Pashmina is synonymous with pashmina shawls and stoles.
Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. They were first woven in India. These shawls are made of Pashm or Pashmina, which is the wool of a species of the wild Asian mountain goat. The goat is a special breed of which is indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas in India, Nepal and Pakistan.
The shawls and stoles are hand spun, woven and embroidered in Kashmir. It is a cottage industry . Generations of families have been involved in the pashmina & carpet making trade.
These shawls were once worn by the royalty and the elite .
Pure Pashmina shawls are lightweight and very soft. Pashmina fibres are thinner in diameter from the normal cashmere and are therefore ideal for making lightweight scarves .
When you travel in India, you will notice that shops in and around all the tourist attractions display pashmina shawls.
In many instances you will find that they are not original pashmina shawls at all. A combination of silk & woollen fabric is passed off as pashmina in many instances.
This is because of the heavy demand for these shawls and stoles.