We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

How do you recognize real pashmina?

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
9,907 posts
92 reviews
Save Topic
How do you recognize real pashmina?

I'm in Nepal now, eyeing the lovely shawls, but am wary of the "100% Pashmina" signs everywhere. Surely there can't be that many goats giving up enough hair for all of them. When I lived in Ecuador I knew better than to believe the claims of alpaca wool for a $10 blanket, and knew how to tell the difference. Any tips for determining pashmina content?

82 replies to this topic
Cumbria
Level Contributor
4,648 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

Really Difficult question !!

I would say that the main thing is to buy from a reputable shop, I have used The Love Love Pashmina Shop in Pokhara for a number of years, the lady that runs this takes her time and explains all the different qualities, mixes and prices and I trust her.

members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1c3a06/

I also think you hit the nail on the head with your comment about an alpaca wool for a $10 blanket simply not being realistic – So if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is ;-)

Good Luck

Rob

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
9,907 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

Thanks, Rob. I'm heading to Pokhara tomorrow so will try to find Mrs. Singh.

Perhaps we're the last skeptics left. No matter how many times I've tried to explain on the Ecuador forum that the "alpaca" is often a synthetic fiber, people love to crow about their bargains.

Cumbria
Level Contributor
4,648 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

No Problem – Pleased to be of help

As for being a sceptic, I bet like me, you also grin when someone tells you about the bargain silk scarf that they bought for a dollar melts when an ember from an open fire lands on it ;-)

I hope that you are able to find Love Love as I Am sure that Mrs Singh will look after you well.

Good Luck and Happy Travels

Rob

singapore
Level Contributor
157 posts
138 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

There is a test you can do on the item you are interested in. This is shown by the shop owner when I was buying pashmina. You need a lighter and provided the shop is keen to let you carry it out. Which also means they are genuine about what they sell.

Talk is cheap, hard to believe so you can try this.

You burnt a tiny part at the end of the shawl and smell it. It should smell like burnt hair (cuz if its natural, it will not smell like synthetics or nylon). When you touch it, it remains natural whereas the fake one, will feel like rough plastic curled up, right the spot that you had burnt it.

Easy to tell and if they don't let you test it, you should know the answer immediately.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
9,907 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

Yes, Mrs. Singh did just that; that was also my test for wool content (vs. synthetics) in Ecuador.

BIG MISTAKE walking into Love Love Pashmina! I wanted to buy them all! She was indeed very patient and explained the differences in price and cashmere content. Her prices were unbelievable. She said they plan to move in 6-8 months so we will have to keep an eye out for the new location.

Cumbria
Level Contributor
4,648 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

Pleased to hear that my recommendation worked so well for you – Isn’t it Nice when a Genuine recommendation turns into a Genuine result for another traveller, This Should be what travel forums are all about :-)

I should be back in Pokhara myself in the Spring so will try to find out where The Love Love is moving to.

Best Regards and Happy Future Travels

Rob

London, United...
1 post
Save Reply
7. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

Hi,

There is also a shop called C R Pashmina in thamel which sells very nice quality cashmere products. You should check them out.

Dave

Cumbria
Level Contributor
4,648 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

It always amazes me when someone joins TA and on that very same day happens to stumble on a thread that is almost a year old – Then posts “His” own recommendation - Or am i just getting cynical in my old age ;-)

BTW – I did pop in to see Mrs Singh at Love Love Pashmina this Spring and she told me that they have no plans to move.

Best Regards

Rob

Philadelphia...
5 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

Hi all I just visited Love Love Pashmina in Pokhara and I have to ding them. Two of the shawls I purchased from her which she claimed were Pashmina were in fact cotton. A third one she claimed was pashmina and silk was in fact synthetic. There is nothing wrong with these lower quality shawls the problem is I paid far too much for them and was misled as to their quality by Ms. Singh. She is very nice and helpful but I will never go back.

After visiting dozens of shops in pokhara I finally found one which is different, Shalbaf Carpets. The owner Jan specializes in selling several thousand dollar pure silk carpets but he also has a large selection of fine quality handkerchiefs and shawls, including many which I saw nowhere else in pokhara. He is intensely proud of the quality of his products, is eager to share his knowledge and has a low regard for the numerous tourist trap shops hocking fakes as the real deal. He probably scorched 20 shawls in the process of explaining all the different types of fabric, where it comes from on the animal, different types of stitching, printing, etc. Every step of the way he explained how other shops will try and trick clueless tourists.

Eventually I settled on a 100% cashmere shawl which actually feels and looks better than "100% pashmina" shawls I tried elsewhere. When we agreed on a price Jan encouraged me to take a few days and shop around first. He said now that I know how to tell fake from quality I can really shop, and if I found the shawl he was selling me for cheaper anywhere else in nepal he would give it to me for free. I was sold and would recommend this guy over any other shop I visited in pokhara. Armed with my new knowledge I went home and tested my shawls from love love pashmina and discovered I'd been had.

The shop is Shalbaf carpets. If you start at Fewa Lake restaurant and bar and walk towards damside you will see his shop within 200 feet or so. Phone - 9815143810, 9726147528 or 9819176818

2 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: How do you recognize real pashmina?

I concur. I went to Shalbaf Carpets and bought 6 pashmina scarfs and two pashmina sweaters. I have never been more enlightened than when I was speaking to Jan about how to tell real from fake cashmere. Honestly, there's not a lying bone in that man. And the more you buy, the more excited he gets in giving you discounts! Lol! I've checked all my products for verity and it's all real pashmina. This experience comes from visiting more than 15 Pashmina retailers. And his prices are below any other shop in the area. If you have a day to spare, tell Jan you'd like to visit the pashmina factories in the outskirts of Pokhara. I haven't tried it but I'm sure you'll get a mean discount for his products at the factories.

Reply to: How do you recognize real pashmina?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted