The word pashmina comes from the Persian word pasmina meaning “made from wool” and translates literally as “soft gold” in kashmiri. The unwoven cashmere goats wool is called PASHM and the woven cashmere goats wool is called pashmina.
Our cashmere (also known as pashmina by the locals) comes from the changthangi breed of the capra hirus goat in the Changthang plateau. The raw material is collected from the villages of Pungug, Buk and Khaldu, inhabited by the Changpa tribe. A robust race of herders, they have been breeding and rearing the cashmere goat over hundreds of years.
The Cashmere Goat-Capra Hircus
All our cashmere is collected from the nomadic tribe living above 14,000 feet. Goats that inhabit the areas below this altitude are incapable of producing the fine quality cashmere. ‘Lena’ (pashm in Ladakhi) comes in several shades: off white, grey, light brown and sometimes black. Only 400 grams of fine cashmere wool is extracted from 1 kg of ‘lena’.
The pashmina goat grows its inner fine coat when temperatures drop between -30 to -40 degrees centigrade. It grazes on sparse vegetation and is protected from the wild animals by its keepers. The capra hircus is a beautiful animal with one of the softest coats in the goat family.
A village hut in Ladakh
Our teams pulls into action in the month of June and journeys into the villages of Changthang. The shedding of hair begins in the month of July. Our team of locals begins to monitor it closely. The finest quality of cashmere comes from the area located under the neck extending up to the underbelly of the goat. The longer the hair, the softer the texture and the more durable it is. The collection process is accomplished within 40 to 60 days.
At Absolute Pashmina we use between 14 to 15.5 microns cashmere threads. In comparison, the human hair is approximately 75 microns. On equal weight basis, our cashmere has nearly 3 times the insulating capacity of wool.
Welcome to the world of Absolute Pashmina!