Pashmina shawls are loved for their luxurious elegance, artistic beauty, and incredible warmth, making them pride of Indians, including Indian weavers.
Handcrafted with rich embroideries, they are an opulent and integral part of Indian traditional wear, and with winter upon us, many of us might be thinking of gifting one, to a loved one, or even to ourselves! But because of how expensive they are, there are plenty of fakes and imitation Pashmina shawls out there in the market.
Nothing spells elegant and comfortable at the same time as a beautiful Pashmina shawl draped over ourselves, revelling in its embroidered beauty and rich texture. Having adorned the wardrobes of Mughal Empresses and even Queen Victoria, Pashmina shawls are known for their soft fabric and exceptional warmth during the cold spell!
So, to help you out, here are the top 5 tips to keep in mind while buying Pashmina shawls this winter:
1. 100% Cashmere
Pashmina shawls are made of Cashmere, the wool of Himalayan goats, and so, always make sure to check or inquire about what the shawl is made of. All authentic Pashmina shawls are made of 100% Cashmere, and authentic sellers are also aware and particular about the same.
2. Fibre diameter
Authentic Pashmina fabric will have fibres just about 15 – 19 microns in diameter, making them thinner than human hair. That low micron count is what makes Pashmina shawls feel light and soft, yet luxurious. So, checking the fibres is a must, before buying one.
3. Uneven weave
Cashmere wool is extremely delicate, because of which, it can only be spun by hand. As such, authentic Pashmina shawls will always have irregularities in the weave making it uneven in places, which won’t be there in machine-woven fakes. That painstakingly exquisite handwork is what makes them so expensive as well.
4. Check for static electricity
By rubbing the fabric with your hands, you’ll be able to check if it is made from authentic animal wool fibres or not. Synthetic fabrics create a lot of static electricity when rubbed together, causing the hair on your body to stand on ends.
5. Check the label
As a rule of thumb, all authentic Pashmina shawls will carry a label calling out the make and composition proudly. But real Pashminas will always have the tag stitched onto the hem because they cannot be glued or stuck on the fabric. Forget spoiling its luxuriousness, glue doesn’t hold on cashmere wool for long. So, if there’s one stuck on a shawl, it’s a fake.