Most people ask how cashmere is different from pashmina. You have all heard about these two famous fabrics, but you can’t easily tell the difference between the two. Don’t beat yourself over it though, for most people can’t even tell it apart. These days, they almost both look and feel the same. And for a first time buyer, it is difficult to tell the difference between these two. They both feel soft, so your hands’ judgement is not to be easily trusted. They are both lightweights, which makes the difference difficult to just by trying to weigh them on your hands. Unless you bring a weighing scale wherever you go, but still the difference in their weights are minute. They are both luxurious materials, so trying to base your judgment by their price is pretty useless. Both are also not easily found on your ordinary clothing stores, making it harder to tell the difference. Though they are mostly alike in a lot of ways, they are still entirely different.
So why does this confusion between pashmina and cashmere exists? Well, the confusion is there because the words pashmina and cashmere is almost always used together. People tend to think of cashmere when they hear the word pashmina. The two words are carelessly used together by manufacturers, aiming only to sell to their clients.
Differences between cashmere and pashmina:
- They have different origins.
Pashmina wool specifically comes from the undercoat of a Himalayan mountain goat, found only in Tibet and Nepal. While the cashmere wool comes from cashmere goats and other sub species of goats.
- They can’t be associated with the same types of clothing.
If there is a pashmina scarf, there is also a cashmere scarf. They can be both used on the same clothing items, but there are certain items that only cashmere wool can be used. One good example is the sweater. You can find cashmere sweaters being sold on the market, but you will never find a pashmina sweater. Pashmina can only be used on scarves and shawls, since they are softer and lighter.
- The countries that produce them.
Pashmina is produced by only one country, and that is India. Cashmere is being produced by China, Turkey, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, and other Central Asian countries.
- They have different thickness and coarseness.
Among the two, pashmina is thinner and softer, thus it can only be woven by hand. While cashmere is the thicker and coarser wool, thus it is stronger, can be mechanically woven.
- The diameter or grade of the threads.
The diameter of pashmina wool is 10 to 16 microns, and the diameter of cashmere wool is 16 to 19 microns.
- The difference on how hard they are obtained.
Pashmina can be only obtained from one type of goat, and it can only be harvested from them during winter period. And one goat can only produce 80 grams of wool that can be harvested for one year. Cashmere on the other hand is easier to produce, and it is estimated that China alone produces 10,000 metric tons of it.
Remember, though they are almost alike, they are different. And no matter how different they are, and comparisons are made between them, both are equally luxurious on their own right.