When it comes to entering the world of exquisite, luxurious fabrics that are impressively soft and warm, one often turns to the finest pashmina and cashmere materials. Pashmina and cashmere both possess such high fineness and authenticity that it is difficult to distinguish between the two. Pashmina and cashmere have been mentioned subtly throughout literary works for years now, and thanks to their fineness and exorbitant prices, they have been effectively correlative.
In other words, both Cashmere and Pashmina are words that have been used synonymously to describe one another; however, the difference between the two remains unknown to many. You may come across various ideologies while searching online for the difference between the two and still fall deeper into confusion. WeaverStory is here to clear up your long-standing confusion by compiling an article that covers everything you need to know about the two. Consider this article to be the answer to your million-dollar question: "What is the difference between the finest Pashmina and the finest Cashmere?"
The Tale of the Pashmina
Pashmina is a natural fabric derived primarily from the exotic Changthangi breed of goats, which can only be found in the Ladakh regions at 15000 feet above sea level.For centuries, these exotic goats have been herded by the members of the Changpa tribe in harsh climatic conditions with -40°C temperatures to obtain their fur for making clothes and other garments. An impressively handcrafted Pashmina Shawls for men and women is considered one of the most expensive, heirloom-worthy fabrics and is often treasured for its impeccable touch, feel, and design.
Today, you can find several fake versions of the pashmina easily available in the market, which are not made out of pure pashmina fabric and are instead created by mixing silk or nylon. You can, however, explore the finest selections of WeaverStory's Pure Pashmina Shawls, such as the Offwhite Handwoven Jamawar Pure Pashmina Shawl With Paper Mache and more.
The Chronicles of the Cashmere
Unlike pashmina, cashmere fabric is not restricted to a single breed of goat. Instead, the finest cashmere fabrics are obtained from several Himalayan goat breeds, which include the Malra of Kargil (India), the Chegu of Himachal Pradesh (India), the Changthangi of the Changthang plateau of Ladakh (India), and the Chyangara of Nepal. There are also goat subspecies in Tibet and China, as well as in Magnolia, which is used for obtaining cashmere. All of the goats from which cashmere has been collected for centuries can be found at elevations greater than 4000 metres above sea level. The Europeans coined the term "cashmere" in recognition of the abundance of the best-quality Cashmere wool in Kashmir's valley, where Pashmina craftsmanship came into existence.
Cashmere is quite famously used in the making of sweaters and scarves for women and as an inevitable element of design in the creation of winter and fall clothing lines. This does not change the fact that cashmere is still sold at a whopping price. However, one can opt for synthetic versions of cashmere, as these fabrics are usually less expensive in comparison to their pure counterparts.
The Difference Between Cashmere and Pashmina
The quality, softness, and aesthetic appeal of these exquisite fabrics can often leave you confused about which one to pick to add value to your closet. While both of these impressively crafted materials can amp up the aesthetic value of your attire and effortlessly elevate the elegance of your OOTDs, you must understand the difference between the two before making an expensive investment. Let’s get straight to it.
As said before, the key difference between the two lies in their source. While the finest pashmina is collected particularly from the Changthangi goats of Ladakh, cashmere is frequently obtained from various goat breeds from several different regions such as Kargil, Ladakh, Nepal, Tibet, China, Magnolia, and various other foreign countries such as Turkey, Afghanistan, and New Zealand.
The Process of the Making of These Fine Fabrics :-
Both Cashmere and Pashmina are made in almost the same way. During the winters, the temperature in the mountainous regions drops to minus 40; this is when the exotic goats grow thick fur to keep themselves warm. This makes herding the goats' hair during the spring season an ideal option, as they no longer need coats to keep them warm. After collecting the fur, it is then segregated and cleaned to continue with the further process. The individual fibers are then spun to produce yarn, which is then woven together to make fabric.
However, this is where the distinction becomes clear. Pashmina fibers are finer and thinner in comparison to cashmere fibers. This implies that, unlike cashmere, pashmina cannot be spun or perhaps even woven by machine, as this could break the fibers. This makes it important for the pashmina to be spun by hand.
Fibre size :-
In aspects of fabric properties, the size of the fibers has a significant impact on the strength, softness, and warmth of the two fabrics. Individual fibers are measured in microns simply because they are quite tiny. Pashmina fibers are very fine, measuring between 10 and 16 microns. Cashmere fibers are slightly larger and typically vary in size from 16 to 19 microns.
Softness and warmth :-
In terms of softness, the pashmina comes with finer fibres and tends to be slightly softer than cashmere. When it comes to the warmth of the fabrics, the thickness of the cashmere makes it a better option for providing warmth.
Products and Cost :-
Pashmina scarves, shawls, and blankets are most widely sold across the world. Treasured as one of the most exquisite, heirloom-worthy products, the Pashmina Shawls often steal the show through their artistic appeal. You can always lean on WeaverStory to find some of the best, handcrafted Pashmina Shawls. Cashmere, on the other hand, is often used to make socks, sweaters, blankets, hats, and scarves. The cost of both pashmina and cashmere is on the expensive side, as these are only harvested once per year from goats found in certain regions across the world. Having said that, the pashmina turns out to be more expensive than cashmere as it is only obtained from one breed of goat that lives in one specific region of Ladakh, making it a rarely available fabric.
Which one is better: cashmere or pashmina?
The mesmerizing aesthetic appeal, exemplary warmth and softness, and authenticity of the fabrics make them both quite arresting materials to invest in. It is often difficult to choose between cashmere and pashmina. However, if you are looking to purchase a warm, cozy sweater, cashmere would be a perfect option for you. Whereas, if you are looking for extraordinarily beautiful Kashmiri shawls, a pashmina would be an ideal pick for you.
At WeaverStory, we strive to help our customers find the best handcrafted fabrics and to educate them on what goes into creating an exceptional product. We hope this article helped you understand the key differences between pashmina and cashmere. Stay tuned to WeaverStory for more such content.
Author: Simran Shaikh