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Pasha Fabrics takes its inspiration from the illustrious Mughal and Ottoman eras to provide the highest quality luxury fabrics for our esteemed customers. We source the finest natural fibres from around the globe. These fibres are the treasures that we use to share our story with the world!

The older generation among us may still remember the time around 1957 when nylon fabrics hit the market in Pakistan. Nylon, the generic name for a range of synthetic polymers that are viscous and can be stretched to form fibre like threads that can be used in weaving fabrics, was invented in 1939 by Irenee Du Pont, the scientist/owner of one of the biggest chemical manufacturing companies in the world. Originally nylon was only used to make stockings and lingerie. Then in the ‘50s chemical based companies, especially in the Far East started making other clothes with it.

When it was introduced in Pakistan, it seemed like a miracle — the perfect fabric! It had an inherent smartness; it was smooth; it didn’t get all creased up like cotton did; It didn’t need to be ironed and it dried very quickly. The catch phrase was ‘wash n’ wear’. You didn’t have to send it to the dhobi; you could wash it at night and it would be dry and ready to wear in the morning without ironing. Many people travelling to Japan or the Far East would buy brightly coloured bush shirts of nylon, rayon, etc. It was the fashion of the day. By the ‘60s synthetic fabrics made up over 60% of the world’s fabric production excluding wool.

However, the high fashion houses and expensive tailors of Europe didn’t adopt it. They continued designing clothes using natural fibres. The landlord class in Pakistan also didn’t make silwar kurtas out of it. Smart young city folk commented that they were backward, but the rural folk complained the fabric was uncomfortable. The fabric wasn’t body friendly. It prevented air from entering into the apparel causing the fabric to cling to the body and preventing perspiration from evaporating and cooling the body. On the other hand cotton and linen had a charm of their own and had a better fall and present an innately sophisticated look. The fashionista had been wise in ignoring this technologically advanced fabric. By the ‘70s synthetic fabrics dropped to over 40% of world’s production. Environmentalists also began to object to non-disposable waste from industrial processes and the factories that manufactured synthetic fibres presented such hazards. Nowadays synthetic fibres comprise only about 12% of total fabric production.

On the other hand cotton and linen had a charm of their own and had a better fall and present an innately sophisticated look. The fashionista had been wise in ignoring this technologically advanced fabric.
By the ‘70s synthetic fabrics dropped to over 40% of world’s production.

In the ‘60s manufacturers found a new use for synthetic fibre. They began melding it with cotton. Courser quality cotton mixed with synthetic fibre could look smooth and of a higher class. In Pakistan the count of cotton1 is only about 30. It is only good for weaving bed sheets, denim and T shirts. In India the standard of cotton isn’t much better. Thus local weaving mills use this mixture with synthetic fibre to manufacture better fabrics. However, a discerning person can always tell the difference between pure cotton and that mixed with synthetics. There is nothing to beat the glowing, crisp smartness of a cotton kurta or shirt or a nicely starched silwar. In any case, wearing synthetic mixed fabrics will always feel uncomfortable in hot weather and tend to smell more.

The lesson to be learnt from this is that though technology has untold benefits in other fields, but in matters of taste and culture, the traditional originals are always better than synthetic facsimiles. No copy of a great work of art can be as good as the original masterpiece — and the nature surrounding us is the most perfect art. Elegance does not only mean looking smart but feeling and being smart as well.

That is why we of the HOUSE OF PASHA only make fabrics of 100% natural fibres. Our Platinum brand is made from 100 count cotton and Solitaire from 215 count. We import the finest natural fibres in the world to make fabrics as fine as those of high end and the most fashionable brand names in Italy, France and Europe. We use the finest extra-long staple Egyptian cotton; the best linen from Europe; the highest quality Merino wool from Australia and our selection of the choicest silk.

The importance of natural fibres for us is so significant that in December 2006, the UN proclaimed 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres.For the interest of our patrons we give below a short history of natural fibres:

Prehistoric Times

The Paleolithic or Stone Age covers the period from when early man existed on the earth, from 200000 BCE to around 10000 BCE. It is the period when man first started making crude tools from stone. During this primordial period man used the hides and fur of animals to clothe and protect himself from the weather. Needles made from bones dating back to 50,000 years were found in Siberia and also shreds of crudely woven fabric. The technique was called ‘naalebinding’. It involved using several short lengths of rope or thread made from reeds, flax, hemp, jute, hair, etc. and knitting them together with needles or knotting them by hand to form a rough piece of cloth. An interesting fact was that apparently these were sometimes dyed.

Some of the oldest known textiles were remnants of six finely woven textiles and cordage found in Guitarrero Cave, Peru dated between 10100 and 9080 BCE. They were woven from plant fibres.


Early man started cultivating crops at different times in the world: in Mesopotamia around 13000 BCE, in China around 11000 BCE, in Turkey and Pakistan around 8500 BCE. Cotton and flax were also grown.


Linen is made of flax, the plant from which linseed oil is produced. Theearliest evidence of humans using wild flax as a textile (before agriculture was established ) was found in the Republic of Georgia, where spun, dyed and knotted wild flax fibers were found in the Dzudzuana Cave and dated back to the Upper Paleolithic age, 30,000 years ago. Flax was first cultivated in the Middle East and Anatolia. Woven cloth of flax dating back to circa 5500 BCE was found in Huyuk Catal in Anatolia, Turkey. It showed that those people cultivated flax and made clothes for themselves from the fibre.Around 3500 BCE flax was a primary crop in Egypt and the wealthier class wore linen garments. The linen bandages of several Egyptian mummies more than 3000 years old were found to be in good condition when these tombs were opened. The ancient kingdom of Sumeria and in the fertile crescent 4000 years ago also grew and wove clothes from flax. A bronze-age factory, circa 2500 BCE dedicated to flax processing was discovered in Euonymeia, in Greece. Today, the finest linen fibre comes from Europe.

Linen is not as crisp and light as cotton, but it has an impressive fall, is cool in summer, body friendly and moreover it has antiseptic properties. It doesn’t wrinkle as fast as cotton does. Bandages are made of linen. It is also good for sheets and table cloth.

During these ancient times fabrics were worn by the wealthier classes. The making of thread and weaving was done by the ladies of the house.


No one knows exactly how old cotton is. Bits of cotton bolls and pieces of cotton cloth were found in Mexico that proved to be at least 7,000 years old. However, the Indus Valley Civilization is credited for being the first to grow cotton at a significant level and weave cloth in circa 2500 BCE. The loom was developed around 2000 years ago at different times in China, India, Peru and Egypt. The spinning wheel (khaadi) was invented in India around 500 CE.Egyptians grew and spun cotton from 600–700 CE.


However, the subcontinent was famous for its cotton in ancient history. Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, mentions Indian cotton in the 5th century BCE as "a wool exceeding in beauty and goodness that of sheep." When Alexander the Great invaded India, his troops started wearing cotton clothes that were more comfortable than their previous woolen ones. Strabo, another Greek historian, mentioned the vividness of Indian fabrics.During the Islamic period in India the cities of Burhan and Ahmedabad were famous for their cotton fabrics. Later in the British period Dacca was world renowned for its muslin.


During the Abbasid period the Middle East was the leader in textile. Places like Sussania, Bokhara, Khurasan, Shiraz became famous not only for cotton but damask, silks and wools as well. The fabric taffeta draws its name from the Persian silken cloth ‘taftah’. During the Crusades (1st Crusade 1095 CE, 2nd, Crusade 1147 CE and 3rd. Crusade 1202 CE) the Europeans liked to take cloths and cloaks from Arabia back with them. Cathedrals in Europe were decorated with arras from Arabia. It were weavers from Arabia that came and taught the Europeans the art of weaving during Medieval times and right till the 11th. century Arabic art and motifs dominated European textiles. During the Muslim period in Spain (711 CE) thousands of weaving mills in Cordoba and Segovia were established and Spain became the textile centre of Europe. The wool industry that later flourished tremendously was also established during this era. Europe directly owes more to the Islamic Empire than is ever given credit.

Cotton is crisp, smooth, light and has a fine lustre. It is body friendly. It is very versatile and can make fine muslin, warm gabardine, rainproof twill, rough corduroy and denim and incredibly smart apparel.

This is an exceptionally silky and luxurious type of wool that is produced by the Angora goat. It is highly fashionable and expensive.
The Angora originated from Tibet.
Turkey imported and developed this stock in the 16th century.


The interesting fact is originally wild sheep were hairy, not woolly. Although sheep were domesticated some 9,000 to 11,000 years ago, archaeological evidence shows that it was around 6000 BC when people in Iran started breeding woolly sheep. The Scythians and Sogdians, like the ancient Turks and Mongols, also bred woolly sheep and wove the wool into clothing, knitted hats, and created knotted wool carpets for their floors. The Silk Route (200 BCE) spread wool and sheep breeding techniques to China, India and also Europe. Greece was using woolen garments earlier. 700 BCE. From there it spread to the Roman Empire. However it collapsed after the fall of the Roman Empire in 400 CE. Thereafter when the Islamic Empire conquered Spain they reintroduced Central Asian sheep breeding techniques and weaving woolen fabrics in Europe. They also introduced the foundation stock of the Merino sheep here and the breed was developed here.


Merino wool is specially high quality wool; in fact, of the usual type of wool used the world over, it is the best. Thus, between the 12th and 16th century Spain completely dominated the wool trade in Europe. However, in the 18th century Charles III of Spain gifted the sheep to Saxony and Belgium, thus the Merino breed eventually became widespread. It is interesting to note that in 1860 the Peppin brothers of Australia imported one Merino sheep called ‘Emperor’. This one ram is particularly responsible for originally establishing the wool industry in Australia and today this country and New Zealand are known for having the best Merino wool and Australia is the largest exporter of wool.

