Pashmina is a very old legacy of India. And as fine as it is, the most common question of its admirers remains– is my Pashmina genuine? A complete guide on the Pashmina shawl ring test.
The Ring Test
Being one of the richest fabrics in the world, Pashmina work started to be replicated into a cheaper version and was sold. Escaping all the traditional work and the complete pure wool that goes into it, Pashmina was mixed with other materials and was sold falsely. In order to make sure that it was genuine and original Pashmina, there was a litmus test sold by shopkeepers and tested by customers before buying the shawl. The test was– Pashmina shawl must pass through a ring to be a pure pashmina shawl.
Pashmina wool is very fine wool. So fine that it is almost 100 times thinner than a strand of human hair. And this purity is reflected very well in its products that are made according to its ancient process. The ring test claimed that the Pashmina is one of the softest and finest fabrics in the world, and so it must pass through a ring easily, indicating its genuineness.
Is It Real?
The ring test was being considered as the genuine test to check for a real Pashmina. The shawls that passed through the ring were accepted and the ones that failed to were discarded as fake. To some level it was and is true, but it has many shortcomings. Thus, it’s not foolproof litmus test.
The size or the radius of the circle or ring to test the piece on is vague and never defined. It was easy to pass a simple shawl through a ring, but no one ever mentioned the embroidered pieces. The shawls with heavy and beautiful embroidery cannot be passed through a ring. And if attempted to do so, one would only damage the piece. Then discarding it thinking it to be a fake would be a big shame and a loss! For instance, shawls whose base are made of pure Pashmina and have double side aksi embroidery which adds volume to the piece, will never pass through a ring.
Now, on the other hand, there are gent shawls. They are so large in size (1.4m x 2.6m) that they too will not pass through a small ring because it is so large and voluminous in nature.
In this new era of fabric softeners, even materials like viscose can be passed through a ring effortlessly. With advancements in fabrics, technologies, and weaving techniques, fabrics like wool, silk, cotton, and modal too can easily pass through a ring. If you believe in this litmus test of passing the shawl through the ring, you might really miss out on some real and genuine Pashmina!
The Real Test
A pashmina shawl passing through a ring is no concrete way to verify its authenticity of purity today. The only real way to verify the authenticity is to submit the piece for testing to accredited labs. For example– Intertek, SGS, TUV Rheinland, charge a substantial fee. More importantly it destroys your piece in testing as the process includes unraveling of threads and swatches.
Hence here at KCS, you don’t have to go through losing your piece by this lab testing. We provide the authenticity label and certificate for every product of ours. As this too can be counterfeited by some sellers, we make sure to provide information about the origin and heritage of our store. Being in this business since 1950, we provide only the genuine Pashmina that you can take pride in.