Yes and No. Cashmere is a westernized name for Pashmina. In the Mid-1990s, cashmere became a different way of describing Pashmina when it was blended with silk and was marketed as 100% cashmere.
The high demand for pashmina shawls in the mid-1990’s decreased supplies and the hype resulted in marketing pashmina dishonestly. Cashmere was claimed to be of a superior quality than pashmina by adding silk, which created the sheen and softness to the shawl. Others added other types of wool or man-made fabric, viscose and sold it as “pashmina” with clever marketing tactics such as “authentic viscose pashmina”.
The true meaning of pashmina has been redefined in the market place for many years until now. In today’s market the consumer is well informed and demands products that have integrity. Most cashmere products available in the market today have a blend of silk; therefore you as a consumer must be well informed before buying any Pashmina or Cashmere.
Pashmina derived from “Pashmineh”, also called “Pashm” Persian for “made from wool, is the fine hair from the undercoat of mountain goat found in the very high altitude regions of the Himalayas in Kashmir.
Authentic pashmina is extremely soft, warm, lightweight and thin. This natural fiber will show hairs popping up in random places of the scarf or shawl, you will also see some separation between the weave especially in the areas of the embroidery; this is part of the natural beauty of pashmina.
Pashmina actually becomes softer with every use, so take your pashmina out and start wearing it. We at JAKI Designs can help you find a perfect one! With proper care the pashminas will last a lifetime and is evident since traditionally pashminas have been handed down from generation to generation within royal and wealthy families for thousands of years. Start your tradition at JAKI Designs. Peruse our collections; if you have any questions feel welcome to contact us.