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Is Pashmina illegal?

August 5th, 2022 | 93 views
Is Pashmina illegal?

When it comes to lifestyle, who doesn't love a little luxury? And when it comes to luxury, who can forget the classic Kashmiri Pashmina? The art of Pashmina sent a wave of excitement all over the world in the 18th century. It was the Pashmina shawl of Kashmir which was discovered in a quaint region of Ladakh. Yet it captivated the attention of the royals as it did of the commoners. What is Pashmina and what are Pashmina shawls, let us know more.

A large number of individuals have asked this question a hundred times before. They own a Pashmina scarf and suddenly come to know that it is banned! And they keep wondering, "why is Pashmina banned"? Is it cruel? Or Is it unhealthy? In fact, Is it even legal? And then suddenly they are informed that Pashmina is not banned at all (which is the reality), and are more confused. Should they wear it, should they buy it for that matter? We, being specialists in the art of Pashmina, debunk all myths regarding this fine wool today. 

What is Pashmina?

To understand the basis for its informally claimed ‘ban’, we need to know what Pashmina is and what is the basis for its ban (if at all). Pashmina is the classic art of converting Cashmere wool into luxury apparel and accessories. Cashmere wool is acquired from a large number of regions in Asia specifically, and processed for years together to bring into existence luxury sweaters, dresses, shawls, scarves and even furnishing items. 

spinning cashmere
Artisan spinning the cashmere

The art of Pashmina has been excelled by artisans of Kashmir, North India. Pashmina Shawls from Kashmir have been world-famous since the 18th century, and so because of their unmatched quality. Cashmere is acquired from Ladakh and is processed by Kashmiri artisans for months or years together. This includes spinning the raw wool lumps, hand weaving fine fibre into the fabric, and finally embroidering and dyeing the fabric to bring into the fashion world luxury apparel or accessories. 

Is Pashmina Illegal?

For a long time now, discussion and arguments about the ban of Pashmina have disturbed its reputation in the international market, especially since concepts of veganism gained popularity. Animal cruelty is rising, and no individual in the world like to wear something that comes after killing an animal. Is Pashmina banned? Is it Illegal? Let us know

Pashmina is not illegal. It is Shahtoosh that is illegal. But there indeed are rumours that Pashmina is banned. This rumour is false and is spread usually by those individuals who have certain vested interests in creating this confusion among the masses. The reason for them doing this is that since Pashmina scarves are the best quality scarves available, their low-quality scarf gets adversely affected due to more demand for the former.

Difference between Pashmina and Shahtoosh

shahtoosh
Shahtoosh

Both are obtained from the hair of goats which live at high altitudes. But there are several commonalities between the two. Shahtoosh is obtained from an endangered species of goats called Chiru, or the Tibetan Antelope. The animal has been listed on the endangered animal list under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Their fleece growing on the Tibetan Antelope is obtained by trapping it forcefully, killing it, and skinning the hair from its underbelly. Animal cruelty is the basic reason besides the decreasing number of Chiru goats, why Shahtoosh was banned.

But unfortunately, Shahtoosh is still being marketed due to high demand from the west. The reason for this high demand is the finesse, lightweight, extreme warmth and graceful look that Shahtoosh shawls lend to their wearer. A Shahtoosh shawl weighs less than half of Pashmina, and for this reason, it is too expensive. 

Shahtoosh is considered to be one of the world's finest wools and is considered the choice of the elite.

Also read: DO VEGANS WEAR CASHMERE SCARF?

Why Choose Pashmina?

patterned pashmina shawl
The shawl has been handcrafted using age-old techniques of handloom weaving that are done manually by meticulous artisans from Kashmir

Pashmina too is one of the best quality scarves, just not as fine as Shahtoosh. It is produced from the fine raw Cashmere wool which grows on the underbelly of the Ladakhi Changthangi goat. The main reason why it is not banned is that the Changthangi goat is domesticated. Hence, herders do not need to kill it for wool. The goats are professionally dealt with in hot summer, and the wool of their body is gently combed off. 

Pashmina scarves are soft, light and beautiful when embellished with embroidery. For this reason, these are more expensive than ordinary sheep wool scarves. 

The prices of Shahtoosh and Pashmina too differ. While a Shahtoosh shawl may even cost some 15-20 thousand dollars, the highest range of Pashmina will be around 10 thousand dollars (US).

As responsible citizens, we should consider the ban on shahtoosh a serious one. We should never try to buy or trade in shahtoosh, even if it is too alluring. On the other hand, there is no ban on Pashmina, and we can have as many pieces of the same as we want.

Also read: IS CASHMERE HIGH QUALITY?

We, Pashmina.com, are the largest curators of pure and handcrafted Pashmina products in the online space. We are on a mission to revive this dying art by spreading our wings throughout the world by way of our online platform. Our website serves as a window to our range of products that are luxurious and have the highest quality. We offer the widest range, certified quality, luxurious packaging and free shipping to over 150 countries.

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