It’s hard to develop your personal style through accessories – like pashminas – without knowing the history of the pieces you’ve chosen.
The history of pashminas is wide ranging, as is the geographical range of their creation – but all comes down to fabrics and techniques developed from traditional handicrafts and a fierce dedication to the proper warmth, colour palette and texture.
Your new pashmina has a story – let it help you tell yours.
Nepal’s beaches and bazaars are not only a key holiday destination this winter, but a one-stop shop for the finest pashminas. Well, watch out for fakes from street vendors, but Nepal is one of the biggest wholesale producers of pashmina wool. Go for light, bright and soft when choosing your scarf to wear away- and don’t forget to bring it home.
The Scottish mills are the home of amazing cashmere – the fibre comes from the undercoat of goats, and – well – there’s many goats in Scotland as well as a rich heritage devoted to the wool, whether it’s plain or tartan. Only Angora goats can’t produce cashmere in cold weather (temperatures need to be cold for them to grow the right wool). To recreate the Scottish chills and mountains, our Pearl Grey is a flawless, misty neutral – and super warm.
Here’s where pashmina history developed and cemented itself. Artisanal, embroidered pieces have been created and ancient hand-stitching techniques fostered in the Kashmir valley since the eighteenth century.
Each shawl, scarf or rug can take as long as two years to complete.
Probably not a place on your radar, the Ladakh region is a key stop on our journey through the history of pashminas. Mountainous, icy cold and full of sheep, it’s these sheep that produce the famous Pashmina wool. The area’s handicrafts are popular throughout India but the classic Ladakhi pashmina holds a special place in buyers’ hearts, having been owned by maharajas, nobles and aristocrats.
Okay, this is where you buy cashmere, not see it made. But the Arcade is one of London’s best-loved shopping streets for a reason – across its accessories stores tantalisingly soft cashmere is used for scarves, hats and gloves, all available in the richest of colours and softest of weaves. Plan your visit – www.burlingtonarcade.com – and create your own chapter in pashmina history.
Or of course, check out our own range of gorgeous, hand-made, ethically sourced cashmere pashminas from the comfort of home – the perfect accessory for autumn / winter.