Definition of shahtoosh in English:



  • 1[mass noun] High-quality wool from the neck hair of the Himalayan ibex.

    • ‘While it is important to save the animal in its habitat in China and also to campaign against shahtoosh in India, it is also important that policy makers in Beijing pay heed to this and accord the species the status it deserves.’
    • ‘And the cashmere: you can buy pashmina by the yard and near-shahtoosh - that is, shahtoosh that isn't - but not even an antelope can tell the difference.’
    • ‘Unlike other luxurious wools such as cashmere and pashmina, shahtoosh is produced from the fine, inner hairs of the Tibetan antelope - which cannot be shorn from the animal.’
    • ‘The gossamer threads of the shahtoosh make a shawl so warm and soft that it passes through a ring.’
    • ‘Poachers have decimated the chiru populations to supply the black market trade in shahtoosh, which is among the world's most expensive wools and is 25 percent finer then cashmere.’
    1. 1.1Fabric woven from shahtoosh wool.
      [as modifier] ‘a large shahtoosh shawl’
      • ‘Four years ago, on a raid at a London shop, police seized 138 shahtoosh shawls, which had price tags ranging between £2,000 and £15,000.’
      • ‘In 1999 United States Fish and Wildlife Service officials forced nearly 100 wealthy Manhattan residents to return shahtoosh shawls smuggled into the country.’
      • ‘Duplicates of the paper-thin shahtoosh shawls (from Ladakh), which have been banned, are available in the local market.’
      • ‘Despite your efforts, thousands of shahtoosh shawls are still being woven in Kashmir.’
      • ‘While the price tag on a shahtoosh shawl in Delhi's underground market ranges from £400 to £1,250, on the international market the price could be three to eight times as much.’
    2. 1.2[count noun]A shawl made from shahtoosh fabric.
      • ‘The animal is killed illegally to make shawls, called shahtoosh, which can sell for as much as US $11,000 each on the world market.’
      • ‘Only the moulted chiru wool was used in the weaving of shahtoosh.’


Mid 19th century: via Punjabi from Persian šāh king + Kashmiri tośa fine shawl material.