious.

Small Batch Production

Cashmere and Pashmina fabrics are typically produced in small batches. It contributes to their exclusivity and higher price point. Each unit is meticulously crafted, ensuring top quality.

The Versatility Of Cashmere And Pashmina

Clothing Items

Cashmere and Pashmina are incredibly versatile in creating various clothing items, such as sweaters, scarves, shawls, hats, and gloves. Their softness and warmth make them ideal for cozy and stylish winter wear.

Home Goods

These luxurious fabrics are not limited to clothing. They are also used to create home goods like blankets, throws, and pillows. Cashmere and Pashmina add a touch of sophistication and comfort to any living space.

Formal Vs. Casual

Pashmina is often considered more formal due to its unprecedented softness and fine texture. Cashmere, on the other hand, is versatile enough to be dressed up or down, making it a more casual yet elegant option.

Care Of Cashmere And Pashmina

Hand-Washing

When it comes to cleaning Cashmere and Pashmina, hand-washing is the preferred method. Avoid using a washing machine as the agitation and harsh spinning can damage the delicate fibres. Instead, follow these steps for hand-washing:

  • Fill a basin or sink with cold water. Avoid hot water, as it can cause the fibres to shrink or lose their softness.
  • Mix a little bit of mild detergent with the water. Look for detergents specifically designed for delicate fabrics or woolens.
  • Submerge the Cashmere or Pashmina item in the water and gently agitate it. Avoid rubbing or wringing the fabric, as it can lead to pilling or distortion.
  • Let the item soak for a few minutes to allow the detergent to work on any stains or dirt.
  • Rinse the fabric thoroughly with cold water until all soap residues are removed.
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Drying

After hand-washing, the drying process is crucial to prevent damage to the fibres. Follow these steps for proper drying:

  • Never use a tumble dryer or hang Cashmere and Pashmina items directly on a hanger. The weight can cause stretching and misshaping. 
  • Instead, lay the washed item flat on a clean, dry towel and gently roll it up to absorb excess water.
  • After removing excess water, reshape the item to its original form.
  • Place the fabric flat on a clean, dry towel or a drying rack. Make sure it is away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  • Allow it to air dry naturally. This may take some time, but it ensures the fabric retains its softness and shape.

Storage

When not in use, proper storage is essential to protect Cashmere and Pashmina from damage and maintain their longevity:

  • Ensure the fabric is completely dry before storing it to prevent mold or mildew growth.
  • Fold the Cashmere or Pashmina item carefully to avoid creases. But do not hang it, as this can cause the fabric to stretch over time.
  • Store the fabric in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, which can fade the colors.
  • Consider placing the fabric in a breathable storage bag or wrapping it in acid-free tissue paper to protect the fabric from moths.
  • Avoid storing Cashmere and Pashmina with items that have zippers or rough edges. They can cause damage to the fabrics.

More Facts About Cashmere And Pashmina

Geographical Indication (GI) Certification

Both Cashmere and Pashmina are renowned for their purity and authenticity. Certain regions have obtained Geographical Indication (GI) certification for these luxury fibres. For example, Kashmir, known for its Cashmere and Pashmina production, holds GI tags for its high-quality products. This certification ensures that customers receive genuine and ethically sourced materials. It adds to the value and exclusivity of their purchases.

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Price And Investment

The undeniable quality and craftsmanship of Cashmere and Pashmina come at a cost. These luxury fibres are considered investments due to their longevity and timeless appeal. They are high priced because of the scarcity of raw materials and the labor-intensive handcrafting process. However, discerning individuals and collectors recognize the worth of these unique textiles. So they become coveted pieces to cherish for a lifetime.

Final Thoughts

Cashmere and Pashmina are distinct luxury fibres. While Cashmere has a sumptuous softness originating from Central Asia, Pashmina exudes regal grace from the lofty Himalayas. Whichever you choose, Cashmere and Pashmina exemplify the epitome of elegance. 

If you are looking for a high-quality, versatile fabric that will last for many years, then Cashmere or Pashmina is a great choice. Take a look at our exclusive collection of shawls and stoles, each a masterpiece to cherish. Visit Kashmers now and shop to your heart’s content.

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