Cashmere wool

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Classification

Cashmere wool is classified as a hair fiber.

Primary uses

Cashmere is used in men's and women's clothing. One of the most notable applications of cashmere is the highly regarded cashmere sweater.

General characteristics

Cashmere is characterized as luxuriously soft, with high napability and loft. It is noted as providing a natural light-weight insulation without bulk. Cashmere is extremely warm (in order to serve its original purpose of protecting goats from cold mountain temperatures.) Fibers are highly adaptable and are easily constructed into fine or thick yarns, and light to heavy-weight fabrics. Appropriate for all climates, a high moisture content allows insulation properties to change with the relative humidity in the air.

Natural colors

Gray, brown and white.

Source of the fiber

The Cashmere (Kashmir) or down goat is the source of the 'wool' that is used to make cashmere fiber for the clothing from the fine, soft undercoat or underlayer of hair. The straighter and coarser outer coat of the goat is called guard hair.

Geographic origin

The goat resides in the high plateaus of Asia. Many nations in that area rely on cashmere as a luxury product that is exportable for high profit, including the significant supplier countries: China, Mongolia and Tibet.

Today, little is supplied by the Kashmir State of India, from which its name is derived. The cashmere products of this area first attracted the attention of Europeans in the early 1800s.

Gathering process

The specialty animal hair fibers are collected during molting seasons when the animals naturally shed their hairs. Goats molt during a several-week period in spring. In China and Mongolia, the down is removed by hand with a coarse comb. The animals are sheared in Iran, Afghanistan, New Zealand and Australia.

Production

The coarse hairs and down hairs of the cashmere goat and camel are separated by a mechanical process known as dehairing.

Annual yield

Up to 500 grams of fiber per goat, with an average 150 grams of underdown.

Types of fiber

  • Virgin — New fiber that has not been processed in any way, or has been made into yarns, fabrics or garments for the first time.
  • Recycled — Fibers reclaimed from scraps or fabrics that were previously woven or felted and may or may not have been used by the consumer.fr:Cachemire (tissu)
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