Pashmina vs cashmere - what really is the difference?
Pashmina is actually a type of cashmere wool but is finer and softer. The wool is called pashm; and the word pashmina refers to the spun and woven finished product. All cashmere, including pashm, comes from the soft hair of the Capra Hircus goats which live in the mountainous regions of Kashmir, Ladakh, Tibet and Nepal. Pashm wool specifically comes from goats living at a high altitude of around 17,000 feet. Here, the goats produce ultra fine, soft hair to insulate and protect them during the long harsh winters.
One pashmina scarf requires on average the annual growth of two Capra Hircus goats. The wool is gathered when it is naturally shed in spring - no harm or stress comes to the goats during this process.
Today the word pashmina is used very loosely, and refers to any shawl or scarf made of silk, merino, or synthetic materials. When buying a so-called pashmina, check that it is genuine cashmere.
At Birch & Loom, our pashminas are handwoven in Kashmir. They are 100% pashmina wool.