Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Our Pashminas

Our product range began in 2003 with the classic 70/30 pashmina, which is made of 70% pashmina cashmere wool and 30% high grade silk. Our silk is sourced from China, and is graded 210, high quality. It is the silk which gives the pashminas a slight sheen, and this means that the pashmina will catch the light as well as being soft and warm. These pashminas are 2 ply, giving them a little extra weight, and this also helps them to hang beautifully.

Pashmina is the generic name for the fabric, and as such can be produced in varying sizes. Our 70/30 pashminas are available in four different sizes, the scarf, wrap, stole and shawl. The scarf, at 30cm x 150cm, is the right size to be worn lightly around the neck, and in a contrasting colour will elegantly set off a coat or jacket. The wrap is rather larger at 45cm x 165cm, and is the ideal size to be draped around the shoulders over a strappy dress. This pashmina is perfect for keeping out the chill of a summer evening, and is still light enough to be worn as a scarf too.

The stole and shawl are both 200cm in length, and it is this length that makes them so versatile. They can both be held elegantly over the arms, one end could be thrown casually over one shoulder, or they can even be doubled over and worn as a scarf in the winter. The shawl is 90cm wide, and would hang from the nape of your neck right down your back. You can really wrap up warm and cosy in one of our shawls! The stole is 70cm wide, and so can be worn in many different ways.

The 70/30 natural pashmina is our most popular range, and there are many colours to choose from within the four sizes.

Passionate About Pashmina

Monday, 3 June 2013

The History of Pahmina

For centuries pashmina has been valued throughout the Middle East and Asia, both for its warmth and its lightness. It is renowned for its exotic silky texture, and is so versatile it can be worn on any occasion.

Pashmina is the lightest, warmest and softest natural fabric, and it is made from the finest cashmere wool. This wool is from the underbelly of the Capra Hircus goat, the Himalayan mountain goat, which lives in the Himalayas in Nepal, around 14,000 feet above sea level. These goats are able to survive the sub-zero temperatures because of their extra layer of hair which insulates them from the extreme cold, and for many years the people of Nepal have depended for warmth on the fabrics they wove from this hair.

For centuries cashmere has been woven into shawls, and the soft fabric found favour with kings, emperors and the aristoctracy. Pashmina could be found in the palaces of Caesar and also Marie Antoinette, and it is believed that Napoleon was so impressed that he used pashmina to woo Josephine.

It is thought that the art of making pashmina dates from as early as 3,000 BC, and the skill has been passed down from generation to generation. The word ‘pashmina’ derives from the Persian word ‘pashm’, meaning the finest wool fibre. The Hircus Capra goat produces only between 3 to 8 ounces of pashmina wool in a year, and this wool is incredibly fine, being less than 15 to 19 microns in thickness, whereas human hair is around 75 microns thick.

The majority of the world’s pashminas are now hand woven in the Kathmandu valley in Nepal, and are sought after for their lightness and warmth. The aristocracy have been wearing pashmina since the 15th century, but in the late 1990’s designers from New York, Paris and London began to include them in their collections, and the rest of the world discovered what a luxurious fabric pashmina is. Once you have worn a genuine pashmina shawl and experienced the warmth and softness for yourself you will not be satisfied with any of the inferior products that are available.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Why Wear Pashmina?

Every now and then, with depressing regularity, the fashion police tell us that the pashmina has had its day, and is outdated and no longer trendy. But what other accessory is so versatile, modestly covering your shoulders during the church service and then keeping you cosy later in the evening after the reception? A pashmina shawl or wrap is light yet surprisingly warm, and is perfect for holidays as it takes up very little room in your case but can be essential on a long flight or when sitting by the sea after dinner. An air-conditioned restaurant can feel very chilly, and a beautiful pashmina stole can very quickly become indispensable.

There are occasions when a jacket is just too much, but a cardigan would not be dressy enough. A soft and warm pashmina can be draped elegantly around your shoulders and will add a fabulous dash of colour to complement a formal outfit.

Of course it is possible to become addicted! You find that one pashmina is simply not enough, and another colour catches your eye. Maybe a shawl that you can wrap around yourself in the winter, or use as a throw on the sofa, or perhaps a contrasting scarf to lift a dark coat, a wrap to wear with that summer dress.

At Passionate About Pashmina we are offering a free scarf to our customers when they buy any two pashminas, so you could indulge yourself and perhaps solve a present problem too!

Pashmina is the finest cashmere in the world, and our pashminas from Kathmandu are always of a very high quality. Our range has pashminas of 70% pashmina and 30% silk in four different sizes, and we also offer two sizes in the wonderful 100% ‘Ring’ pashminas, which is the lightest and most luxurious accessory.

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