Tara Oriental’s Pashmina, Companionship for Life

Text by ECS Staff

Tara Oriental’s Pashmina, Companionship for Life

Tara Oriental has now been in the pashmina industry for around twenty years. It was first established in 1998. Before, it used to deal with plain and ombre pieces only. Now, the company has different varieties, ranging from shawls to sweaters and blankets in different colors, designs, shapes, and sizes. The company doesn’t focus on only ethnic designs, and tries to include a lot of contemporary designs, so that it is fashionable, practicable, and modern to wear for the people of Nepal as well as for the Western market. Tara Oriental also works for big multinational brands in U.S.A. and Europe. Prabal Gurung is one of their beloved customers.

When Tara Oriental first established itself in 1998, there were very few pashmina companies in Kathmandu. Compare that scenario to the present day, and one can find hundreds of pashmina shops in the Thamel area alone. The mushroom-like boom in the number of pashmina shops has resulted in a decline and ignorance of the quality of materials. Customers are not familiar, and majority of them lack extensive knowledge, about the quality of pashmina, and with the availability of options, they tend to choose the cheaper ones. The feel and look of the pashmina may feel the same, but the lasting duration is hugely compromised.

“It is the same as buying diamonds. Some are of very good quality, whereas some are of medium quality. It depends on the purchasing power of the customers and the place where you buy them from,” says Mridula Rajbhandari, the executive director of the company. In Tara Oriental, the product undergoes thorough and intricate observation, quality control, and extensive checks before, during, and after production. First, high quality yarn with the right fiber length and micron is sourced, excluding all the short fibers and including only long splendid fibers. Only the finest, lab tested, and certified fibers are imported. After that, the fibers are woven in various types of looms. Then, they are washed and ironed. After the finalization of designs, they are screened and finally run through the finishing touches.

Providing 100% authentic quality products is the main motto of Tara Oriental. But, it isn’t only in the finest quality that they are focused on. Tara Oriental is also an environment-friendly and socially responsible company. Water containing dye chemicals are recycled and reprocessed through a filtration plant before being allowed into the fields. Tara Oriental also supports in the education of its workers’ children.

Work is in full action during the productive months, but since pashmina is a seasonal business, the company goes through months and months of unproductivity. Most of the companies send their workers home during off-season. However, even though it adds costs to the company, Tara Oriental is determined on hiring its workers full-time throughout the year, because firstly, it isn’t easy to get workers nowadays, and secondly, Tara Oriental believes that this skill and craft should be preserved for the long run. “With everybody flying abroad in search of better jobs, education, and lifestyle, most of the designers and artisans will significantly decrease by the next generation if we don’t take the initiative to sustain them,” says Mr. Anin Rajbhandari, the managing director of Tara Orientals.

The value of a fine pashmina is immeasurable. It is more than the cost of the pashmina. It is the feel and the longevity and the companionship that the pashmina provides through years and years of time. It is a precious gem, and can be even be an heirloom. So, the next time you shop for a quality pashmina, make sure you know your buyers and only purchase from the best in the game, like Tara Orientals.