My Pashmina travels with me everywhere. It is so versatile in its size and uses, and yet it packs so small. I can even fit it in my handbag, but most often you will find it around my shoulders.
I use my pashmina a lot to keep me warm when it is suddenly cool, like airplanes, or in an air conditioned car, or the freezer section of a supermarket. It has also acted as a picnic blanket, a beach towel, a sarong, as head covering and even impromptu nightgown.
But what is a Pashmina?
“Pashmina is a fine type of cashmere wool. The textiles made from it were first woven in Kashmir, India. The name comes from Persian pašmina, meaning “made from wool” and literally translates to “Soft Gold” in Kashmiri.” ~ Wikipedia
Soft gold is spot on in its description. A real pashmina is wonderfully fine, very thin, folds away tiny, and yet durable and keeps you warm (or cool) when needed.
Fakes and Faux pas
Pashmina these days has almost become synonymous with scarf (and I love scarves!) or a shawl, but there is a difference. For one, size. Pashminas are normally rather large, or larger than a classic scarf, hence why they make a good blanket or sarong. Shawls may be a similar size, but are generally cotton or nylon to a pashmina’s wool.
And let’s talk quality. There are a couple tests of quality. The classic is you should be able to pass it through a wedding ring. Truly. I have done the test myself. (A wedding ring is suggested as there is no fixture to snag on the pashmina.) Also, you should be able to bunch it up and it won’t wrinkle.
So how much should I pay?
Spend as much as you can afford. This is one of those things that you get what you pay for. The quality of a pashmina comes down to the fineness of the wool and the quality of the weaving.
Case in point. I bought what I thought were 2 pashminas. One from a boutique in Italy costing £45, the other from a big brand department store for £80. The one from Italy is still going, and going, and going. It is the real deal. The other one has changed all out of proportion, is more like felt (despite washing correctly), and is now used as a winter scarf by Pumpjack. Just goes to show, cost and brand are not always guiding points.
So now that you are armed with the info, happy shopping (or testing).