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Kashmiri Pashmina

Pashmina is one of the world's most luxurious natural fibers, derived from a rare Central Asian mountain goat. Nomads living in the rugged and remote Himalayan mountains tend to the goats. Only those goats found about 14,000 ft. where high speed winds and freezing temperatures exist, possess a special undercoat of "pashm."

Other long, coarse hairs envelop the goat and conserve the delicateness of the animal's underfleece. It is this wool (pashm) which serves to make the shawls, refered to as Pashmina after being woven.

"This type of goat is probably the most beautiful of all wool-producing goats," wrote S. Turner, England's ambassador to Tibet in 1783. "It is superior in beauty, color and texture to all others." For many generations, Pashmina shawls have been collected as heirlooms and honoured as symbols of prestige throughout the world.

Kashmir is the only place in the world where fine embroidered Pashmina Shawls have been woven, like Shahtoosh and Jamavar. Pashmina Shawls are hand-embroidered in Kashmir. Kashmir lies in the Valley of the Himalayas, surrounded by the highest mountains in the world. Kashmir was one of the important trade routes between east and west. Although it has a long history of political upheavals, the people of Kashmir have kept the art of shawl-weaving as one of their best forms of artistic talent.

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