Pashmina Tips & FAQs

Useful Tips Regarding Pashmina Shawls

Beautiful, colourful, traditional, comfortable – these are the best words to describe Pashmina shawls. In the following sections, we will take a look at how this garment/accessory have its beginnings, count down the ways that you can wear pashmina shawls, and dish out tips on how you can prolong the life by taking care of each piece.

What are Pashmina Shawls?

First, what exactly are Pashmina shawls? The name comes from a type of cashmere wool which has a very fine texture. The material was first woven in India and Pashmina is the Persian term for wool. The Pashmina goat, which the wool comes from, is abundant in countries like Pakistan, India and Nepal – up in the Himalayas mountains. To create the cashmere fiber, the wool from the animal is spun and woven.

If you’re confused about the difference between cashmere shawls and Pashmina shawls, here are a few key points. Cashmere shawls are manufactured in Kashmir and Nepal. Both have fibers derived from the Pashmina goat, but the difference between the two lies in the diameter of the fiber. For Pashmina shawls, the fibers are thinner and finer. For cashmere shawls, the fibers are thicker and softer. However, both materials are perfectly suitable for making lightweight apparel and accessories like scarves.

Today, if you are buying a Pashmina shawl, there are a few things to remember:

  • The label on the shawl should not say “100% Pashmina” because Pashmina as a fiber is not recognized internationally.
  • The label on the shawl should indicate the combination of fibers used in manufacturing the material. Here are a few examples:
    • 50% Cashmere, 50% Silk
    • 60% Cashmere, 40% Silk
    • 70% Cashmere, 30% Silk
    • 100% Cashmere

Other fabrics which are similar to Pashmina are Himroo, a combination of silk and cotton woven in India’s Deccan region. Shashmina is a by-product of Pashmina which has a 13-micrometer fiber diameter. There’s also Shahtoosh which is a type of shawl woven using the down hair of an antelope Tibet.

7 Tips On Ways To Wear Pashmina Scarves

Now that you already have an idea about what Pashmina shawls are, let us take a quick look at the different ways that you can wear them. No matter what time of the year it is, you can easily wear a Pashmina shawl. For the hotter months of the year, you can choose bright-colored ones with a soft, light fabric. For the colder months, you can choose the thicker, softer ones – or layer one Pashmina shawl after another. Take a look at a few ways by which you can wear Pashmina shawls:

1. Simply tie it around your neck.
A classic way to wear a Pashmina shawl is as a neck scarf. Unfold the shawl, divide it into two sections and tie it around your neck once. Depending on the weather, you can wear it tight around your neck or leave it loose. You also have the option to leave the ends of the shawl hanging either in front of you or at around your back.

2. Use a classic knot.
Wrap the Pashmina shawl once around your neck. For what’s left of the fabric, you can use a classic knot which is similar to how you would tie your shoes. You can tighten it during colder climate, or leave it loose during the summertime if you simply want to wear the Pashmina as an accessory.

3. Wear the Pashmina shawl as you would a man’s necktie.
Another unique way to use the Pashmina shawl is by wearing it around your neck knotted as a man’s necktie. If you’re wearing a plain white t-shirt and jeans, for example, you can wear the Pashmina shawl like a necktie and use it as an accent to your wardrobe.

4. Other ways to tie a Pashmina shawl around your neck.
You can also tie the Pashmina shawl in a chain-link knot around your neck. A twisted knot, a hacking tie knot, a double hacking knot, a sliding knot, a bow, a braided knot, a knotted loop or as a faux scarf are the other options on how you can wear a Pashmina shawl around your neck. You can check out the YouTube videos or go online for pictures and step-by-step instructions on how you can wear a Pashmina shawl around your neck.

5. Use it as a bathing suit cover up.
During the summertime, you can wear a Pashmina shawl as a cover up for your bathing suit. It’s actually a must-have beach accessory because you can use the garment to spread as a towel on the sand when you go sunbathing, or use it as an alternative towel – provided that you did not get sand all over it first. To use as a bathing suit cover up, you can simply tie it around your chest like a sarong, wear it as a skirt over your bikini bottom, or simply wrap it around your shoulders in a loose fashion.

6. Wear it as a dress, top or skirt.
If you’re looking for other outfit ideas, you can actually wear a Pashmina shawl as a dress, top or skirt. Simply tie the ends of the shawl together to secure it in the middle of your chest, around your waist, or halter top-style around your neck.

7. Wear it as a head scarf.
Finally, you can wear your Pashmina shawl as a head scarf or a head band to create the image of having long hair. Drape the scarf above your hairline then tie the ends at the back of your head. For bad hair days, you can also use the Pashmina shawl to cover your entire head, then tie the ends at the side or on one shoulder.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Pashmina Shawls

One more thing that you need to learn if you have a collection of Pashmina shawls is how to care for the garment properly. No matter what the fiber combination is, you would like the Pashmina shawl to preserve its original texture and fabric quality. How can you do that? When washing, make sure to use a gentle detergent and hand wash it using lukewarm water. Do not wring the shawl, simply hand squeeze and air dry. Dry cleaning is another option.

For storage, you can use a protective bag to cover the garment, or neatly pile them one after another with a tissue paper or plastic bag layered in between. This should keep the fabric away from dust, dirt and eliminate dampness. Never store your Pashmina shawl unwashed, make sure that it is properly washed and dry before storing. If you’re wearing one almost every day especially during the winter, have several shawls handy so that you won’t wear the same one for two or three consecutive days. This will give the fabric enough time to ‘breathe’ in between uses.

All in all, Pashmina shawls are very versatile. You can wear them in more than a dozen different ways and you can use them whether it’s the hot or cold season. More importantly, there is a sense of tradition associated with wearing such a shawl that has a long-embedded history, so you will feel that sense of pride when you have a Pashmina shawl as part of your ensemble.

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