Pashmina is the finest type of cashmere wool. Pashmina in Persian means "made from wool" in Kashmiri language translates to "Soft Gold". The wool comes from Changthangi or Kashmir Pashmina goat breed of the Pashmina goat which is found in the Changthang region, which has a lowest altitude of 13,500 feet above the sea level and the winter temperature drops to -35 degree Celsius. Today, however, the word "Pashmina" has been used too liberally and many scarves made from natural or synthetic fibre are sold as Pashmina creating confusion in customers.
The exorbitant price of Pashmina shawl is due to the quantum of expert craftsmanship that goes into creating each shawl and the rarity of Pashmina wool. The test for a quality pashmina shawl and stole is warmth, feel and ring test in which entire pashmina shawl passes through a simple ring of index finger. This is possible due to extremely low density and lightweight Pashmina wool.