IDENTIFICATION OF PURE HANDMADE PASHMINA STOLES, SHAWLS/WRAPS:
Identifying a pure piece of Kashmiri Pashmina has always led people to a dilemma. Pashminas are finest choices when anyone decides to buy luxurious stoles/shawls to stay warm and look elegant for the winters. Owing to the excessive demand-supply gap, instances of incorrect marketing of wool blend, silk blended or man-made fabrics such as viscose as Pashmina products are quite common.
Pashmina products are made in Kashmir and more recently in Nepal where the industry has seen a surge in production. Kashmir handmade pashmina stoles/shawls are 100% pashmina because the thread is hand spun because of its delicate nature, whereas machine made can be mixed easily with simple wool and acrylic. Kashmir pashmina stole/shawl is 100% pure Pashmina (handmade) while Pashmina from other places is 50% Pashmina+30% other wool+ 20% acrylic (machine made) and this combination is called Cashmere. Kashmir is the only place where one can get original traditional pashmina stole/shawl.
Some of the easy ways to distinguish a pure pashmina stole/shawl from the rest are:
- Check appearance. The authentic piece will typically be matte and occasionally have a slight sheen.
- Check diameter.Pashmina fibers are finer and thinner (12-15 microns) than generic cashmere fiber (15-19 microns). Hence they are typically hand processed due to their delicate nature. The lower micron count of Pashmina makes it lighter and softer than Cashmere
- Check the weave.A pure pashmina stole/shawl will always be handwoven. This leads to an irregular weave in contrast to factory produced stoles/shawls. These irregularities are easily visible on holding a pure pashmina stole/shawl against the light.
- Rubbing test.Pashmina which is not pure tends to be mixed with acrylic or polyester fabrics which accumulate static electricity within them. Rubbing acrylic or polyester mixed pashmina produces sparks and if it is plastic, it will attract tiny objects. So, when you rub them, they give out the spark. If it is acrylic or polyester, you will hear the spark and if it is plastic, it will attract tiny objects.