Handmade Pure Cashmere or Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl
Pashmina is a fine type of Kashmiri wool. The textiles made from it were first woven in Kashmir. The name comes from Persian: pašmina, meaning "made from wool" and literally translates to "Soft Gold" in Kashmiri. Pashmina came to be known as 'cashmere' in the West because Europeans first encountered this fiber in Kashmir. Goats used for Pashmina shed their winter coat every spring. One goat sheds approximately 80–170 grams (3–6 ounces) of the fiber. Kashmiri artisans, who perfected the art of making handmade Pashmina for years, have exclusive rights over the Kashmir Pashmina brand, with the central government declaring it as Geographical Indication (GI), an intellectual property right.
History of Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl
Pashmina was discovered for the first time in16th century in Kashmir. Pashmina is considered the finest craftsmanship in the world which transforms the exceptionally warm and delicate Cashmere threads to opulent accessories. The fleece of Changthangi Goat is known as Pashm which is an Urdu word & has origins in Farsi. This goat is exotic and is only found at 15000 feet above sea level in Ladakh - Jammu and Kashmir, making the art of Pashmina even rarer and revered all over the world. Pashmina has fascinated kings, royals, and people all over the world by its magical allure and a traditional grace.
The pure pashmina didn’t have any synthetic fibre as the machines had not taken control then. However, as soon as unscrupulous traders began dealing with the luxury craft, machinery such as power looms were incorporated into the manufacturing process. Because power looms require stronger threads, strong fibres such as nylon are combined with Pashmina before being processed. And the charm of Kashmiri Pashmina - its superior quality and refinement - began to deteriorate. Although numerous places manufactured pashmina, it was only Kashmiri Pashmina that gained international acclaim.
The current situation of Kashmiri Pashmina presents an interesting picture. While the original producer of Pashmina Kashmir produces less Pashmina, larger players like China have seized control of the market. China accounts for 70% of global cashmere production, while Mongolia accounts for 20%. The remaining 10% is manufactured in other Cashmere-producing countries such as Afghanistan, India, Nepal, the United States of America, and other countries.
Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl types
There are three primary breeds of Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl that are raised across the Mighty Himalayas in India, Tibet, Nepal, and Central Asia, according to the varieties of Cashmere.
- Changthangi or Pashmina goat: This is a goat with a Kashmiri Pashmina undercoat. It is bred in the Tibetan Changthang plateau and in portions of Ladakh.
- Goat Malta: This goat breed originates in Kashmir's Kargil region.
- Goat Chegu: Cashmere wool is produced by the Chegu goat in Himachal Pradesh, India.
- Goat Chyangra: Chyangra, a Nepalese Pashmina goat, is bred for its Cashmere wool.
Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl GI tag
To keep the centuries-old art of spinning and weaving pashmina cloth alive & well and to preserve international standards, the Indian government (under the WTO) has granted a high-quality mark for authentic Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl that identify articles made up of the 000 fiber called Pashm produced from goats residing within the Ladakh region of Kashmir. It's referred to as the Geographical Indication (GI) Label on Kashmir Pashmina.GI Mark is a stamp that's placed on any woven goods like scarves, stoles, shawls, coats, or any manufactured product made up of real Pashmina cloth that is
- fiber diameter of 12 to 16 microns.
It is administered at Srinagar's Craft Development Institute (CDI). Before being stamped on each product, the Kashmir pashmina items are subjected to internal control inspections that include electronic microscopy, physical, and chemical tests. Under UV light, the stamp will be seen as 100% genuine and registered pashmina, and under laser light, it is often seen as green sparkling.
The maker of the merchandise, his number, and address can all be found by looking up the identification number on the stamp online. The stamping is just done on Pashmina artisans who are registered with the GI Authority of India, which has its headquarters in Chennai. There was a legal battle over which country would receive the G.I stamp on their pashmina. The Indian side of Kashmir was granted the right to stamp their pashmina for the subsequent reasons:
- Its origin can be traced back to Kashmir (Cashmere).
- Only the Ladakh region of Kashmir, which is incidentally the world's highest plateau, contains Changthang goats capable of manufacturing "Pashm," or fiber with a diameter of 12 to 16 microns. Cashmere goats in other countries produce a fiber with a diameter of about 20 microns, which is then combined with nylon and spun and woven using machines.
- Only the women of Kashmir are trained and they are producing a skinny yarn out of this delicate fiber and no yarn manufacturing machinery is being used in the production of Pashmina here.
How to check a Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl ?
If your Pashmina wrap contains a shiny appearance, it indicates that silk fabric is added to that during the weaving process. Pashmina could be a form of natural goat hair that features a matte finish. Because the thread is so tiny, a bit of shine is feasible, but an excessive amount of it'll reveal that your goods are fake.
Genuine pashmina will leave a burnt hair smell and there'll be some powdery residue behind. If it's a synthetic fibre, you may smell burnt leaves. These are some of the most common and simple ways to know if your Pashmina is a genuine one
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