Cashmere or, more precisely, cashmere wool, takes its name from the native goats of a northern region of the Indian subcontinent, today divided into three countries: China, India, and Pakistan.
In historical terms, cashmere is spelled ‘Kashmir’ and was a valley south of the western Himalayas. Nowadays, it designates a larger territory that, over the last decades, has been the target of multiple political and military conflicts, particularly disputed due to territorial issues.
Kashmir means “land with no water” or “land dry of water”. It is here, close to the highest mountain range in the world that a particular breed of goats, with a recognizably magnificently and lustrous coat of fur, inhabits. These are known as cashmere goats.
Cashmere is therefore a natural fiber of animal origin that is obtained from the fur of these goats.
However, the truth is that it is similarly possible to obtain this particular type of fiber from different breeds of goats, such as the pashmina goats, whose fur is also widely used, namely in the production of handkerchiefs.
A high-quality material, cashmere is a luxury wool, extremely delicate to the touch. These two characteristics are due to a single fact: for each strand of hair shorn by a goat, only 20% of it is used for the creation of a circular knitted fabric.
Only the best yarns are used in their design.
Cashmere is the name given to a type of wool, made entirely of cashmere fiber and widely used in the textile industry. It is a world-renowned wool. Its characteristics are truly unique, and its inherent qualities call for a great demand for consumers.
This type of wool is lighter, thinner, softer, stronger, and three times more insulating than that the one obtained from the shorn of most other breeds of goats and sheep.
Nevertheless, like any breed of goats, cashmere goats also grow two different layers of hair that gently blend with each other: a very robust and “protective” outer layer; and an interior layer, thin and delicate.
Taken together, the hair coat of these goats allows them to remain comfortable and protected from very adverse weather conditions and negative temperatures in the winter.
During the spring, the outer coat of these goats begins to fall off naturally.
After harsh winter conditions, they are now beginning to adapt to the cooler temperatures of spring and the warmer sun of the summer. This is when their fur is collected. The lower layer hairs are gently combed so as to obtain the famous cashmere strands. These threads go then through a mechanical process that loosens and separates them from one another, saving only the thinner and more delicate ones.
Later, the yarns are spun and converted into circular knitted fabrics, with worldwide recognized characteristics.
The main characteristic of the cashmere fiber is directly associated with its scarcity. For each goat that is combed, producers manage to only use 20% of a given yarn, adding only around 150-200 grams of this raw material.
To make a cashmere sweater, the hair of about four goats is necessary.
Another well-known characteristic of the cashmere fiber is its delicateness, lightness, and softness that comes from the protection given by the outer layer of fur to any possible threat to the more fragile interior strands of fur. Due to the harsh temperatures of winter and the heat of summer, cashmere fiber has also developed a unique molecular structure that allows for the balance of body temperature.
Cashmere is a natural insulator that adapts to all seasons of the year, especially transitional seasons as autumn and spring.
At the same time, this is a very strong and resistant fiber. Even somewhat elastic, allowing an easy adaptation to its environment. Although it can be dyed to any color, its natural colors tend to be either white, grey, or brown.
It’s for all these reasons that cashmere fiber became one of the most valued fibers in the world for the creation of circular knitted fabrics. They are elegant and luxurious pieces, created to provide all the comfort needed.
Cashmere fibers provide unique characteristics that are used to create one of the most popular types of circular knitted fabrics.
Its quality is unquestionable and is available at ITJV only through catalogue request and sample validation.
This text was written and published in 2021