Distinguishing Cashmere from Pashmina

Cashmere vs Pashmina

The difference between Cashmere and Pashmina is difficult to identify for first-time buyers and users, as both materials come from the same origin – the cashmere goat. Despite being luxurious materials, cashmere is a more commonly known term, while pashmina is less popular. However, in reality, cashmere and pashmina refer to the same kind of product with subtle yet unique characteristics that set them apart.

What is Cashmere?

Cashmere is a type of fiber obtained from the cashmere goat or the clothing made from it. The name originates from the region of Kashmir, where these goats primarily lived. The texture of cashmere is soft, strong, fine, and light, making it an ideal material for use in cold climates. The U.S. Wool Products Labelling Act of 1939, as amended, states that a product cannot be called cashmere unless it meets specific criteria regarding the diameter and variation of the fibers. The wool is typically obtained from the neck area of the cashmere goats during the spring moulting season, which falls between March and May. Currently, China is the largest producer of raw cashmere, with an estimated 10,000 metric tons per year.

What is Pashmina?

Pashmina refers to a type of cashmere textile first woven in India. The term is derived from the word Pashmineh, which means “made from Pashm” or wool. This wool is harvested from the Pashmina goat, also known as changthangi, a breed indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Pashmina textiles are usually hand-spun, embroidered, and woven in Nepal and Kashmir. Pashmina shawls have been made in these regions for thousands of years, with some believing that Nepali pashmina is the finest in existence. Pashmina products are known for their softness and warmth, with the most popular blend being 70% pashmina and 30% silk. However, the term pashmina is not a recognized labeling term in the US.

Key Takeaways

  • Cashmere and pashmina are both luxurious materials obtained from the cashmere goat, with cashmere being more commonly known.
  • Pashmina is a type of cashmere textile originally woven in India, with the fibers being finer and thinner than cashmere, making it ideal for lightweight apparel.
  • Pashmina products are typically hand-woven, while cashmere can be machine-spun and woven.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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