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November 22 , 2010

What is Pashmina? Seven Tests for the Real Pashmina


What is pashmina? Most of you see sold as 'pashmina' is just a pale imitiation of the real thing. And that's a shame. Not only are the majority of pashmina shoppers wasting their money, but most of them don't even know what they're missing.

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The word pashmina has become so devalued in modern usage that many people think it simply means a fancy kind of scarf. What they don't know, and what you're about to learn, is that pashmina is one of the world's truly rare and authentic luxury fabrics.

This guidebook offers seven tests that the discerning shopper can use to judge the quality of a given fabric. These are simple tests that can be applied right in the store, before money has even changed hands. With just a little practice, even the beginner will soon be able to identify up to 95% of the pashmina imitations and lower quality fabrics on the market.

The author, Steven Carlson, spent several months traveling thousands of miles through Asia researching the information presented in this guide. This work involved purchasing pashmina samples in local markets, as well as interviewing dozens of merchants and textile experts.

In writing this guide, Mr Carlson received invaluable assistance from David Muir, an American textile designer who spent more than 20 years in India and Nepal, learning his craft from local master weavers. Subsequently, Mr Muir set up a workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal where he creates the highest quality of pashmina fabrics with a team of local weavers.

The information presented in the Seven Tests is common knowledge among textile experts and afficianados. However, it has never before been compiled and presented in a simple, straightforward manner for the discerning shopper.

The guidebook includes photographs that illustrate each of the seven tests for pashmina quality. The language of the guide is simple and description, which enables the reader to quickly grasp and apply the concepts being presented.

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