Since time immemorial, every genuine work has been tried to be replicated into a cheaper version. However, the originality can never be copied. So how can this product of ancient legacy be not dragged into this scandal?! Pashmina is a really age-old art with the same techniques being used generations after generation.
The Real Pashmina Shawl
The Pashmina wool is only found in one place on the entire planet- from the Changthangi goats of Ladakh, India, which only happens once a year.
Now the making of a true Pashmina Shawl uses the traditional methods that are being carried out since its origin. Pashmina wool is so fine that it cannot be spun using machinery. The process is manual to this day- weaving, dyeing, washing, sorting, embroidering, and many others, where every step requires its experts. No new instruments can match the production of the old techniques.
Master artists make these masterpieces and there are only a few left who still have expertise in the art of making Pashmina shawls. Hands, intense time, and hard work contribute to the traditional process of crafting a single shawl. Going through almost 30 stages, a single Pashmina shawl takes up to 3 weeks to be made. So the ones that are embroidered intricately can take up to months or even years! This is how long it takes to make a real Pashmina shawl. A human hair strand is about 100 microns thick while Pashmina is 12 to 16 microns. The wool even requires special dyes because of its delicacy. This is what makes this wool so luxurious and rare.
Cost of a Real Pashmina Shawl
The demand for a Pashmina shawl is high whereas the supply is limited. The price of the rare Pashmina yarn starts from ₹16,000/kg and an average shawl weighs around 300 gms. And that’s why the basic cost of a Pashmina shawl, starts from ₹10,000-₹12,000. If you ever find one below ₹5,000, just know that it is a scam. A real Pashmina shawl is hence expensive.
Real vs Fake Pashmina
Pashmina shawls have been an elite choice for hundreds of years. But for a few decades, the purity and the process were tampered with, to produce fake Pashminas. When common people could not afford the real Pashmina shawls, traders started to manufacture fake ones. These are cheap shawls, which are made of synthetic fiber like viscose. The fake Pashmina shawls came to be spotted as there were many similar pieces of them in the market, which is not possible because each Pashmina shawl is handmade and unique.
Real and genuine Pashmina shawls are soft, not transparent, and will carry an original label of the company. A pure shawl is handcrafted by artisans with immense effort and unique artwork– so it will be slightly uneven, unlike the faux machine-produced work. As a Pashmina Shawl is made out of animal fiber, there will be no static electricity produced when rubbed! The compromised quality and lower prices are other factors that indicate a false Pashmina as a pure Pashmina would never cost less as a result of the intense work and highest quality of craftsmanship that goes into making it.
So a real Pashmina shawl for less than ₹1000 in the market? Impossible!