What is the difference between Cashmere & Pashmina ?

Cashmere Pashmina (from here on mentioned as “Pashmina”) has enticed the entire world with its fine quality and warmth. Often referred to as ‘Soft Gold’, Pashmina wool comes from the cashmere (or pashmina) goats.

The traditional home of the pashmina goats is in Changthangi plateau in Ladakh, India. The grazing pastures in Changthangi surround rugged mountains, large lake basins with little to no vegetation. The harsh climatic conditions are what make the softest wool in the undercoat of the goats. Pastoralism is the only way to survive in this rugged landscape. Pashmina (Persian) is known as Cashmere (English) in most parts of the world.

Cashmere and pashmina are often used interchangeably, but there are some differences between the two related to their origins and the quality of the fibers used in their production:

Fiber Source:

Cashmere: Cashmere wool comes from the soft undercoat of cashmere goats, which are primarily found in regions such as Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, and parts of India. The cashmere fiber is known for its exceptional softness and warmth.

Pashmina: Pashmina, on the other hand, is a type of cashmere wool. The term “pashmina” specifically refers to the highest quality cashmere, which is obtained from the underbelly of Himalayan mountain goats, particularly the Changthangi or Pashmina goat found in the Himalayan region, including Ladakh and the Kashmir Valley in India. Pashmina is considered the finest and most luxurious type of cashmere.

Fineness of Fiber:

Cashmere: Cashmere wool is classified by its fiber diameter, typically measured in microns. Good quality cashmere typically has a fiber diameter of 14 to 19 microns, but it can vary. The finer the fiber, the softer and more luxurious the fabric is.

Pashmina: Pashmina is characterized by its extremely fine and delicate fibers, with a diameter of around 12 microns or even finer. This makes pashmina even softer and more luxurious than standard cashmere.

Geographic Origin:

Cashmere: Cashmere goats are found in various regions, and the quality of cashmere can vary depending on the location and breed of the goat.

Pashmina: Pashmina specifically refers to cashmere from the Himalayan region, which is renowned for producing the finest and most sought-after cashmere wool.

Production and Craftsmanship:

Cashmere: Cashmere can be used to make a wide range of products, including sweaters, scarves, and blankets. It is known for its softness and warmth but can vary in quality.

Pashmina: Pashmina is often associated with high-quality shawls and wraps. The production of pashmina products involves meticulous craftsmanship, with skilled artisans in the Himalayan region hand-weaving and hand-embroidering these luxurious items.