Nothing spells elegant and comfortable at the same time as a beautiful pashmina shawl draped over ourselves, reveling in its embroidered beauty and rich texture. The silky fabric of Pashmina shawls, which were worn by Mughal empresses and even Queen Victoria, makes them exceptionally warm in cold weather. Pashmina shawls are beloved for their luxurious elegance, artistic beauty, and incredible warmth, making them the pride of Indians, including Indian weavers.
What Is Pashmina Made Of?
The cashmere that is derived from the Changthangi mountain goat is actually called pashmina. This special wool is collected from these goats during the molting season when they shed their coats. The weavers, however, ensure that they obtain the wool by not shearing it but only combing it.
A traditional spinning wheel is used to weave the wool after it has been hand spun. In addition to being a time-consuming process, the low supply of raw materials makes it even more difficult to fulfill the huge demand. There is also a big market for Pashmina's fake counterparts as a result of this complicated process. The fakes are cheap and low quality, however they look like the real ones.
How To Identify An Original Pashmina Shawl?
They are handcrafted with rich embroidery and are an integral part of Indian traditional wear, and during the winter season, many of us might think of giving one as a gift to a loved one, or even to ourselves. Because Pashmina shawls are so expensive, there are many fakes and imitations on the market. It would be easy to become swindled and disappointed if you didn't know how to identify the genuine ones.
Before spending your hard-earned money on purchasing a fake pashmina, it is better that you understand how to identify a real one. So, to help you out, here are the top 7 essential tips to consider while buying Pashmina shawls:
- Go For The Burn Test
You don't need to worry about spoiling your beautiful shawl. Picking up a couple of fringe threads won't damage the fabric or ruin its design.
Take a thread of the shawl and burn it on a plate to determine its purity. When the fabric is burning, smell the burnt thread carefully. Since you now know that Pashmina wool is made from mountain goat hair, it would smell the same when burned, wouldn't it?
However, if it smells like burned leaves or white vinegar and you see big flames, and leave a small bump behind, you can be sure that it is either viscose or polyester.
Furthermore, you can check the remaining ashes with your fingertips carefully in addition to smelling the burnt fabric. The fabric is likely to be authentic if the ash turns out to be powdery in texture. If not, then you should already know that you are not going to buy that shawl!
2. Check with Glue
An authentic cashmere pashmina cannot hold a glued label or tag for long. You can tell from this that the product you are about to purchase is probably a fake one in this way. Because of this, labels and tags are often stitched in the fabric itself. Quality products show this characteristic.
3. 100% Cashmere
In general, Pashmina shawls are made of cashmere, the wool of Himalayan goats, and so you should always check or inquire about what the shawl is made of. It is important to note that all authentic Pashmina shawls are made of 100 percent cashmere, and that authentic sellers also adhere to this rule.
4. Fiber Diameter
The fibers of authentic pashmina fabric are approximately 15 -19 microns in diameter, making them thinner than human hair. Pashmina shawls have a low micron count, which is what makes them feel light and luxurious. So, checking the fibers before buying one is a must.
5. Uneven Weave
Due to its delicate nature, cashmere wool can only be spun by hand. Therefore, authentic Pashmina shawls will always have irregularities in the weave, making them uneven in places, which won't be present with machine-woven fakes. Their exquisite handwork also accounts for their high price.
6. Check For Static Electricity
By rubbing the fabric with your hands, you'll be able to check if it is made from authentic animal wool fibers or not. Static electricity is created when synthetic fabrics are rubbed together, causing your hair to stand on end.
7. Check The Label
Authentic Pashmina shawls will be accompanied by a label stating their make and composition. However, real Pashminas will always have the tag stitched onto the hem because it cannot be glued or attached to the fabric. Cashmere wool won't hold onto glue for long, so don't spoil its luxuriousness. There's a fake on a shawl if it has one stuck on it.
A single-thread burn test or pilling inspection can also be used to determine the authenticity of a pashmina shawl. But these are the seven essential things to look for when purchasing a Pashmina shawl, so you may be the proud owner of an authentic and elegant Pashmina shawl!
From the Royal Courts of England and France to Hollywood celebrities, everyone aspires to own a Pure Pashmina shawl. Our handcrafted Pashmina shawls & wraps, handwoven on the traditional wooden looms are cruelty free, ethically traded and sustainably produced. Genuine Kashmiri Pashmina shawls are available in vibrant colors and hand-embroidered designs. Visit hanggul.com to explore our wide range of Kashmiri women shawls collection.