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What’s the Difference between a Pashmina and a Scarf?

Navigating the world of fashion can be confusing. Besides having to understand the different terms, clothing items are often similar to one another in one way or another. Seeing what really sets each one apart can be quite difficult. An example of this is scarves and pashminas. To learn more about how to differentiate one from the other, use this fashion guide.


Technically, the word “pashmina” is used to describe the accessories worn around the neck, such as a wrap, shawl, or scarf. Additionally, “pashm” means wool in Persian. Its fabric is made of fine wool, cashmere, or silk from the underbelly of a specific breed of cashmere goats. 

Genuine pashmina fabric is made from a hundred percent cashmere that is spun and woven by hand. It contains pure cashmere wool, which means it is not mixed with any other material. For this reason, this accessory will be in the same color tone on both sides. The average thickness of the fibers is below 19 micrometers. 

This accessory is soft and fine. It also offers warmth and comfort. It is a coveted fashion item and often an expensive one, which is why it is considered a status symbol and even the epitome of luxury among fashion enthusiasts.


A scarf is a piece of lightweight fabric typically worn around the neck, head, or shoulders for style, warmth, or religious purposes. It comes in different designs and types of fabric. It is also usually square, rectangular, or triangular. Compared to a stole or shawl, it is smaller in width and bigger in length. 

Since it provides lots of flexibility, a fashion scarf is one of the most versatile accessories. It can be worn in seemingly endless ways—wrapped around the waist as a sarong, used as a shawl across the shoulders, or twisted around the head in a turban style. Because of this, it is now considered a must-have item in every closet. 

Other Fashion Items Similar to Scarves and Pashminas

Fashion terms can be confusing. Besides pashminas and scarves, there are other fashion items that look a lot like them that can also be used for style and warmth. These are shawls, stoles, and wraps.


A shawl comes in square, rectangular, and oval shapes. It is usually large enough to be wrapped around the shoulders more than once. This fashion accessory is ideal for summers when made from cotton or linen, while it is fit for winters when made from wool. Depending on its design, it can be used for casual or formal wear.


A stole is usually made of a lighter and fancier material, such as silk, satin, or chiffon, making it perfect for formal outfits. It can be regarded as a more formal version of a shawl. 


The wrap is basically a modern term for stoles and shawls. It refers to any loose outer piece of cloth used to cover the upper body. This fashion item is a more relaxed accessory made of any finished fabric. 


Shopping for accessories can be challenging if you are unsure about the correct term of the item you are looking for. Thankfully, you now know the difference among accessories that are commonly confused with one another. If you are now ready to start growing your collection and updating your style, consider seeking a scarf subscription.

Treat yourself to a monthly wardrobe upgrade with a scarf subscription box by Scarflings. We offer the highest-quality scarves that match your unique style and personality. Order now!