Pashmina refers to a type of cashmere wool and textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian pashm (= "wool"). This wool comes from a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayan mountains.
Original Kashmir Pashmina shawls cost more than their counterparts elsewhere in the world because these are traditionally hand-woven and hand-loomed. The test for a quality pashmina has been warmth, feel and the passing of the shawl through a wedding ring (a well known characteristic of the ring shawl).
Pashmina shawls are embroidered in needlepoint only because they are very soft and delicate and crochet embroidery would not hold. Designs are varied - ranging from the border embroidered ones to creeper allover designs to the famous entire surface embroidered JAMAWAR shawls. Another type of Pashmina Shawls are the Kaani Shawls, weaved on a handloom so skillfully that a beautiful design is created on the shawl when it is removed from the loom.