What is Cashmere?
Cashmere is the hair (not wool) of a Himalayan goat found in the mountains of India, Tibet, Afghanistan and Nepal. These goats have 2 layers of hair - a course, straighter, outer hair (guard hair) and a soft downy inner hair. Due to the climate and altitude, these mountain goats of the high Himalayas have an extra soft downy hair that is collected during the yearly moult and spun into cashmere wool.
"The word cashmere is an old spelling of the Kashmir region in northern India. Cashmere is fine in texture, strong, light, and soft. Garments made from it provide excellent insulation,approximately three times that of sheep wool.Cashmere is also softer than regular wool." Wikipedia
Why is Cashmere so expensive?
Is it ethical?
Yes, goats are not harmed in the collection of cashmere down which is either done by shearing like sheep or combing. It takes 20 minutes to comb the down from each goat
How is Cashmere produced?
Once collected, the hair needs to be separated or de-haired which is a mechanical process that separates the coarse hairs from the valuable fine downy hair. The resulting hair is called "cashmere" and is ready to be spun and dyed or used naturally for knitting, weaving and other textile processes.