Cashmere comes from Tibetan cashmere goats who originates from the Himalayas. The goats migrated with Chinese herders to Mongolia, Tibet and Northern provinces of China in the 10th and 12th centuries. With the development of the Asian empire, cashmere slowly began to enter the trade routes in the West. In the 13th century Marco Polo brought cashmere to Italy and here it became the fiber of choice among the aristocratic elite.
Processing the Fiber
Cashmere goats have a fine undercoat that protects and insulates them from the cold temperatures. Each spring the cashmere is removed from the goat with a special comb. In nature the cashmere goat gets rid of the undercoat itself so it doesn’t overheat.
When the cashmere has been removed, the dirt, grass and other fiber contaminants are removed from the cashmere. The fibers are then sorted by fineness and color, then the cashmere is washed, dried and spun into yarn. It takes approximately a year’s worth of cashmere from three to four goats in order to make a single cashmere sweater.
The Benefits of Cashmere
Cashmere has many benefits and one of them is that it is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool and 33% lighter. The cashmere fiber has a crimp or curl that sheep’s wool does not have. This extra crimp holds pockets of warm air close to the body. Furthermore cashmere is the softest animal fiber available on the market. The softness of a cashmere fiber is measured by micron count.
The micron count is the measure of the diameter of the fiber and the lower the number, the softer the fiber. The cashmere fiber’s low micron count and the length of the fibers, makes it extremely soft and gentle to the skin. The micron count has a great significance when it comes to the quality of the cashmere. That’s why we carefully handpick our cashmere. We only use 100% premium cashmere for all our cashmere pieces. Since the fibers are so short some peeling can be expected on garments made of 100% premium cashmere, but this can be prevented by taking care of your garment. Find our cashmere guide and let us help take care of your cashmere sweaters.