No wonder people have become more conscious and thus environment-friendly. It’s a good sign that the world is becoming so kind to nature and her beings. Considering this issue of preserving well-being of animals, manufacturers are opting for practices that do not harm these creatures.
Drawing this context, two natural fabrics – silk and wool cause less harm to environment. This natural resource is not limited and can be replenished.
The product that is hence made is our adorable pashmina.
The manufacturing process of a pashmina
You know the material used in a cashmere pashmina come from the goats of Kashmir (Lena Rama). In the process, the fine hairs of these goats are first removed through a painless method. It decreases the animal’s soft underbelly down that lies beneath the outer layer of thick and coarse hair.
In the high Himalayan ranges during winter months, this layer gives ultimate warmth; while in summer months, they shed off following the natural cycle.
Let’s move on step-wise now –
Collection of wool
During this summer time, farmers comb the underbellies of these goats for collecting that fine quality pashmina scarf wool. These animals are mostly found in Ladakh’s Chang Thang area and are what produce the finest quality cashmere scarves.
Going by the traditional method, a coarse comb is used instead of electric or mechanical shearers. It gives a large amount of pure and fine quality cashmere.
This process of wool extraction has to follow the route of seasonal shedding. So, it takes a long time as owners do not hurry. Their foremost priority is the well-being of these animals and if they speed up the process that would be a threatening to their livelihood.
Farmers of Tibet and China till today stick to this traditional method.
Spinning, weaving and printing
The wool is then hand spun by thousands of Kashmiri women who are highly skilled. Next, hand weaving is done by skilled men who then move to the following stage of hand block printing. Once all done, these products get final finish at embroiders’ hands before reaching the market as a pashmina shawl or pashmina scarf.
However, these goats live naturally amidst natural conditions of cold temperature and open grassy areas. Or else they won’t be able to produce fine quality cashmere.
Coming to present day, the term pashmina is not only used for goat hair but also for basic cotton, plain wool and acrylic. These imitations do not give the same warmth, comfort and softness as the originals. In fact, they even differ in their shapes and forms. A true Chyangra pashmina will produce cashmere shawls and cashmere wraps you find the on the high street today.
Celebrate tradition; Celebrate fashion!