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What is Cashmere?

Cashmere scarf? Tick. Cashmere shawl? Tick. Cashmere pashmina? Tick. Whatever you chose to call it, I think it’s fair to say that we would all like a beautiful cashmere scarf to complete our wardrobe, but what exactly iscashmere?  What should you be looking for when you area buying it?  Where does cashmere come from and how is it made?  And what exactly is the Chyangra label attached to some cashmere pashminas?  Finally, why buy cashmere from Scarf Room?

A Little History

Well, to begin with the name cashmere comes from an old spelling of the word Kashmir.  This is the region in northern India where its production and trade originated. Cashmere has been sourced in this, and the surrounding areas of Nepal and Tibet, for hundreds of years. It  has a long and fascinating history.   

Premium quality pure cashmere feels deliciously soft against the skin. It has always been highly prized for its warmth and beauty. Once its rich jewel-like dyes are factored in, it is easy to see why cashmere shawls are sought the world over.

However, anyone looking to buy a ladies’ cashmere scarf UK will be aware that its price varies enormously.  This is obviously a reflection of the quality of the raw material, the finest of which traditionally comes from Kashmir, Tibet and Nepal.

Which leads us nicely to the next couple of questions:

How is a Cashmere Shawl made? And why is it so expensive?

The journey of each cashmere shawl begins with the humble mountain goats living in the high altitudes of the Himalayas.  Here the climate and environment are perfectly suited to the production of the cashmere fibres.  During the extremely harsh winters, the temperatures here can drop to as low as -20c and the food supply becomes scarce.  This lack of vegetation prevents the goats from producing fat. Instead, they produce a finer hair under their fleece that offers more insulation.   It is this very soft hair on their body that is valuable and from which the highest quality pure cashmere is produced.   The fleece is collected in March and April each year.

The Chyangra Label

an image showing the Chyangra Label


Unfortunately, in recent years, there has been an influx of mass-produced imitation cashmere flooding the market.  This has both driven down the price and damaged the reputation of the real thing.

The Nepalese government, in particular, were extremely concerned about the impact that this cheap cashmere was having on their economy.  It threatened the livelihood of the people who rely heavily on the income from the sale of their Chyangra cashmere.  Incidentally, the name Chyangra comes from the species of goat which live in the mountainous region of Nepal.  And so they came up with the idea of the prestigious Chyangra Pashmina trademark.  The logo has since been registered in over 40 countries.

The presitigious Chyangra label

The Chyangra pashmina label is a guarantee of a genuine and superior product.  It also reassures the purchaser that the production of the cashmere product is environmentally responsible. In addition, you as the buyer knows that the product has compiled with strict quality standards and fair employment laws.

Exporters may obtain the Chyangra Pashmina trademark label only if their cashmere product complies with a rigid process of accreditation.  Nepalese producers will also monitor the sale of cashmere scarves around the world to protect their trademark.   

At Scarf Room we are delighted to have sourced our new collection of women’s cashmere shawls, each one with this important hallmark. We also feel that we are helping to maintain an important and beautiful craft skill.  It goes some way to supporting the livelihood and quality of life for people who depend on the Chyangra pashmina industry in Nepal.   

Cashmere Scarf UK Collection

We love our new cashmere scarf UK collection and believe that each cashmere scarf is a premium product at a price which reflects its beauty and quality.  The range comes in a beautiful palette of colours – each colour sings and every scarf looks and feels special.  Each cashmere scarf has also been spun to a beautifully dense fine knit so feels as light as a feather and is deliciously soft against the skin.

They are versatile too.   One of our pure cashmere pashminas would look striking as a beautiful accessory over simple tailored separates during the day or elegant evening wear at night. The following image shows the Cashmere Scarf in a gorgeous baby pink:

It would also be the perfect bridal or bridesmaid’s pashmina or a pashmina for a wedding guest.   This is the Cashmere Scarf in a delicious cream:

One of our cashmere wraps is also the quintessential holiday companion and is perfect for keeping you warm on cooler evenings or on an air-conditioned plane.   As our photographs show it can be worn loose or draped elegantly over the shoulders.

Remember if you need any further information about our new cashmere scarves or any of the other cashmere products in our collection or need assistance in choosing it as a gift, please call us on 01253 733870.

As always, we love your feedback so please do let us know what you think of our products.

And don’t forget to take a look at our blog “How to Tie a Pashmina” for some ideas for scarf-tying.

So for now, it’s ciao bellissime.  A presto. 

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