How to Buy the Best Pashminas
Pashminas became very popular in the 1990s when Persian fashion designers included the accessory pieces in their fashion shows. However, what some people don’t know is that this fashion piece has been around for centuries and is actually considered as traditional.
When one is buying or trying to buy a pashmina, they should make sure they know what the differences are in other scarves and shawls. One of the most common mistakes people make when buying a scarf or shawl is that when they pay for a more expensive one, it generally isn’t even a pashmina and it could also be illegal. This type of scarf would be considered a Shahtoosh because it’s actually thicker and looks more luxurious than the wool that is used in the actual pashminas. This particular material was actually banned in India in the 1970s and soon after, most countries banned the material as well. The reason this material is banned is because the wool is from antelopes that lived in the mountains. Because the animals were wild, that meant they were killed and skinned for the wool to be made into Shahtoosh.
In order to determine whether or not a pashmina is genuine is to make sure it is made in Kashmir, India. Another indication if it is genuine is that it is made out of 100% pashmina or even 80% pashmina and 20% silk. If it has different percentages of materials than that, its integrity may be compromised. Another indication if it is genuine or not is how sheer the scarf is. If it does have a sheer look to it, it means it has silk in it and it is not 100% pashmina. A scarf that is 100% pashmina may not look as shimmery as one with silk. However, the reason some are made with silk is because it is more durable, affordable, and cheaper. So if one is to buy a pashmina, remember the more it costs, it is more likely it is 100% genuine.
Another indication is the content of the scarf. Some of the scarves are made with a mix of pashmina and other wool. It is said that an age-old test is that one can run a genuine scarf through a wedding ring to determine whether it is 100% pashmina or not. However, with the different seasons, people are starting to make them thicker and with two-, three-, or four-ply thickness for these circumstances.
Over the years, it has been known that any type of scarf is called a pashmina which does not help buyers determine which ones are genuine and which ones are not. Some scarves are embroidered and the only way to determine if they have been hand stitched is to look close and recognize any small imperfections. Only scarves that have perfect embroidery are made with machines and that is a tell-all whether or not they are genuine. Each scarf that is genuine has its own imperfections and whoever buys one should know that all of the careful detail that went onto that scarf is not the same as any other.