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Pashmina or Cashmere?

The terms “pashmina” and “cashmere” are in common use today, and are applied to a wide variety of textiles. Of particular concern is the fact that “pashmina” has become a generic term for any scarf or shawl, ranging from cheap viscose scarves available in tourist shops to some of the most prized and sought after textiles in the world. Pashmina first got its name from Persian travellers and traders passing through the Kashmir region. The Persian word “pashm” means wool. The anglicised term ‘cashmere’ derives from the name Kashmir.  Genuine pashmina originally came from the high altitudes - up to 15000 metres - of Laddakh (Leh in India and Tibet). The fibre was hand sheared from the underbelly of the...

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