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Pashmina is a kind of fine cashmere wool and famous around the world for its exorbitant price value. This exotic fur coat is the outer warm covering of changthangi or pashmina goat. It is a special breed found in the high Himalayan altitudes of Nepal, Pakistan and India. Wool made from the furs of these goats is hand spun into shawls, which are sold the world over. It gets its name from the word Pashmineh, made from Persian wool.

Pashmina goats survive in freezing temperatures at 14,000 feet altitude, and grow soft inner coat. It is woven by hands only. It cannot be spun by machines. Various shawls, wraps, throws, scarves and stoles are made from this warm wool. The fiber is well known for its softness and lightness. It is said that Mughal emperor Akbar presented a Kashmiri jamawar shawal to the queen of England in 16th century.

Pashmina became a vogue worldwide in the mid-1990s which resulted in its huge demand. Since then, it remains one of the most sought-after winter fabrics. In the markets, it is often blended with various other fabrics to mould it into different products. The fibers are very fine and thin. Thus are ideal for making light weight apparel. Many scarves and shawls are made from synthetic fibers and sold as Pashmina.

Most of the western countries, including the United States do not recognize the word “Pashmina” and hence they apply the term “Cashmere” to it because it belongs to the Kashmir region.

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