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Pashmina - the rich, elegant fabric and its history

Pashmina - the rich, elegant fabric and its history

Phamb 487 15-Sep-2019

People all around the world love to buy Kashmiri pashmina shawls for their wardrobe, as pashmina is one of the most elegant and cherished fabrics worn for centuries. The popularity of pashmina shawls is very much present and will always remain a style statement all across the world.

A symbol of luxury and elegance

Pashminas are costlier than most other fabrics and is considered as a luxurious asset in your wardrobe. The worth of pashmina is not only high in its materialistic value but also the rich history it carries with it. Pure pashmina shawls from Kashmir have been collected and treasured since time immemorial, for its antique designs and lavish material. The softness and warmth of pashmina make it one of the most coveted fabrics in the world which is also a status symbol for the cream of the society. Pashmina shawls were historically only worn by royalty in India, and since the mid-1600s, due to flourishing of trade; pashmina began to be exported to the West. 

Elite and fashionable since historical times 

Pashmina shawls have been produced in the valley of paradise-none other than Kashmir since the earliest of times. These shawls can be traced back as far as the third century BC. The French Emperor Napoleon is said to have gifted pashmina shawls to his wife, Empress Josephine, on his way back from Egypt. The empress made a remarkable fashion statement with a pashmina and soon became a passionate fan of this luxurious textile, collecting over 400 shawls and even ordered coverlets and pillows to be made from pashmina. The demand for pashmina kept rising in the West, and the English and French traders devoted themselves to bringing this beautiful fabric to Europe and America so that the western affluent circles could buy Kashmiri pashmina shawls. 

The making of pashmina 

The name Pashmina is derived from a Persian word called “pashm” which means weavable fibre, that is, wool. To make pashmina wool is taken from a special breed of goats found in the high altitudes of the Himalayas, in Kashmir. In India, especially in the north, pashmina has been an essential part of traditional attire, especially for the elite, for centuries. In Kashmir, the delicate traditional art of weaving pashmina has been passed down from generation to generation across centuries as a Kashmiri legacy. Pure pashmina shawls from Kashmir are made by experts who have great skill and patience. The spinning, weaving, dyeing, embroidery- all phases of making pashmina- are done by hand and take a long time. 

Thus this age-old fabric is not only a fashion statement but also carries a rich elegant heritage with it. Pure pashmina shawls from Kashmir are still considered a high-society status symbol, which shows great taste in fashion. Although pashmina shawls are not cheap, they are definitely worth their price and one must buy Kashmiri pashmina shawls to keep one’s wardrobe classy and evergreen. 

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