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Article: Know the difference between a Pashmina Shawl and a Simple Shawl

Know the difference between a Pashmina Shawl and a Simple Shawl

Know the difference between a Pashmina Shawl and a Simple Shawl

A Pashmina shawl is a symbol of class, taste, and comfort. These days, the number of Kashmiri shawl makers has dwindled so much that buyers are being encouraged to choose these products and keep the industry alive. Those who know their fabrics can tell the difference between a Pashmina shawl and a regular shawl at a glance.
Now, this does not mean that the Pashmina only has one kind of print or texture; these fabrics themselves have many variants and can come in solid prints incorporating more than 30 colours on a surface full of motifs. Similarly, many different weaves are employed to give this fabric its ultimate shape.
Let us take a look at the differences between Pashmina and any other shawl produced in India and why you made the right choice when picking this one for your next shopping spree!

How Do You Spot an Authentic Pashmina Shawl?

Because of its high demand and expensive pricing, many dealers have started sourcing faux Pashmina shawls and selling them as if they were the real deal. You can tell a real Pashmina by doing the following things:
Shine Test: the real Pashmina fabric does not shine at all. It has an overall heavy and matted look. The muted appearance of zari or embellishments will provide a sharp contrast to the traditional matte surface. At the same time, any lace work or embellishment will be highly detailed and visible, as it will have multiple layers of work done on it.

  • Weave Test: Hold your shawl against the clear sunlight and note whether the weave is even or uneven! Because the Pashmina shawl is handmade, the tiny weave textures are a bit uneven and ruffled. At the same time, there should be no gaps between the yarns on your pashmina. If the weave is not irregular, chances are your Pashmina was machine-made.
  • Rub Test: A real pashmina is so soft that it does not produce any static electricity. Rub the fabric with itself, and if you feel some resistance, the shawl might not be the real thing, and you need to move on to another dealer for better-quality items!

Types Of Pashmina Shawls

The Pashmina stole is known to be of many different types depending on the making process, geographical heritage, and design styles. Some of the highest-quality pashmina types include

  • Kani Shawls (special kinds of vibrant Pashmina Kashmiri shawls woven in the region of Kanihama)
  • Chyangra Pashmina (the most expensive Pashmina)
  • Changthangi Pashmina (rarest Pashmina made of the will Changthangi goats)
  • Embellished Pashmina (gold, bronze, and copper)
  • Lace Pashmina
  • Pashmina Silk Shawl
  • Kashmiri Kalamkari
  • Solid Pashmina
  • Twill Pashmina
  • Traditional Basket Weave Pashmina
  • Traditional Diamond Weave Pashmina (the most common traditional wave used by Pashmina artisans)

Few Differences Between Pashmina and Shawl

The Pashmina Shawl used to be commissioned by ancient rulers and queens, and hence, artisans had perfected their craft to an impossible level of fineness. Further, the Pashmina has been weaved in the same way for thousands of years now!
Naturally, a shawl is a much broader term, and Pashmina is just a kind of shawl. So several features set this type apart from any other in the country.

1. Quality

Pashmina shawls are made from the fine fur of Changthangi goats found in Tibet and Ladakh. This wool is super soft and is not found anywhere else in the world. The pashmina is a mixture of cashmere wool and silk at a ratio of 7:3.
Regular shows are made to be practical and affordable. They can be produced using regular wool from sheep and mountain goats. These days, arrangements of other materials, including polyester and acrylic wool, are also being used to produce a shawl.

2. Texture

Pashmina fabric is known for its extraordinary softness and smoothness of texture. So much so that the word ‘Pashmina’ has become synonymous with ‘smoothness’ and ‘luxury’ in the Hindi and Urdu languages. The reason for its fine texture is the wool yarns that are only about 12 to 15.5 microns in diameter.
Synthetic shawls are also soft but in a more flimsy kind of way. Because of their simple weaving process, these are more likely to receive damage in harsh external conditions - the fibers are also easily responsive to friction and static electricity! Hence even if a regular shawl looks smooth when known it will not last as long as a Pashmina.

3. Making Process

A true Kashmiri Pashmina shawl is 100% handwoven. After hand-picking the finest of hairs gathered from a particular mountain goat, raw Cashmere Wool is sorted according to many different grades. Of course, the most expensive and exquisite Pashmina shawl is made of the best-grade wool and silk. It is said that Pashmina silk is so smooth that the whole fabric can pass through a finger ring without stopping even once! Spinning and weaving processes also follow an unchangeable method that has been passed down to workers from their ancestors in over 10 generations. Regular shawls can be hand-weaved, loom-weaved, or machine-made. Pashminas, on the other hand, are a heritage of craftsmanship.

4. Size

A pure pashmina shawl is larger than a regular shawl. It can easily wrap around the human body multiple times, but at the same time, it is not heavy at all. The pashmina shawl is one of the most lightweight luxury shawls made in the world.
Machine-made shawls can be of many sizes, but there is no strict graphical layout on which they are built—something that is very common for Pashmina weavers to use. However, if you look for a specific diameter, you can find large shawls made from a variety of materials that are similar in size and shape to that of a Pashmina.

5. Cost

The Pashmina Shawl price for an authentic production can range from anywhere between 50000 INR and 10 lacs INR. On the other hand, you can buy a regular shawl from any standard shop for between 500 INR and 1000 INR.
Authentic Pashmina cannot be bought from anywhere because there is always a chance of the buyer being robbed. Indian luxury designers do sell unique versions of this Heritage production, and so do authentic dealers, who can be trusted because they have all the proper certificates and licenses to sell Pashmina in India and outside the country. The sale of these shawls is limited because the government has taken steps to protect the well-being of the Cashmere goat species.

6. Heating Quality

Originally, the pashmina was made and worn in one of the country's coldest parts, which was a pragmatic reason for its amazing heating quality. The wool fabric traps body heat with a high degree of insulation, and the weaves have no gaps to make sure no heat can pass out or cold enter the layers of clothing.
Regular shawls cannot heat the human body the way a Pashmina can. Usually, the fabric is thin,, and there are gaps in the weaving process. Some shorts can be taken in the others, but many are only processed to be worn in the fall or spring season!

Conclusion

What do you think of the wool Pashmina stole now that you have a clear idea of what sets it apart from other showers made in simplistic ways? Avoid copycat items made of simple cotton or viscose that are passed off as 100% Pashmina.

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