Cashmere and Pashmina are both luxurious natural fibers known for their softness, warmth, and premium quality. However, there are some differences between the two based on their technical specifications. Here’s a quick comparison:
Fiber Source: Cashmere comes from the soft undercoat hairs of cashmere goats, which are primarily found in regions such as Mongolia, China, and Iran. On the other hand, Pashmina comes from the fine undercoat fibers of Changthangi goats, which are native to the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, and Tibet.
Fiber Diameter: Pashmina fibers are typically thinner than cashmere fibers. Pashmina fibers have a diameter of around 12-16 microns, while cashmere fibers have a diameter of around 14-19 microns. This makes Pashmina fibers finer and softer compared to cashmere fibers, which contributes to the luxurious feel of Pashmina.
Length of Fiber: Cashmere fibers are generally longer than Pashmina fibers. Cashmere fibers can range from 1.5 to 3 inches in length, while Pashmina fibers are shorter, usually around 1.25 to 2.5 inches in length.
Geographic Origin: Cashmere goats are primarily found in regions like Mongolia, China, Iran, Afghanistan, and parts of Central Asia. Pashmina goats, on the other hand, are native to the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, and Tibet.
Processing Techniques: The processing techniques for cashmere and Pashmina are similar, involving combing or collecting the soft undercoat fibers, followed by sorting, cleaning, spinning, weaving, and finishing. However, Pashmina production is often more labor-intensive and time-consuming due to the finer and shorter fibers, and the traditional handcrafted methods used in the Himalayan regions.
Authenticity: The term “Pashmina” is often used to refer specifically to the authentic Pashmina shawls made in the Himalayan regions, whereas the term “cashmere” is more widely used and can refer to cashmere products from various regions around the world. Authentic Pashmina shawls are known for their unique characteristics, such as exceptional softness, warmth, and fine craftsmanship, and are often associated with well-established brands or artisans who adhere to strict quality standards.
Therefore, while cashmere and Pashmina share many similarities, such as being natural luxury fibers known for their softness and warmth, there are some differences based on their fiber source, fiber diameter, length of fiber, geographic origin, processing techniques, and authenticity. Pashmina, with its finer fibers and association with the Himalayan regions, is often considered a premium and sought-after type of cashmere, commanding a higher price in the market.