Fashion can be quite confusing. There is such a variety of accessories and compliments to an outfit that it is difficult to kept track of them all. This is especially true when it comes to scarves and pashminas. How can we tell the difference between them?
The simple answer is that there is not a simple answer. A scarf is defined as “a piece of fabric worn on the head or around the neck for warmth, cleanliness, fashion, or religious reasons.” A pashmina, on the other hand, refers to a type of cashmere wool made from a special breed of Persian goats. It comes from the word “Pashm”, which in Persia means “wool”.
From these definitions one might assume a scarf is the actual object worn around your neck and pashmina is a material used to make a scarf. If fashion was only that simple!
People refer to the object around their neck as a scarf, a pashmina, and to confuse the subject even more a shawl, or a wrap. There are a number of names that can be used.
To break it down as easily as possible, we can start from the fabric or thread used. Usually this is either cashmere or silk. Manufacturers use the cashmere or silk to create a fabric, in our case this is the pashmina. The pashmina fabric is then formed into one of the many names for the object worn around your neck- scarf, shawl, or wrap (to name a few).
This can be further explained when you consider the many descriptions you will see on a website or in a store. You can choose between a silk pashmina and a cashmere pashmina. And, you can go for a pashmina shawl, a pashmina scarf, or a pashmina wrap. The word Pashmina, when used correctly, is a descriptive term instead of a noun. It describes the fabric used to make the “noun” (scarf, shawl, or wrap).
So, the next time you accessorize, check the fabric. The product might be labeled incorrectly as a pashmina when it is truly just a wool or silk scarf. A true pashmina is made from a specific breed of goat and it comes in a variety of products!