Pashmina wool, the softest, most luxurious, and best wool in the world, comes from the underside of the Himalayan Mountain Goat. The thermo-conductivity of pashmina wool is so low that it enables the goat to keep warm at minus 40 degrees centigrade temperature and survive in one of the coldest climates of the world. The finest insulating qualities are found in the rare and exceptionally short inner coat of hair, or pashmina.
Pashmina fiber is less than 15-19 microns in thickness (a human hair is 75 microns thick), which makes it very soft. Each goat produces 3 to 8 ounces of Pashmina per year. The origin of Pashmina dates back to ancient times and was sought after by royalty. This royal luxury is being offered in a wide variety of shawls, stoles, scarves, and sweaters. Traditional weavers hand-weave these pure pashmina shawls, passing down their craft from one generation to the next.
The making of a single Pashmina shawl entails many different steps, each worked by a skilled craftsperson.
Capra Hircus Goat
Capra Hircus goat which is the source of Pashmina lives at elevations of 14,500 feet (4,500 meters) and above, where temperatures rarely rise above minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 30 degrees centigrade) in winter. Studies have shown that goats living at lower elevations are not able to produce the extremely fine fibers that make Pashmina the unique product it is. Under the coarse exterior hair, a goat’s soft underbelly down is pashmina. The diameter of a Pashmina fiber is about five times smaller than a human hair. Only 90 grams or around 3 ounces of Pashmina wool are produced annually per goat. The wool from at least three goats is needed to weave one Pashmina shawl.
Every spring, pashmina wool is gathered, and it is essentially spun by hand on a spinning wheel locally known as a “Charkha,” the yarn is spun. The raw material is processed before spinning by being stretched, cleaned to remove any impurities, and soaked for a few days in a solution of rice and water to make it softer. Hand-spinning is an extremely painstaking task. It is an incredible process to observe and calls for a tremendous amount of patience, skill, and attention.
Because pashmina yarn is too delicate to withstand the vibration created by power looms, hand looms are employed to weave the classic 100% pashmina shawls. To produce the finest fabric, the weaver must have a consistent hand. Weaving here is done with a shuttle carrying the soft Pashmina yarn through the fine yet strong silk warp. To create the beautiful shawls, the weaving technique itself is an art that has been passed down through the years. A single Pashmina shawl is woven over the course of 4 weeks or more.
One of the most fascinating processes in shawl production may be the creation of the characteristic Pashmina fringe. The characteristic fringes of the Pashmina shawl are made by the nimble fingers of women. Fringing each Pashmina shawl takes hours.
Each item is custom dyed by hand as well. The Pashmina shawls are dyed by artisans with a great deal of patience and years of knowledge because even the slightest mistake might affect the final product’s quality. The shawls are entirely eco-friendly due to the use of only metal- and azo-free colours. Deep below the surface, pure water is pumped up for use in the dying process. For about an hour, dyeing is carried out at a temperature just below boiling. Pashmina wool is very absorbent and takes colours quite well.
The elegance of pashmina shawls has long been appreciated by fashionable ladies and men of all ages; a well-selected pashmina may elevate even the most casual look. Angela Jey shawls, stoles, scarves, throws, and wraps in pure pashmina wool are a must-have for anyone who wants to make a fashion statement. Angela Jey’s pure pashmina shawl for mens and women is hand woven by traditional weavers in Kashmir. These stylish and elegant pieces come in all colors and can be plain or feature unique embroidery work or beadwork. The intricate craftsmanship and quality of these pieces are unparalleled and will add a timeless touch to any wardrobe.