Cashmere goat fiber is one of the most valuable natural fibers of all.
Real cashmere is available in limited quantities and is therefore in great demand. The hair comes from the floppy-eared Cashmere goat, which is native to the Kashmir region in the Himalayan plateau. Today, however, more than 90% of the wool comes from China and Mongolia. The undercoat of Cashmere goats is much finer than that of sheep - the hair has a diameter of 15 to 19 micrometers and is still 25 to 90 millimeters long. Thanks to these properties, the cashmere fiber is not only incomparably light and soft, but also warms particularly well.
A scarf requires the wool that a goat produces in a year
But this precious luxury has a catch: the cashmere goats only shed a very limited amount of the fine undercoat because they need it themselves in order not to freeze in the cold of the high mountains. The hair can only be combed out once a year, usually towards the end of winter; Each animal then gives between 150 and 300 grams of its valuable hair.
Because of its rarity and outstanding tactile qualities, cashmere is correspondingly valuable. A kilogram of good raw cashmere costs around 250 francs, dyed and processed costs more than 350 francs; these are prices for the fibers, not the yarns and finished garments.
The long hair is sought after
What is relevant for the quality (and price) of pure cashmere products is not only the purity of the fibers, but also the length of the hair. The longest fibers are the most valuable because the shorter ones tend to separate from the twisted yarn and clump into knots. This so-called pilling is an unsightly side effect that mainly occurs with inferior textiles.
The fiber and yarn quality is the essential criterion for cashmere - the other, and particularly important for us, is sustainability.
Join us live on social media when we go to Lo-Mantang in 2019 and show you directly from our shepherds how the goats live and the wool is produced.