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, the secrets passed down from father to son and from mother to daughter.The livelihoods of families and even entire villages depend upon gathering wool and weaving shawls. It can take months to handweave a single shawl with a highly intricate pattern. One or two shawls of such detail may account for a household's entire income for a year.