How expensive is pashmina? It is a question that arises in the mind of everyone while buying a Pashmina. Pashmina is the ethical crafting of the finest Cashmere procured from Ladakh. Pashmina is indeed expensive because of certain characteristics. Beyond the essence of luxury, Pashmina craft is part of the heritage of Kashmir Valley. The endless crafting includes several processes that make a Pashmina accessory an exquisite quality of being luxurious. Let's have a look at its ethical procurement and hand-crafting.
Procuring the finest Cashmere
The creation begins in the horizons of the Ladakh region. The Changhthanghi mountain of the Ladakh region has the coldest temperature in winter. A rare breed of Goats dwells on its feet. The goats are of the Changra breed. Also called the Kashmir Goats. These are medium-sized goats with two twisted horns. The Changra goats develop soft thick wool on their bodies to combat the low temperature. The wool is descriptively soft in appearance and thick in volume. Moreover, the wool is shed off during the summertime by the goats themselves against rocks and trees. Manually, the wool, also combed out by the herders of the Changpa tribe. The wool is called the finest Cashmere wool.
Crafting a Pashmina Shawl
After the Cashmere wool reaches the valley of Kashmir, it undergoes the process of cleaning. The Cashmere wool is thoroughly cleaned to get the dirt, dust, and grime out. After the meticulous cleaning, the Cashmere wool goes into the journey of Spinning. The process of transforming the Cashmere wool into fine Cashmere yarn is Spinning. The process is precisely done by the womenfolk of the valley on a wooden wheel called yinder. They move the wheel in a circular motion with one hand and with another hand they elongate the wool into yarn. Thus, creating fine Cashmere yarn from the Cashmere wool.
Afterward, the Cashmere yarn, transferred to the local workshops/karkhanas for the process of weaving is fine. Weaving is the process of precisely looming warps and wefts to create a thin and soft fabric of Cashmere. Done on the handloom made of forest wood. The handloom is worked upon by highly skilled artisans. The artisans work upon the handloom by simultaneously using their feet and hands to create the woven Cashmere fabric. Mainly, done by the menfolk of the valley. Thus, giving the required dimensions to craft it into a Pashmina Shawl.
How Pashmina Craft came into existence?
Mir Syed Ali Hamdani was a sage from the Middle East. The footprints of a saint Mir Syed Ali Hamdani from the middle east came to Kashmir with 700 craftsmen to adorn the beauty of the valley and to spread the holy message. He rested his feet in the region of Changhthanghi Ladakh. Thus, the saint landed its appearance in the Changhthangi Mountain in Ladakh.
While perceiving nature, he locked his eyes on the Goat of marvelous wool. Awestruck with the softness and fineness of the wool, he made socks out of it and gifted them to the Sultan Zain-ul-Abideen of Kashmir Valley. Perceiving the beauty of Cashmere wool, suggested making an industry that cultivates the Pashmina in desirable styles. Even the name Pashmina, derived from the Persian word, pashm, meaning "the soft gold" is exquisite in being.
Also read: 5 MUST-HAVE KASHMIRI SHAWLS FOR ALL TIMES!
Exquisite reasons why Pashmina is Expensive
Pashmina is the crafting of the finest Cashmere procured manually from Ladakh. Firstly, all the processes of procurement in Ladakh are done manually by herders of the Changpa tribe. Secondly, the Changra goats are the rarest species of goats only reared in Changhthanghi. Thirdly, the Goats produce the fine Cashmere wool once every year. Therefore, only around 80 to 170 gms of Ladakhi Cashmere are produced during a year. Therefore, considered the rarest. Also, other breeds of it produce several times more as there is almost 400 million Cashmere eliciting Goats all over the world. Consequently, the production caters to the manufacture of different styles like Pashmina Shawls, Cashmere Scarves, and Cashmere Wraps.
Lastly, the crafting in Kashmir Valley is the ultimate beauty of Pashmina. All the processes done in by hand in Kashmir from Cleaning to designing. The beautiful aspect of Pashmina is the various hand- designing including patterns, Weaves, Dyes, and Embroideries.
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