A pashmina scarf is not just a scarf for those who love wearing it but is the epitome of luxury.
As it is one of the world’s most celebrated fabrics, the love of people for pashmina has grown over centuries.
With its earliest documented use going back centuries, it still today stands unchallenged as one of the most novel and sophisticated art.
It has made its way to the trousseau and wardrobes of the royals.
Moreover, owning a pashmina scarf is a matter of pride for many people.
And its exclusivity call for suitable care and maintenance as well.
Keep on reading as we learn more about the pashmina scarf, its history, care, and maintenance in this guide.
Some garments are a symbol of luxury and a fine lifestyle, and having a pashmina scarf is one such symbol of handmade luxury with its soft beauty.
The pashmina scarf is spun, woven, and embroidered from pashmina goat wool by hand, which makes each pure piece an exquisite piece.
It is important to note that pashmina is the traditional name for the finest cashmere wool.
Moreover, it is also known as the diamond fabric and the soft gold of Asia, pashmina is the finest, softest, and warmest wool that you can find.
Derived from the Persian word ‘pashm’ it refers to the undercoat of fur that you get from certain species of goats.
Soft, cozy, and lightweight, a pashmina scarf is simply hard to resist.
Cashmere, the King of Fabrics
Cashmere is also known as the fiber of kings of Golden Fleece.
It comes from a remote place populated by people with an ancient culture around which they have built antique and constantly metamorphosing traditions.
It is important to note that cashmere comes from the undercoat or duvet of the Capra Hircus originating in the highlands of Ladakh and Tibet.
However, nowadays, the cashmere regions cover China, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.
This is where the goat is bred at an altitude of at least 4000 meters.
This extraordinary animal has managed to survive in inhospitable habitats with freezing, windy weather, and hot dry summers.
Moreover, this is why it has developed an undercoat consisting of thousands of fine, smooth, soft, and warm fibers which are present in a small area, under the dense outer coat.
It is important to note that real cashmere only comes from such fibers which allow the goat to resist the temperature of -40°C.
The undercoat tends to grow until the days get shorter.
And it stops its growth when the day gets longer.
For this reason, cashmere fibers are collected during the molting period, in the spring, when the goat naturally loses their hair.
Collection of Cashmere
The fiber collection is the first of different stages of the cashmere production process.
Mongolia and Tibet are the two best sources of the best Cashmere.
Cashmere Culture chooses them to create its unique, exclusive, and comfortable products.
In these two places, people will collect the fiber by hand with the help of a special comb.
In order areas, the people will shear the animal.
When the first phase is complete, there is manual sorting.
It helps to separate the coarser hair from the finest ones and wash it to remove dirt, grease, and vegetable impurities.
These tend to accumulate during the fiber collection.
The process continues with dehairing. It is a meticulous and important procedure to make sure high quality of raw materials.
In this step, from the bristly, coarse fibers of the outer coat, the precious fibers are separated.
At this time, cashmere is ready so that you can transform it into yarn for weaving or knitting.
According to estimates, you will need 200 to 300 grams of duvet are normally from each goat.
Furthermore, this amount tends to decrease during the fiber collection and refinement stages.
The complexity of this process, the small volume of material, and the distance of places of origin tend to make the cost of this fiber high.
In some cases, Cashmere resembles diamonds.
In fact, for its classification and beauty, many examine it for its color, purity, fineness, and length.
The light the cashmere is, with impurities, fine and long, the more valuable it is.
Pashmina Scarf Quality
The quality of a pashmina scarf depends on three measures: the thickness of the cashmere fibers, yarn count, and ply.
In order to qualify as cashmere the average diameter of the fiber is between 15 og 19 micrometers.
The thinner fiber, the finer and more exclusive the product will be.
When spinning the fiber of the yarn, they can have different thicknesses.
The measurement of the thickness of the yarn is helpful for the yarn count.
The yarn count tends to be the number indicating how many meters of yarn is spun pr. gram.
The higher the yarn count the thinner, smoother, and more exclusive the textile is.
Ply shows the number of yar that spins together to one thread.
1 ply indicates that it is just a single yard, while 2 ply means that two strands of yarn ply together into a single thread.
When yarn plies together, it tends to become stronger and smoother than the one you use as 1 single ply of double thickness.
Identifying Genuine Pashmina Scarf
It is important to note that the genuine pashmina scarf is spun and woven by hand, not by machines.
They are less homogeneous than the fabric a machine produces.
Moreover, it tends to have fringes that are natural rather than braids.
A pure pashmina scarf is made from 100% cashmere and will be in the same color tone on both sides as it does not contain a mixture of different types of fiber.
Cashmere fiber tends to be the best.
However, it is important to note that there are different qualities of cashmere.
The quality tends to depend on the length and thickness of the fibers.
Long and thin fibers are rare, thus they are more expensive than shorter ones.
A pashmina scarf from 100% cashmere refers to pure cashmere wool with no mixing of any other material.
The average thickness of the fiber will be less than 19 micrometers.
70% cashmere and 30% silk shows that the scarf consists of 70% cashmere and 30% silk.
Moreover, both types of pashminas tend to have positive and negative properties.
A scarf made from 1005 cashmere tends to be sifter lighter and more luxurious than others.
However, it is not as strong as if little silk is present.
Thus a pashmina scarf with 30% silk tends to be warmer and more durable.
Washing Pashmina Scarf
You should wash pashmina with the help of organic solvents.
It will not only remove soil and stains from the fabric but also maintain the shape, color, and look of the garment.
If that is not the option, you can use cold water to hand-wash the pashmina scarf in a separate container, bucket, or sink.
Moreover, you can add a mild detergent and make sure it fully dissolves in water before you soak the scarf in it.
Later, you can wash your scarf softly and make sure to be extra careful of the woven trusses.
To dry your pashmina scarf, hang it out in shade, away from the strong wind.
Let it dry slowly.
Learn more about Natural Fabric Care Tips here.
Dry Cleaning Pashmina Scarf
Pashmina is an unusual fabric that tends to become softer with each use.
When you take good care of the fabric, you will not only make it gentler but also add life to the scarf.
The fine weaving of the wool of the goat by Kashmiri artesian is an age-old tradition.
It brings out the best of pashmina.
Such a cloth will not protect with the right care.
Experts advise dry cleaning your scarf after the end of the season to maintain its durability.
Natural wool and silk tend to dry clean beautifully, helping them to return to a new condition.
Moreover, it also prevents loss of color and change of texture, or finish due to extensive use.
Storing Pashmina Scarf
Make sure to store your pashmina scarf in a muslin cloth to avoid the formation of lint or short fibers that separate the surface of the cloth of yarn.
Fold it neatly and keep the scarf in a drawer or storage box.
To repel moth you can add Azadirachta indica or Indian Lilac sachets or lavender sachets.
In case you intend to store the scarf over a longer seasonal period, you can consider getting a plastic zip storage bag so that moth is unable to get in it.
However, do not use a naphthalene ball when storing the pashmina scarf as it can mar its beauty and give it a smell.
Moreover, keep your pashmina scarf in a cool, dry place, and in case of contact with moisture, visit a dry cleaner.
Aerate the scarf periodically, at least once a month to avoid moths.
Newly expose your scarf to direct heat to extreme sunlight as it can damage the texture of your scarf.
Brush your scarf after every wear as they hoard dust easily.
Make sure to avoid hanging the pashmina scarf in the closet as it can cause the fabric to stretch and lose its shape.
Instead, always fold and stack it neatly to keep the fabric crisp.