Cashmere and Pashmina are wool from the same goat, distinguished by fiber diameter. Cashmere wool must be under 19 microns to be classified as cashmere (human hair has a diameter of 75 microns), and the finest Pashmina is 12-14 microns.
Cashmere originally came from the soft downy undercoat of the cashmere goat from the Kashmir province of India. A high quality cashmere wrap is a true luxury item, it never goes out of style, and will last for many, many years if cared for properly.
For more information click on how to care for your cashmere wrap.
Today there are more than 60 breeds of goats in 12 countries that produce fibers of less than 19 microns. The finest quality cashmere still comes from the cashmere goat and the higher the elevation where they live, the finer the wool. Most of these Goats live in China, Mongolia, Nepal and Tibet.
In the spring, when the goats start to shed their winter coats, herders climb the mountains to comb the downy undercoat and collect the wool. The wool is then separated and cleaned of dirt and coarse fibers. Because it is so fine, it must be spun by hand into yarn.It takes one goat three years to produce enough wool to make one high quality wrap!
Pashmina is a greatly misused term. It comes from the Persian word “pashm” which means “wool” In fact, cashmere and pashmina refer to wool from the same goat, except pashmina is the very finest of the separated wool, having a diameter of 12-14 microns, and the goats mostly live in the highest altitudes in Kashmir and Tibet.