Subject: Re: Pashmina Shawls
Hi Bettina,

I brought some Pashmina in 2001 while in Nepal. As the other Ziners have said, there is a huge variation in quality. In Nepal they were advertised depending on the amount of cashmere in them, a 70/30 for example contains 70% cashmere. (I think this is pretty universal). We saw some in the markets advertised as 70/30 that seemed threadbare - they had a lot more than 30% silk in them (which is what is woven with the cashmere). 100% cashmere is not necessarily a good buy, as it tends to make lots of fluff and might be annoying to wear.

I would recommend if your nephew has time, to go to a reputable place and handle some genuine Pashmina, and just get the feel for what 70/30 or 80/20 might be like, and find out the price. Then if he's feeling brave venture into the markets for some bargaining.

In 2001 I paid less than $100AUD for really large Pashmina, I deliberately went to a Govt sponsored place in Patan where all proceeds went straight to the person who made the item. I'm sure I could have brought more cheaply in the markets.

The other thing that is woven with the Cashmere sometimes is lambswool. It makes the shawl a lot thicker, but they cost much, much less. (Less than $10AUD).I love the lambswool mix shawl that I brought as much as the genuine Pashmina.

Regards, Sally (Sydney)