Tag Archives: News

Thinking of Buying a Pashmina Shawl? This may help you.

Scarf1The name Pashmina comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian pashm (“wool”). Pashima (Cashmere) wool comes from the soft under fur of Changthangi, or Pashmina goats, which are a special breed of goat indigenous to high Himalayan altitudes.

Pashminas come in all mixes and sizes ranging from small scarves to blanket sized wraps. Pashminas are often mixed with other materials that reinforce the delicate wool fibres, such as silk or bamboo. To be considered good quality, Pashmina shawls need to contain at least 70% Cashmere wool. But in the market, you’ll often see cheaper Pashminas that contain only 50% wool.

Here are a few tips for those seeking the perfect Pashima:

All Cashmere wool is hand spun, primarily in the regions of Kashmir and Nepal where such wool has been made for thousands of years. Every spring Changthangi goats shed their soft winter coats, and weavers work to painstakingly collect the wool shed from the goats. Each Pashmina requires the under fur of at least two goats. These goats will live at altitudes of 12,000 to 17,000 feet. It’s important to note that better quality fibre comes from goats that live in the higher altitudes, because their fur is much softer and dense and insulates better than the slightly coarser under fur found in goats from lower altitudes.

High quality Pashminas are always hand spun with weavers using different combinations of Cashmere with other fibres to produce Pashminas of graduated value. Each shawl is individually hand woven and hand dyed. Many Pashmina weavers choose to use patterned artistry to adorn their scarves, stoles and shawls, with everything from floral filigree to animal patterns, and even modern fashion trends like Burberry.

You may be asking yourself at this point “Why choose a more expensive shawl when you can buy one that’s cheaper, just simply with less wool?” Even though silk may seem like a hot commodity, there’s a reason Pashminas have been mentioned in history since the 3rd century B.C. If a Changthangi goat’s thin layer of insulating wool is fine enough to keep it warm at -20 Fahrenheit, how nice and comfy do think it’ll feel when turned into a beautifully hand-woven scarf just for you? Even though silk is often expensive, it’s a whole lot easier to commercially produce than the wool from a Changthangi goat.  So when you’re shopping around for that perfect Pashmina just for you, and find yourself indignant at the significantly higher price of a pure Cashmere blended one, just think of a common little silk worm in comparison to the extremely difficult to procure downy under fur of a high altitude Himalayan mountain

Pashminas have incredible insulation, making them practical and warm for all seasons. Their insulated properties also work well against summer moisture and humidity. It’s lightweight, with a large (2.9 by 6.7 feet) 100% Cashmere shawl weighing only 5.6 ounces!

DSC02066You also have a fantastic array of choices, with a plethora of patterns (floral, animal prints, Burberry, traditional) and compositions (100% Cashmere, Silk Blended and Bamboo Blended). There’s an almost 100% guarantee you’ll fall in love with a Pashmina as soon as you feel it’s soft and warm qualities. There is no other shawl that can fashionably complement anything from casual sweaters to formal gowns.



The Month of June

jANINA-DSC01010-1June is the month that brings the first step of change in many ways. Filled with events ranging from weddings to showers, from Preschool to University Graduations, these events truly represent major steps in life.

The month derived its name from the Goddess of Marriage, Juno, or luniores, the young people, appropriate names for the events many experience during this very busy month.

 June is the month with the longest daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest days in the Southern Hemisphere. Birthstones are the pearl, moonstone and AlexandritelFlowers are the rose and honeysuckle. Zodiac signs are Gemini and Cancer. Strangely, no other month begins on the same day of the year as June

To date, this has not been an easy month for most areas of our country, events ranging from floods to a water crisis on the west coast. Our priorities change when we experience these types of events but we are also a strong, determined group of people in this country and we will be okay in the end.

As for me, I believe I am finally turning the corner and getting back to my old routine of working to help artisans and small businesses. I hope that those of you that read my Newsletter will find the products I offer interesting, and something that is just what you were looking for as a gift or something special yourself.

Store-2Over the years, especially when I operated my small gift shop, I purchased a variety of items from the artisans in Nepal. I kept the unsold items neatly packed in boxes at my home hoping I could return to selling items once my health problems passed. The events last month brought the small country of Nepal a great deal of hardship, so I unpacked the items; handmade note cards, beaded and silver jewelry, handbags and Pashmina and silk shawls, to name a few, and will be posting them on my store at carolespecialties.com, as well as the social media sites, (Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter), in the hope that you will not only purchase something but also refer me to others.

There are other products those sites and everything I sell is acquired from small businesses, in the United States, Nepal and sometimes other areas of the world. My goal is to help small businesses and, of course myself, but I would also like make enough income to share the profits with those in need in Nepal and my very pet project, The Wounded Warrior Project. I hope that you will help me in these endeavors. Just donate money on your own if you do not find products you want to purchase from me.

Till next time, Carolee