New attraction

of Vision Pashmina

A fashionable pashmina scarf, wrap or shawl is the perfect finishing touch to almost any outfit. Only a few pashminas


What is pashmina? Is it the same as cashmere and shahtoosh ?
Pashmina is a term applied to the wool, and products made from the wool, derived from the undercoat of the Capra hircus goat, a domestic breed raised primarily at high elevations in Central Asia, particularly Mongolia. For years it has been used by weavers in Kashmir (hence "cashmere"), a disputed area between Pakistan and India. Due to the ongoing war there, much of the production has been relocated to other parts of India. Wool from the same goats, but of a higher quality (a couple of microns thinner, in general) has been used to produce "pashmina" in Nepal.

Shahtoosh, on the other hand, is a fiber derived from the undergoat of an endangered Tibetan antelope, and is illegal in most Western countries. It is, unbelievably enough, much more expensive that pashmina.

Are Vision Pashmina Industry's products really as good as the stuff they're selling at the ritzy department stores ?
In a word: Yes. Do not be misled by fancy designer labels! Most pashmina textiles are woven by local craftsmen in Nepal; the big names are just sewn on later.

Actually, some of the shawls sold by the biggest importers are machine-made: that's the only way they can assure themselves of a reliable supply, not to mention lower cost. However, there is a difference! Hand-woven cloths are tighter (therefore denser and warmer). To spot a machine-made wrap, look at the fringe base: machines make an unnaturally straight edge.Vision Pashmina Industry's Pashmina sells only textiles handcrafted by experienced weavers.

I see references to "100% pashmina", as well as "70/30" and "50/50" silk blends. What's that all about? And what's a "ring shawl" ?
The best-selling Pashminas -- sometimes advertised as "pure" -- are really mixes of 70% wool (the crosswise "woof" thread) and 30% silk (the lengthwise "warp" thread). Some marketers try to gain a competitive advantage by claiming 75%-25% or 80%-20%, but the difference is unsubstantiable.

True 100% pashmina is palpably lighter and warmer than silk blends -- some people describe it as "buttery." The "ring shawl" is a full-size 100% wrap that theoretically is fine enough to pass through a ring. (Personally, I've never tried, and I have no idea whether they're referring to a man's or a woman's ring.) However, the 100% pashminas or Cashmere are not as strong as the 70%-30% mix, and they lack the sheen and the elegant drape of the silk, which some people prefer.

I've seen some pashminas that are a LOT cheaper than yours. What gives ?
Some of the shawls and scarves being marketed as pashmina are made in India and other places, and are likely to be inferior ... not bad, but just not the real stuff. Even in Nepal, shawls and scarves in the pashmina style have been made for years; the cheaper products are made from acrylics, or from regular wool and cotton. Unfortunately, the word "pashmina" has acquired a rather broad generic meaning. In fact, the shawls that are most popular in the West today (and among our own customers!) are woven from a blend of pashmina wool and silk, yet everyone refers to them as "pashmina."

What other factors contribute to quality in pashmina or Cashmere shawls ?
The main factors, of course, are the specific fabric blend, and the style of looming ("hand" or "machine"). A relatively minor cost factor is the dye. We use Swissdyes to compete the quality.

Somebody got a really fluffy pashmina in Nepal. How come I don't see pictures of shawls like hers ?
Many first-time pashmina/Cashmere buyers (including quite a few tourists) are attracted by the fuzzy look and feel of brushed wraps. Brushing, however, weakens the cloth, induces shedding, and turns your wrap into a dust mop for lint.

What's with the dimensions of the "full-size" shawls What's up with that ?
Conventionally, the full-size is supposed to measure 90 X 200 cm., or 35.4" x 78.7"; some weavers go for 90 x 210cm, or 35.4 x 82.7". The natural undyed pashminas ("cream" or "champagne") may correspond to these values, but the cloth shrinks in length by about 4% (roughly 3") during the dying process. These days there has been some attempt to compensate for the shrinkage by increasing the measurements. At the same time, it is very hard to arrive at an objective measurement of such an elastic cloth. Remember that these are supposed to be hand-woven, with some variability in weaving style, loom tension, and so on: naturally there is inconsistency in the precise measurements. Some sellers prefer to advertise the maximum dimensions; others feel safer advertising minimum measurements. We state dimensions that are nearer the minimum -- generally the true measurements are a bit longer.

Somebody says to get a "two-ply" shawl. I kind of like the "single-ply." What do you think ?
"Two-ply" shawls are made by doubling up the pashmina threads. The result is a thicker cloth, which might feel more plush: remember, however, that with Pashmina, lightness is the prime virtue. You are not looking for a tarp for your boyfriend's motorcycle! BUT... we can get you two-ply, if you want. Same price, but it will take one or two days longer. Just put a note requesting two-ply in your ordering instructions.

All your shawls seem to be straight weave, solid colors, no embroidery or beads. Can't I get something a little fancier ?
Yes! You can view in our website which is introducing embroidered, patterned, and beaded shawls.

How can I clean a pashmina ?
Dry Clean is the safest way to clean and maintain the beautiful products.
If washed in water may need heavy iron, which gives extra beauty and shineness. Cold Water is advised to use.