Why use cashmere
Cashmere is made from the soft fleecy under layer of a goat’s coat. Cashmere growth is fuelled by the chilly air – grows in Winter, in fact the colder it gets, the more it grows; it’s designed to insulate and protect the goats from harsher climates. As soon as the weather warms, the goats naturally shed their coats. Cashmere producers then comb out the valuable product before it is spun and usually dyed all sorts of. Pashmina Shawls also known by the west as Cashmere literally translates to “Soft Gold” in Kashmir. Pashmina Shawl came to be known as 'Cashmere' in the west after this fibre was being encountered by the Europeans in Kashmir. The Pashmina goat or Changra goats sheds its winter coat every spring. This under fleece is collected by combing the goat, not by shearing, as in other fine wools. Unlike other Cashmere goats, the Pashmina goat not only feeds on the grass but also the roots of the grass. The traditional producers of Pashmina Wool in the Ladakh region of Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir are a tribe known as the Changpa. They are a nomadic people and inhabit the Changthang plateau of the Kashmir region, which has the lowest altitude of 13,500 feet above the sea level and the winter temperature drops to −40 degree Celsius. The raw Pashmina wool is transported to the valley of Kashmir in northern India, where it is entirely hand processed. All steps from combing (removing impurities and guard hair, and aligning fibers) and spinning, to weaving and finishing, are entirely carried out by hand by specialized craftsmen and women. The old district of Srinagar, capital of Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir is the major centre of Pashmina fabric production.
Types of Cashmere
Types of Cashmere vary a huge amount, and it all depends on the environmental factors around the animal it comes from. Up in the Himalayas, goats grow very fine hair to keep them warm during the colder Winters, so this fine hair is much better for producing super soft Cashmere. The most luxurious Cashmere wool comes from this tribe known as the Changpa, where the yarn is noted for its long, smooth straight fibres. As well as the thickness of the hairs, the length of the hair makes a difference in Cashmere quality. The longer each hair, the better the fabric will be in terms of pilling and achieving the fluffy quality that we love so much.
Why is Cashmere so expensive?
There’s no doubt that cashmere is one of the priciest materials to use in fashion manufacturing. But why is it so expensive? Well, that’s down to two main issues; the complexity of the manufacturing process, and the rarity of the raw material. Amazingly, a single goat only provides about 100 g of Cashmere which isn’t even enough for one shawl. Considering it will take about 2-3 goats a years’ worth of product (having only one coat to shed each year) to create a cashmere garment, it’s no wonder the price has soared. Alongside this, there is unfortunately a finite amount of Cashmere readily available in the world.
What is Cashmere used for?
So after understanding more about how Cashmere is produced, you’re probably wondering – what is Cashmere actually used for? Cashmere can be used for almost any lightweight clothing product; everything from scarves, shawls and light Summer jackets to Known for its heat retaining qualities, cashmere is particularly effective for Winter wear that will keep you cosy without being too bulky. As well as this, you’ll also find cashmere being used for some home furnishings and the softest blankets you’ve ever felt
The Benefits of Cashmere?
Cashmere is known for its softness producing a luxury feel.
Insulation. Cashmere is up to 3 times more insulating that regular sheep's wool, providing superior insulation.