The word Pashmina has been derived from the Persian/Farsi word PASHM . It is the fleece of Changthangi goat/ Capra Hircus found in the higher regions of Ladakh-Jammu and Kashmir, Nepal and some parts of the Tibetan plateau above 14000 ft from sea level where temperature goes -40 deg Celcius.

The cold temperatures in the region are the primary factor in the growth of the fine Pashmina grade of cashmere wool for which they are reared.

Pashmina is also referred to as ‘soft gold’ in Kashmiri. It is made with Cashmere wool of the highest grade and is usually hand-spun and hand-woven using the fleece of four distinct breeds of Cashmere goats from the different regions of Kashmir. It’s not just the coldness that matters in making of the best Pashmina wool from the goat but also the altitude which provides softness and delicacy.

Basically the Pashmina wool comes from the thinner inner coat of the few breeds of the Pashmina goats living in the high Himalayas which are short in size.

Pashmina is the most original and authentic fibre originated in Kashmir hundred of years ago. The art of Pashmina making in the valley of Kashmir is believed to be as old as 300 years old.

Pashmina now has been given the Geographical indication mark (GI mark). Only the registered professional artisans from the Indian part of Kashmir can use GI mark on the Pashmina products.

Pashmina shawls are hand-spun and hand-woven in Indian cashmere, but because of the industrial revolution machine woven and machine embroidered fabrics which are blends are also sold in the name of Pashmina. The making of Pashmina is labour-intensive and on an average it takes nearly 200 to 250 man hours to make a single pure shawl without embroidery.

The Pure Pashmina shawls are woven on the traditional looms in Kashmir valley. For over a century Pashmina has been woven into shawl and blankets , adorned by the royalty and common people for its warmth and softness and long life. The finest Pashmina comes at 10 microns is almost comparable to shahtoosh yarn (which has been banned)

This move will help in restoring the original handicrafts of Kashmir. It will also help in restoring the economic prosperity of the poor artisans who work day and night to produce the best pashmina. At the same time it will also help remove the fake handicrafts sold in the name of Cashmere.

Kashmir of India has been accredited the GI mark only for the reason because traditional ways are used for the weaving and making of pashmina products.

In recent years the Silk and Pashmina blend has become the adoring of the western world but that should not be mistaken for the real Pashminas.


The wearing of embroidered pashmina shawls was first introduced by Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin (c. 1420–1470 CE) the then ruler of Kashmir . He invited artists and craftsmen from Central Asia and Persia to train the local artists in Kashmir.

Production prospered under the patronage of the Mughal emperors. After the collapse of the Mughal empire in India there was an increase in demand from Europe in the later part of the 18th century. Especially the French markets where the designs were modified to suit the European tastes.

Napoleon presented one such rare shawl to Empress Josephine. Pashmina shawls was adorned by French queen Marie Antoinette. Princess Diana’s love for Pashmina was also instrumental in spreading the love for the art world wide. A single shawl is a result of the collective efforts of spinners, dyers, designers, weavers and embroiders. The designs composed of buta, badami (almond), ambi or kairi (paisely), meander and flora, khat-rast (stripes) and shikargah (hunting) motifs. The craft of making the woollen shawls received immense patronage from Mughal emperors. As mentioned in the Ain-i-Akbari, Emperor Akbar gave these shawls the name “param naram” meaning very soft.


A connoisseur with a personal style , taste and understanding of the grace and a particular knowing of centuries that have gone in transforming a piece of art from fibre on the inner coat of a goat to a beautifully handcrafted piece of a luxuriously exquisite Pashmina shawl will only be able to appreciate the beauty of this timeless yet dying art.

The Pashmina products are the symbol of luxury, elegance and opulence.

Pashmina has and will always remain the love and desire of all women across the globe. To own a Pashmina is not only everyone’s desire but is a experience of royalty!

The Pashmina shawls are treasured for their expensive material and reminiscent designs since time immemorial. The warmth and softness that these Pashmina accessories offer is simply beyond comparison. The Pashmina shawls are a piece of art and created in the paradise itself-valley of Kashmir!


The creation of a pashmina shawl begins with preparing tufts of wool to spin. Dust and stray hairs are cleaned away with a wooden comb fixed on a stand. Yarn is spun off a simple floor charkha on to the winding instrument, from where it gets wound on to tiny spindles. The spinning process uses very simple, down to earth wooden instruments that are usually homemade. This process is called ‘pranch’. An instrument called ‘thanchor’ is used for this. This is a part of the spinning process. The woven yarn is fit into spindles for weaving. Spindles are fitted into the shuttle that passes through the weft threads on a loom.


While the embroidery happens at home-based workshops, the only processes that take place outside are dyeing and washing. The dyeing of the silk happens used for the embroidery. At any point of time close to 2000 shades of embroidery thread.

There is a large array of colours in which to dye the base shawl. The base colour may be left natural or dyed to a suitable hue, if the embroidery is not meant to cover the entire surface. Dyeing is usually done in-house by perfectionist families. Small, subtle colour variations can be created through clever dyeing techniques The dyed threads are sorted before being used for embroidery. Wind a hank of silk threads before selecting the colours to be used on a shawl. The process of working out the colour-ways and doing the embroidery is organic. Colours are decided as the embroidery is executed.


It is ensured that the base material to create pashmina shawls is sourced from reliable local suppliers. Each part of the process of weaving and embroidering a shawl involves concentration and precision.


A very finely carved walnut wood block lays the base for a finely embroidered shawl. Most embroidery workshops have a vast collection of blocks that are used for decades. Different blocks are used for printing the borders and the centre. The master craftsmen carefully prints the design using blocks. Printing is done in such a way that just an imprint remains for embroidery. Chemical ink is used for printing, after which embroidery is done on the printed designs

The next step in the process is to plan the embroidery pattern and layout. This means going to the printing block store room to select from amongst hundreds of designs carved by expert walnut carvers over the years. The block patterns are printed on by the sure and steady hands of experienced craftsmen


Kashmiri embroidery work is done mostly from home-based workshops, For busy commercial established there are still karkhanas, as they call workshops where men gather to work every day. There are shawls that can take up to three years to complete. The handprinted base cloth guides the fine hand of the embroiderer. Each layer of the embroidery develops slowly, with colour overlapping colour and stitches creating textural variations. The process of working out the colour-ways and doing the embroidery is organic. Colours are decided as the embroidery is executed. If a shade does not produce the desired effect, the embroidery can be undone and replaced with a new shade.


The washing of the finished shawl is done by a dhobi, a traditional washerman, after they are embroidered. Since some shawls take many months of complete it is always necessary to wash them thoroughly. The washing process is done in large cemented units called vatkadals. It is a professionalised and labour-intensive process that require free flowing water and many hands.


Each shawl is rolled and pressed over a large rotating drum for evenness. After a long and arduous process, the shawls are folded and ready for sale.