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    • Recently, Kashmir’s famed pashmina shawls, got a French touch.


    • Artist Maximilien Pellet turned the fabric into a canvas for contemporary art forms at a Parisian exhibition, in a rare bid to cater to Western sensibilities.
    • He termed the move a bid to widen the reach of the Kashmiri shawl industry.


    • The word Pashmina comes from the Persian word ‘Pashm’ which means ‘soft gold.
    • Pashmina comes from an animal fibre Cashmere, derived from the Changthangi goat of Ladakh. 
    • It is indigenous to the high altitude regions of Leh-Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.
    • History: 
      • It was the 18th century French empress Josephine — gifted a Kashmiri Kani shawl by her husband, the Emperor Napoleon — who helped revive a dying craft in Kashmir by becoming its style icon in Europe. 
      • It remains to be seen if the new French touch proves to be another Josephine moment for the Kashmiri shawl industry.
    • Features:
      • It is well known for its warmth, lightweight, and softness in addition to its characteristic dye absorbing property. 
      • Pashmina has been accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the costliest cloth in the world.
      • Pashmina wool is the finest version of cashmere and it is thinner than human hair and highly prized in the international market.
    • Usage: 
      • It is known for its use in beautiful shawls and other handmade items.

    Pashmina Shawl

    • They are a fine variant of shawls spun from cashmere wools. 
      • Cashmere wool itself is obtained from the Changthangi goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) native to the high plateau of Ladakh.
    • Goats used for pashmina shed their winter coat every spring. One goat sheds approximately 80–170 grams of fibre. In the spring (the moulting season), the goats naturally shed their undercoat, which regrows in winter.
      • This undercoat is collected by combing the goat, not by shearing, as in other fine wool. 
    • The shawl made up of pashmina wool was promoted as an alternative to Shahtoosh shawl. The reason is that Shahtoosh Shawls are made from the Tibetan Antelope. 

    Source: TH