The Truth About The Ring Test- Don’t Ring It… Swing it!

“Live Pashmina as it encases your journey across the two shores of Jhelum, nescience to madness, endurance to infliction, childhood infatuation to the unending love spanning an age.

“Close your eyes and breathe “Pashmina” as the breeze at the banks of Jhelum blankets you, talking to every strand of your hair.”

While you do all the above, listen to every thread of Pashmina and knit it around your love, for it needs warmth. I did.”- Rehnooma

Not just mere musings, these quotes exude the essence and timelessness of the Kashmir shawl- The Pashmina. It is by this virtue that the Pashmina has been called the Golden fibre of Kashmir, and mentioned in the same breath as the words ‘luxury’ and ‘royalty’.

What Is Pashmina?

Given that as a backdrop, when it comes to luxury, the inclusion of a Pashmina shawl to your wardrobe, even if it is a scarf, brings a certain prestige, and pride in owning one is unsurpassable. Pashmina products acquired the status of heirlooms not just for purchase, but to be handed down through generations as timeless acquisitions.

This unbelievable craft has traveled from Ladakh where it is conjured, through the alleys of Kashmir where artisans embroider it into awe-striking pieces, to luxury stores all across the world, and therein lies the craze for Pashmina shawls, known as ‘shahmina’ in Kashmir. Pashmina Kashmir shawl is made from the hair of mountain goats found 10000 feet above sea level from the region of Ladakh. Been a style statement for celebrities and royals around the globe, owning a Pashmina shawl is every woman’s fantasy.

So, of course, when you shell out an exorbitant amount of money to purchase a traditional authentic Kashmiri pashmina, your accompanying thought must be- Is my Pashmina unadulterated? Always a valid question. And hence, many who purchase this exquisite piece, have researched ways to determine the purity and authenticity of the Pashmina. But how would you know whether your purchase has been worth the wait, time, and money?

Is The Ring Test Really Credible?

The most common and the most popular test to prove if your Pashmina is bona fide is the ring test. It is a centuries-old myth that the hallmark of a true pashmina shawl is its ability to pass through a ring. If a shawl could pass through a ring, it was considered genuine, but if it didn’t, it would be discarded or manhandled. The ring test is popular around the world and is touted to be the most effective in distinguishing a pure Pashmina stole, shawl or scarf from a blended one. Check out our video for the complete truth








Let’s break it to you. The ring test is a myth. 

Used for Shahtoosh shawls back in the day, it was true for the time this belief was conjured at. But modern breeding and weaving techniques have resulted in a very fine fibre that can be woven into a superfine shawl. This invalidates the ring test. Plain Pashmina generally does pass this test. But these days, many superfine merino wool shawls comfortably pass this test. So with time, this belief has cost a lot of people a lot many dollars, alongside creating a huge market for a fake pashmina. Check out our Ring Test Video

How To Test For The Purity Of Pashmina?

The only credible way to prove a Pashmina’s veritable existence is through rigorous lab testing and tracing of the source of the product because though every Pashmina must be Kashmiri, every Kashmiri shawl is not a Pashmina.

Another saving grace may be a G.I test seal. Kashmiri Pashmina has been registered under the Geographical Indications (G.I) of Good Act of India on 09-12-2008, which is an acknowledgment of the uniqueness and skill set defined to its production, special to the region. Kashmiri Pashmina G.I. mark labeled product has a covert (readable under UV light) and visible unique code.

Though not popularly applied, the G.I seal comes with the affirmation that-

a) The product is made of 100% Pashmina Fibre,  having a fineness of below 16 microns and obtained from the under fleece of mountain goat “Capra Hiracus”

b) That it is hand-spun on the traditional wheel (Charkha), and

c) Woven by artisans traditionally and a skillfully developed unique handloom.

So, the next time you buy a Pashmina, don’t bet the ring test on it. Bring in the heritage of this treasure called Pashmina, presenting to the effort of the artisans of Ladakh, the recognition that they are truly worthy of.

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