Pashmina Afghans or indeed any other product made from pashmina have become very popular items in recent years. They first came into vogue in the U.S. in the 1990’s. Read our guide for more facts and information…
Pashmina is the wool from the Pashmina goat, an animal that is native to the mountains of Nepal and other mountainous areas in countries around Nepal. It is often called pashmina cashmere, but can be distinguished from cashmere as the fibers of pashmina are much thinner. The finest pashmina comes from the goats that roam the mountains of Nepal, as the weather there is so cold, the goats have adapted by growing an inner fur coat that is used as pashmina wool. This is covered by a thicker outside coat of courser wool.
The goats shed this inner covering of wool once a year. Only three to six ounces of wool is recovered from a single animal. The wool is brought into Afghanistan and there woven into pashmina scarves, shawls, wraps and other products.
Pashmina goats are now being raised commercially in Mongolia in the Gobi Desert where the climate is almost exactly like Nepal. The pashmina from these goats is said to be equal or even better than that taken from the Nepalese goats. This is due to the high technology the Chinese use in the raising of the goats. There is one problem with the goat raising. Unlike sheep, they not only eat grass, but the grass roots as well. This creates even more desert and is to blame for the yearly sand storm in the Chinese capital of Beijing.
Buying a Pahmina Afghan
Pashmina wool when woven cannot be woven tightly due to the lightness of its fiber. Therefore, you usually find a blend of pashmina with silk, either 70% pashmina or 30% silk and sometimes 50/50. This blend can be woven tightly and makes a product that is very light and smooth.
The resulting material is used to make Afghan scarves, Afghan shawls, Afghan wraps and stoles. They are very warm and durable items. With the popularity of pashmina, it has been hard to keep the supply up to the demand. This has led some unscrupulous people to blend regular wool with silk and to pass it off as pashmina. Nepalese pashmina has a trademark on it to prevent this unscrupulous practice.
You can buy pashmina Afghans at numerous retail outlets. They are also readily found at numerous sites across the internet. To be sure you are getting a genuine pashmina article, be sure to look for the Nepalese trademark or deal only with reputable companies that would not sell imitations. After all, not only do you want to stay warm but genuine pashmina is a fashion statement.