what is pashmina ?

cashmere is the most luxurious, softest, warmest and lightest natural fibre in the world, and comes from the capra-hircus goat. the name derives from an ancient spelling of kashmir. the goat (capra hirus laniger) belongs to the subfamily caprinae of the family boivdae. the goats have a double fleece consisting of the much finer, soft under coat of hair, which is the source of cashmere fibre for clothing with a much coarser outer coat of hair called guard hair. genuine pashmina fibres are always less than 14.5 microns in diameter, or about 1/6th the size of human hair. the guard hair keeps the heat in and the under coat insulates the goats from the cold mountain temperatures. cashmere wool is obtained from the cashmere goat and is also known as pashmina.

cashmere comes from the goats living in the high dry plateaus of asia, stretching from northern china into mongolia. little is supplied by kashmir state of india. although they have been popular with aristocracy in southern asia since the 15th century, pashmina sales in the west suddenly took off in 1998 when designers in london, paris and new york started to include them in their fashion collections. since then the growing demand has helped push the price down to an affordable level.