Friends of Asneh is our platform to work with other brands and companies. We believe in unbeatable design, quality and integrity, and we will only work with companies that share these beliefs, whether they are retailers, producers or other designers. However, we do love to work with others, as we strongly believe that together we are strong.

Asneh hand woven and hand embroidered pashmina
Hand woven and hand embroidered pashmina

One of our long-term friends is a family in Kashmir, India, that produces world class hand woven and hand embroidered cashmere pashminas. Asneh originally started by selling on these cashmere scarves, and although we have since evolved we still like to share these with the rest of the world. These pashminas are in fact the only cashmere items other than our own designs that we sell, as the craftsmanship behind these selected items is superior.

 

A word about pashminas

Kashmiri shawl makers
Kashmiri shawl makers 1856

 

Pashmina comes from the Persian (Farsi)  word 'pashm' and means cashmere. In Kashmiri 'pashm' translates into 'soft gold' due to the softness of the genuine cashmere scarves and shawls. Unfortunately, pashmina is not a trademark protected term like cashmere is, so in reality anything can be labelled a 'pashmina'. The popularity of pashminas in the 1800s when Napoleon's wife Empress Josephine helped making them very fashionable,  and later again in the 1990s, have seen unscrupulous  people taking advantage of the lack of trademark protection, and therefore many people today wrongly believe that a pashmina is made of silk, wool, viscose or even synthetics. However, although pashmina may not be trademark protected, a genuine pashmina is woven of soft cashmere - no other fibres, not even silk. It is worth noting that a genuine pashmina can never have tassels, as the woven cashmere is too fine to form tassels. You can of course have cashmere scarves with tassels, but they are not pashminas. 

The average production time for an embroidered pashmina is 3 months per item, but a very heavily embroidered pashmina can easily take more than a year to produce, obviously that makes them very costly and they are therefore also rare.

Striped cashmere close up
Striped pashmina

 

Empress Josephine wearing a pashmina
Empress Josephine wearing a pashmina

Together with the quality of the cashmere it is the quality and quantity of the embroidery that determines the value of a pashmina.  Usually one person does the embroidery work on one single pashmina as every person has his own patterns and special touch to the stitch (literally) - heavily embroidered pashminas being the exception. 

Furthermore, many pashminas has such fine embroidery that it can only be done by daylight, which - given that they are embroidered in Kashmir - does limit the potential working hours. A genuine pashmina is hand embroidered, if embroidered, and the embroidery should be as beautiful on the reverse as on the front. 

 

Mustard yellow pashmina with embroidery
Mustard yellow pashmina with embroidery