NEPAL, KATHMANDU: HOW TO MAKE PASHMINA SCARVES

by Marco Petruzzelli www.tvreporter.it Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian pashm ("wool"). The wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan and northern India. Pashmina shawls are hand spun, woven and embroidered in Kashmir, and made from fine cashmere fibre. The fibre is also known as pashm or pashmina for its use in the handmade shawls of Himalayas. The woollen shawls made from wool in Kashmir find written mention in Afghan texts between 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD. However, the founder of the cashmere wool industry is traditionally held to be the 15th century ruler of Kashmir, Zayn-ul-Abidin, who introduced weavers from Central Asia. Cashmere shawls have been manufactured in Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years. The test for a quality pashmina is warmth and feel. Pashmina and Cashmere are derived from mountain goats. One distinct difference between Pashmina and Cashmere is the fiber diameter. Pashmina fibers are finer and thinner than cashmere fiber, therefore, it is ideal for making light weight apparel like fine scarves. However, these days the word PASHMINA has been used too liberally and any scarves made from natural or synthetic fiber are sold as Pashmina creating confusion in the market. Pashmina from Nepal are the best in quality because of the conditions to which the mountain goats have adapted over centuries. The high Himalayas of Nepal has harsh, cold climate and in order to survive that the mountain goats have developed exceptionally warm and light fiber which might be slightly coarser than cashmere fibers obtained from lower region goats, but it is much warmer. To distinguish Nepalese Pashmina, the Nepal Pashmina Industries Association has registered a Trademark around the world, called "Changra Pashmina".