Archive for cashmere

The Legendary Pashmina Goat

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2009 by designldg

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This baby goat is a changthangi or a pashmina goat, a breed from Lakakhi Changthang raised for Cashmere wool, known as pashmina, the softest, most luxurious and the best wool in the world, once woven.
This goat survives in Ladakh at the altitude of 12000 feet where temperature drops below 40 degree centigrade and grows a thick warm fleece, a unique very thin short inner coat of hair which is the best insulation in the world and this is pashmina.
Pashmina fiber is 15 to 19 microns in diameter where as a human hair is 75 microns in diameter.
One Himalayan goat produce s 3 to 8 ounce s of pashmina per year.
The origin of Pashmina dates back to ancient civilizations and has been traced back to the times of Mahabharata.
Earlier in olden days this precious fabric was known as the “fiber for kings” and pashmina shawls found favor with emperors, kings, princes, rullers and nobles.
Kashmir was for centuries the only place the fiber could be woven into shawls, according to treaties that gave the Maharaja of Kashmir exclusive rights to Tibet’s pashmina supply.
The name comes from Pashmineh, made from “pashm” which means “wool” in Persian.
Several Buddhist monks whome I met in monasteries told me that they own a few animals on the Tibetan Plateau which allow them to keep a source of income.
I took this picture near the third-highest pass in the world, the Changla pass which is at 5,425 m (17,800 ft).

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