In September Sew Fun we featured embellished Pashmina scarves. In November Sew Fun you will see more samples of embellished Pashminas. There have been questions about how to care for your Pashmina and what the fiber content is. First off, what is Pashmina?
Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian wool. This wool comes from the pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas. Pashmina shawls are hand spun, woven and embroidered in Kashmir and made from fine cashmere fiber. Pashmina shawls have been manufactured in Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years.
The pashmina goat sheds its winter coat every spring. One goat sheds approximately 3-6 ounces of fiber. To meet the demand, the goats are now commercially reared in the Gobi Desert in Inner and Outer Mongolia. This region has identical harsh weather conditions to those of the Himalayan region to grow this inner wool, but also has acres of grazing ground to produce cashmere economically and commercially. During spring (the molting season) the goats shed this inner wool, which re grows in winter. The inner wool is collected and spun to produce beautiful shawls.
How do you care for your Pashmina while embellishing with embroidery? When choosing an embroidery design for embellishing, a lighter digitized design works well. Choose a water soluble stabilizer and embroider your design. Cut the excess stabilizer around the perimeter of the design to get rid of as much stabilizer as possible. Don’t tear the excess stabilizer away, as the Pashmina isn’t strong enough to allow for this.
Once you have removed the excess stabilizer, immerse the Pashmina in a basin of warm water and soak in a phosphate free detergent for hand washables. I wash all my scarves in this and it works great. Once the stabilizer is removed, rinse and gently wring out excess water and put in the dryer on a medium heat cycle. Promptly remove from dryer and press with a cool iron, using a press cloth to protect from the direct heat of the iron. It’s as easy as that!
Pashminas make fantastic gifts for the fashion forward crowd to use as a shawl or fashion scarf. Now that the airlines charge for blankets, many women use them on the airplane in place of the customary blanket. Great versatility!
Sew Fun Consultant