The quality of wool is measured in microns (one millionth of a metre) of the average diameter of the sample.


This is an exceptionally silky and luxurious type of wool that is produced by the Angora goat. It is highly fashionable and expensive. The Angora originated from Tibet. Turkey imported and developed this stock in the 16th century. The word mohair derived from Arabic‘mokhi’ meaning choice cloth. In the 19th century Turkey monopolized the breeding of Angora goats, but eventually it spread to England, Europe, America and Australia.


Chateuse or Shahtoosh, is a Persian word meaning ‘king of wools’. It is the down hair of the Chiru antelope found in Tibet. It is the finest and most expensive wool in the world, with the lowest micron count. Next come Vicuna and Pashmina. Pashmina is the wool of the Changthari goat found in Kashmir. Cloth and shawls of this wool were woven here and thus Europeans call it Cashmere wool. As mentioned above it is one of the finest wool in the world.


The Vicuna and Alpaca are types of lama found in the Andes mountains in South America. The wool of the Vicuna is exceptionally fleecy and smooth and as mentioned above among the very finest in the world. However, a Vicuna can only be shorn after three years, therefore its wool is very expensive. It is very fashionable. The South Americans bred the Alpaca from the Vicuna in order to be able to get its wool every year. Alpaca wool is also very fine and fashionable.

We of the HOUSE OF PASHA look upon these natural fibres as our source of treasure whereby we can select the highest quality gems to create a wealth of beautiful and sophisticated fabrics.


The best silk in the world is found in China. The earliest discovery is of 3630 CBE where in a tomb a child’s body was found wrapped in silk.


The writings of Confucius and Chinese tradition tell the tale of how silk was discovered. In 2700 BCE a 14 year old princess Leizu was having tea when a silk cocoon fell in her cup. She tried to extract it and just kept pulling the thread. From this she got the idea to weave cloth from this fibre. Later in 2600 CBE the Empress Hsi Ling Shi, wife of Emperor Huang Ti (also called the Yellow Emperor) taught her staff how to make silk gave great impetus to the silk industry. The Empress is considered the deity of silk in Chinese mythology.


Silk production flourished as a secret of China for almost three millennia. Until 100 CE China didn’t allow export of silk. Subsequently, especially after the famous Silk Route opened in 200 CE, this beautiful fabric was exported all over Asia and parts of Europe and North Africa. In 300 CE Japan learned the secret of sericulture and silk production and began manufacturing silk; around 350 CE silk production began in Persia; it isn’t clear when it started in India, but probably it was around this period; in Byzantine it was incepted around 550 CE.


Silk moths lay around 500 eggs during their lifespan of four to six days. After the eggs hatch, the caterpillars are fed a diet of mulberry leaves in a controlled environment. Their body weight increases substantially. Then the silk caterpillars (silkworms) surround themselves with fibers of a white jelly-like substance. Their cocoons resemble white, yellow, pink, and brown furry balls. After eight or nine days, the silkworms (actually caterpillars changing into moths) are killed in their cocoons. The cocoons are lowered into hot water to loosen up the tight protective filaments that are then unraveled, wound onto a spool, and later spun into thread. The filaments might be 600 to 900 meters long! Several filaments are twisted together to make a thread. The silk threads are woven into cloth or used for fine embroidery.The process of pulling out the thread from the cocoon is called reeling. Normal silk is reeled. After the thread has been taken out it has to be cleaned to remove waxes and processed.


Boski thread is not reeled out of the cocoon, the thread is removed whole from the cocoon and gathered as a flux and afterwards unwound cleaned and processed.


The silk thread has wax impurities and has to be cleaned thoroughly. Raw silk is not cleaned fully. This gives a slight rough texture to the fabric.

Silk is the smoothest and shiniest natural fibre. Quality silk is soft and glossy with clear and symmetrical colors. The shimmering appearance of silk is because the silk molecules refract light very much. Silk is strong, but it isn't elastic. If it is stretched, it doesn't return to the same length. It also absorbs water. One problem with silk is that some insects find it delicious.

Therefore we see that these flax, cotton, wool and silk are the primary natural fibres and they are the real essence of elegance.

We of the HOUSE OF PASHA look upon these natural fibres as our source of treasure whereby we can select the highest quality gems to create a wealth of beautiful and sophisticated fabrics.

1. The count of cotton thread is a good measure for gauging the quality of cotton. The measure of the quality of raw fibre is called micronaire, which indicates the linear density of the cotton staple, in other words how thin and strong the thread stretched out of the cotton flux will be. The count is directly related to the micronaire. Cotton of less than 20 count can only be used to make sacks. From 30 to 40 it will only make bed sheets and T shirts, Good quality fabric starts at 80 count. 100 count will make superior fabrics and this count goes upwards. Local cotton is only about 30 to 40 count. Egyptian long staple cotton is 100 count and goes well beyond 200 count. A normal one lb. of Egyptian cotton fibre can produce a thread that can stretch from Lahore to Gujranwala.


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