What is Cashmere?

April 25, 2020 0 Comments

Cashmere is a fiber obtained from cashmere goats. It is the soft hair from the undercoat of the cashmere goat grown to its maximum length by mid-winter and shed in early spring.  Cashmere is finer, stronger, lighter, softer, and much more insulating than sheep wool.  It has been used to make yarn, textiles, and clothing for hundreds of years.  Claims have been made that Napolean Bonaparte's wife helped to popularize the fabric and as time went on, it's popularity skyrocketed among the elite.

Cashmere is produced from many different types of goats called cashmere goats and can be found in many parts of the world. Most cashmere comes from the goats of Mongolia and China as the harsh climate, where winters can be -40 degrees, forces the cashmere goats to adapt to the climate by developing a double fleece.  Inner Mongolia is generally seen as the best origin for cashmere because the harsher winters produce the longest, thinnest & softest hair.  

The quality of the cashmere fiber is determined by three factors: Its length, its diameter & the degree of crimping.  Long fine fibers pill less and maintain their shape better than items made with shorter hairs.  Longer hairs are also more expensive.