What Is Cashmere? Where Is Cashmere From?

What Is Cashmere? Where Is Cashmere From?

Nov 28 , 2021

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Eugene Loh


Cashmere: The golden fleece.

The fibre of kings.

These are just some of the extravagant names used to describe this luxurious fabric.

In this article, we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about this highly sought-after fabric.

cashmere wool

What Is Cashmere?

Cashmere is a type of wool that comes from the undercoat of certain goats found predominantly in Mongolia, Tibet, China, Pakistan and Iran.

Cashmere goats have a unique double coat, with coarse outer guard hair and a soft and fine undercoat. Fibres obtained from the undercoat is used to produce cashmere.

The name cashmere originated from Kashmir, where it was first woven in the 16th century. Since then, cashmere has been used in many fashion accessories, clothing, blankets, and even sleeping bags.

clothes manufacturing machine

How Is Cashmere Made?

Fibres used to produce cashmere are collected only in the spring. When their environment starts to warm up, these goats naturally shed their sought-after undercoat.

Once the undercoat is collected, it must be de-haired and cleaned to remove the straighter, coarser hairs of the goats' upper coat.

The harvested fleece must undergo de-hairing before it is ready to be sold as cashmere. De-hairing is very labour-intensive, and is often a manual process.

The resulting wool will then be dyed, spun into yarn or woven into a fabric, and finally turned into a fine cashmere garment.

Why Is Cashmere So Expensive?

The main contributors to its hefty price tag is the scarcity of this fibre, the difficulty of its collection, and the lengthy process from raw material to finished product.

The population of cashmere goats is barely 110 million worldwide.

That may seem like a lot, but the fact is that each goat can supply no more than 300 grams of wool—250 grams on average—per year.

This means that it will take the wool of at least three goats to produce a single 2-ply sweater.

cashmere goats

Where is the best cashmere sourced from?

The best cashmere in the world comes from Inner Mongolia.

The extreme climate conditions that the cashmere goats are subjected to in this region creates magnificently soft, long and warm fibres on these goats.

The longer the fibres, the softer and stronger it is.

Here at Snurfle Cashmere, we make sure to source only the highest quality, grade-A cashmere from Inner Mongolia.

What makes cashmere so great?

1. Softness

The softness of cashmere is perhaps the most prized characteristic of cashmere.

Grade-A cashmere fibres are approximately 15 microns in diameter, compared to human hair which, on average, is about 100 microns. Now that's soft.

2. Warmth

Cashmere is up to 7-8 times warmer than regular sheep's wool.

3. Breathable

Cashmere allows your body to breathe, which helps to regulate your body temperature. In fact, cashmere can be used for all four seasons of the year.

4. Lightweight

Cashmere is never bulky, doesn't take up a lot of space, and allows easy mobility.

5. Wrinkle-resistant

Take it with you anywhere you go, and you can be sure that your cashmere garment will still look great when you get there.

6. Comfort

The ultimate in comfort. Cashmere is one of the most comfortable fabric you can have on you.

7. Moisture wicking

Cashmere has high moisture content and as the humidity changes in the air, so does its insulation.

Contrary to common misconception, this feature and its high breathability make it comfortable in all climates, even warm ones.

8. No scratchiness

Unlike other kinds of wool, cashmere doesn't have a scratchy feeling on your skin. Instead, it feels fantastic!

9. Hypoallergenic

Cashmere is hypoallergenic, making it perfect for baby clothes or sleeping bags, especially for those with allergies.

cashmere fibre held in hand

Conclusion

Cashmere is a soft, warm and luxurious fabric that is the ideal choice all year round. It is the best of natural fibres and is one of the most luxurious fabrics you can own. Make sure to check out our cashmere care guide to learn how to look after your cashmere garment so it can last you for years to come.


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