What is so special about cashmere?
As cashmere specialists for over 20 years, the Cashmere Centre knows a few things about the fabulous fibre that is cashmere. As do our customers, knowing they are purchasing a sustainable material that has been used for many generations, and buying from a company with pedigree when it comes to sourcing the best quality cashmere, designing our own unique and exclusive designs, and taking pride in providing the best customer service available.
What is cashmere? Where is cashmere from?
Cashmere is such a wonderful and interesting material, it is finer, stronger, lighter and softer than sheep’s wool, and around three times more insulating. Sumptuously soft and luxurious next to the skin, it’s breathability helps us to regulate temperature naturally and effectively, you will stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
From cashmere goats, cashmere wool is from the fine undercoat produced in the cold mountainous areas of India, Nepal, Mongolia, China, and Iran amongst others. The cashmere name originates from the word 'Kashmir' which is a region in India. Cashmere has been used and farmed in some regions for thousands of years.
How is cashmere made?
Cashmere goats produce a double fleece which is made up of a soft undercoat and outer hair due to the cold climates they live in and love. The cashmere is removed from the goats around the spring moulting time which is naturally when goats will moult their winter hair. Cashmere goats are very hardy animals and the moulting is a natural process after winter. Cheaper cashmere is quite often the source of bad practice in the raising and management of goats, with goats receiving poor care. We pride ourselves on sourcing our cashmere yarn from sustainable and well-run farming practices.
Cashmere farmers will use a coarse comb which pulls tufts from the goat’s fleece, the longer, outer guard hair is then trimmed and often used for other products, but generally not clothing due to the coarser feel.
Why is cashmere expensive?
When the goats are de-haired by the farmers, the coarser outer, guard hair is separated from the softer under-hair. Combing the goats is the most popular and best method for harvesting the cashmere, it takes considerable time to do so properly and this adds to the uniqueness and in turn the price of good quality cashmere clothing and knitwear. Those that take the considerable time to comb the goats properly produce the highest quality and the softest garments, usually, this also means the price will be higher as more time has been invested into the quality of the yarn which is seen in the quality of the cashmere clothing that retailers sell.
Once the de-hairing process has happened the cashmere is ready to be woven, dyed and spun into yarn which we then make into beautifully soft and luxurious clothing.
Does cashmere hurt animals?
Responsible retailers will ensure the goats are kept well and this is reflected in the quality of the fibres that are produced. Healthy and happy goats produce the best cashmere and have the best quality of life. The Cashmere Centre only sources cashmere fibre from well-run and sustainable farming practices in Mongolia, we ensure the animals are treated well and this is evident in the quality of the cashmere wool we use in our luxurious clothing collections.
There is no such thing as ‘good quality cheap cashmere’, and retailers offering cheap cashmere products are very unlikely to care about sustainable farming or the welfare of farmers or animals.
We take immense pride in designing and creating beautiful cashmere garments for our loyal customers, they respond with fabulous feedback for us which strives us to improve our collection every year, this hopefully provides clarity on why you should choose us for your cashmere knitwear.
Should you have any further questions we would be so pleased to take time to talk with you about our products and services, and we hope to educate more people to why cashmere is the finest fibre in the world and why we love it so much!
"Cashmere goat grazing on grass" by Jothy Kumar Selvakumar
"Cashmere Goats (Kashmir)" by JCSmilly