Pashminas are textiles such as shawls, blankets and mufflers that are made from cashmere wool.
Cashmere is very fine, light and so and it is famous for its insulating properties. The wool comes from mountain sheep, known in Nepal as Changra, which are found in the high altitude areas of Nepal, India and Pakistan.
Cahmere’s price reflects its unique properties but not all cashmere is the same and its price can vary depending on its purity, fineness and whether it is machine made or handmade.
All of our pashminas are handmade on wooden pashmina looms and some are produced by a project aimed at helping deaf people, like twenty two year old Srijana in the picture. Cashmere has been used for hundreds of years by the people living in the regions where it is found and has only recently become the luxury product that it is thought of today.
The making of a pashmina, starts with the sheering of the wool from the Changra. The wool is then sent to be cleaned, processed and turned into yarn. The yarn can either be dyed at this stage or later, after it has been woven into a shawl. The yarn is then spun onto a long wood and/or metal pipe. This pipe is then joined onto a special wooden loom. The highly skilled weavers then get to work, using great coordination between their hands and their feet to weave the shawl on the flat loom. After enough yarn has been woven the shawls will be cut, cleaned, pressed and are then ready to be worn.
If you buy one of our pashminas you will own something very special: a wonderful piece that has been made in the himalayas by expert crafts people using traditional methods. If you buy one of our Helping Hands pashminas you will also know that you are helping young people who would otherwise struggle in Nepal.