Leh’s Pashmina fibre of the finest quality in the whole world

Dr Feroz Din Sheikh, Associate Professor in animal genetics and breeding at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, SKUAST Leh has been doing a research on Pashmina goats for the last 10 years. It is an all India Co-ordinated Research Project on Changthangi Goats. The research is being conducted at the High Mountain Arid Agriculture Research Station, Stakna, Leh Ladakh. Dr Feroz says, Pashmina goats are famous in the whole world. They are found everywhere. The Associate Professor said, our contribution in the world is just 1 per cent but it is considered number one quality. The quality of Pashmina fibre in Leh is determined by its length and diameter and it is the finest fibre around. In 2009 we saw that Pashmina fibre up to 12 micron can be extracted. Pashmina goats in Leh are around 2 lakh 34 thousand in numbers. At the Pashmina Goat Shed, our production from these goats is around 445 tons per annum. Raw Pashmina needs to be dehaired. A co-operative society exists which has set up a Dehairing plant. Dehaired fibre’s value is a lot in the market. The rate keeps fluctuating. Sometimes it is Rs 2,500 or goes up to Rs 3000. Dehaired fibre is valued more in the international market. After dehairing, the fibre goes for processing to Kashmir. The fibre gets converted into Pashmina threads and then the weavers and artisans in Kashmir use the Pashmina threads to weave into shawls and other items. The thin Pashmina shawls are valued more.

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