Long revered through the eras of history, pashmina wool is the softest and warmest wool found on earth. It comes only from the underbelly of the Capra Hircus goat, found in remote regions of the Himalaya mountains. These goats live at altitudes of 14,000 feet above sea level where winter temperatures can drop to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Their fine inner coat is designed to keep them warm. Pashmina wool is made from the natural fibers of this inner coat.
This fine wool is tediously hand-collected from twigs and bushes in the Himalayas where the goats have shed, so no distress or harm ever comes to the animal. It takes the wool from three goats to create a single scarf.
The harvesting and weaving of this rare material has been honed by master artisans over thousands of years --secrets passed down from father to son and mother to daughter. The livelihoods of families and even villages depend on gathering wool and weaving shawls. It can take months to hand-weave a single shawl with intricate patterns. One or two shawls of such detail may account for a household's entire income for a year.
The Capra Hircus' Underbelly Hair
Each fiber is one-fifth the diameter of a human hair, making it unsurpassed in softness and comfort.
The art of weaving pashmina wool into shawls and garments is believed to be as old as 3000 years BC. Throughout the ages, pashmina wool has been lauded as the diamond fabric, the soft gold of high Asia, and the fiber of kings. Legend tells that pashmina became the rage of French fashion when Napoleon gifted his beautiful Josephine with a much-envied scarf.
Pashmina wool is often blended with other fibers such as silk or the synthetic fiber viscose. Garments of 100% pure pashmina wool are rare. Because pashmina wool and pashmina blends arte often woven into shawls, the shawls themselves have come to be known as pashminas. This can be confusing since a "pashmina" may not necessarily be made with 100% pure pashmina wool. The best garments are made from at least 70% pashmina wool. One hundred percent pure pashmina garments are highly prized and, when well cared for, can be a treasured heirloom that can last for generations.
The scarves and shawls sold at The Elephant Place are made from 100% pure pashmina wool harvested and woven by artisans in Kashmir, India.
A Treasured Craft
Your purchase of these regal garments not only supports the artisans in India, but also supports an art form that has graced the ages.
Caring for Your Pashmina
With proper care, your pashmina can last more than a lifetime, getting softer and more luxurious over the years, and becoming a treasured family heirloom.
How do I wash my pashmina?
It is recommended you have your scarves/shawls dry cleaned. Please see the care instructions here for tips on hand washing garments.Washing Your Pashmina
Dry-cleaning is the recommended way to clean your pashmina, however, you can hand wash your piece by following the instructions below.
Fill a sink with cool water. Add a specific hand-washing detergent such as Woolite. Allow detergent to dissolve then gently immerse your shawl, pressing softly with hands, and turning the garment over carefully to wet all the fibers. Let the shawl soak for no more than two minute. Remove from soapy water and place on a towel. Drain sink and refill with cold, clean water. Place shawl into clean water, gently swishing it around to rinse out detergent. Blot garment carefully with a towel to remove excess water. Do not twist, pull, or wring out your pashmina garment. Spread damp pashmina on top of a towel, re-shaping and smoothing with hands. Let air dry. If necessary, you can iron your pashmina shawl.Ironing Your Pashmina
If necessary, you can iron your pashmina shawl. Use a low setting on your iron and place a thin piece of fabric between your iron and shawl.Storing Your Pashmina
Due to the woven nature of pashmina shawls, these garments should never be hung. Gently fold them on a flat surface, placing tissue papers in between the layers of fabric to prevent wrinkling. Store in a closet or drawer away from direct sunlight.
Yes. The fibers that make pashmina are gathered after the goats have shed their inner coat. No harm or distress ever comes to the animal.What is your return policy?
We want you to be absolutely thrilled with your purchase. If you have any concerns with your order, please contact us at email@example.com.What are the shipping rates?
We offer free shipping on all purchases. You will not have any additional shipping charges.Where does your inventory come from?
We find the most beautiful, authentic products from all over the world. Our scarves and shawls come from Kashmir, India, to bring you authentic garments from the original artisans.Why does your inventory change?
Our offerings are always changing because of the nature of unique, hand-crafted pieces from around the world. We are always finding beautiful new items to add to our selection.What does two-ply wool mean?
Pashmina wool is woven into a very fine layer of fabric.This fabric is often doubled (two-ply) or tripled (three-ply). Each additional ply adds weight and warmth to the garment.