Pashmina shawls are not banned. The confusion often arises from the mix-up between Pashmina and Shahtoosh.
Shahtoosh shawls are made from the underfur of the Tibetan antelope (or Chiru), which produces the finest wool in the world. However, the harvesting of their wool has led to a significant population decline and almost extinction! So in 1979, they became a protected species, and Shahtoosh shawls became heavily banned.
So What About Pashmina?
Pashmina shawls are perfectly legal to buy, sell, and of course, own.
I can’t think of a garment that has more misconceptions than the pashmina shawl!
So to put it clearly: Pashmina shawls are not banned, have never been banned, and will never be banned – Simply because there’s absolutely no reason to ban them!
Pashmina vs. Shahtoosh
Here are an extensive comparison between The ‘Soft Gold‘ Pashmina, And The ‘King Of Wool‘ Shahtoosh (Persian: Shah=King, Toosh=wool)
|Where is it made?||Kashmir, North India||Was made in Kashmir, North India. Now banned.|
|Fiber width||12-16 microns||7-12 microns|
|Material Origin||Capra Hircus (Pashmina Goat) from Ladakh, North India||Tibetan Antelope (Chiru) from Tibet|
|Legality||Legal and globally traded||Banned due to conservation|
|Animal Conservation||No harm. Cruelty-free||Chiru are killed for their wool. Significant risk to the species|
|Comfort & Quality||Extremely soft and fine||Softer and finer|
|Cost||Pashmina prices start around $100 for a basic shawl. Specialty types like Kani Pashmina can reach thousands, with cost reflecting craftsmanship and production time||Extremely expensive, only available on black markets, ranging from $4,000 to $40,000. Should be avoided!|
|How is it made?||100% handmade, from spunning the wool, to weaving the shawl. Some types feature hand embroidery||100% handmade, from spunning the wool, to weaving the shawl. Some types feature hand embroidery|
Learn more about the sad story of the Shahtoosh shawl:
And see the difference with the marvelous Pashmina shawls: