Cashmere is a very expensive, but at the same time, a truly sophisticated fabric used for sewing various wardrobe items. This material has an interesting history of origin and method of extraction.
The origin of cashmere
Cashmere is the down or natural fiber of the mountain goat, which is found mainly in the countries of South Asia. The name originated from the Kashmir region - the territory on the border of India and Pakistan. This fabric is known as one of the softest, softest, lightest and warmest fabrics available. It is a misconception that cashmere is simply expensive or well-made wool. In fact, this mountain goat undercoat is plucked or combed out by hand in the spring before the animal begins to moult.
The main suppliers of cashmere down are countries such as China and Mongolia. In addition, the fabric is sourced from India, Iran and Afghanistan, however, such fluff is considered dirtier, with thicker and darker hair, therefore it is cheaper than its counterparts. Attempts have been made to breed cashmere goats in other territories, for example, in Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. However, other climatic conditions (in the absence of a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers) led to the loss of the precious undercoat of lightness and amazing ability to keep warm.
Cashmere was learned in Europe in the 18th century, when Napoleon, after an Eastern military campaign, brought Josephine a thin and almost transparent woolen shawl decorated with embroidery. Then it was also called pashmina. A little later, pashmina forever acquired the status of a classic accessory and an important addition to a fashionable wardrobe.
In one year, a goat is able to bring no more than 100-200 g of down, which is why, in order not to lose a single gram of valuable material, the goat is combed out with a special pinch. In order to knit one cashmere sweater, you need to collect the wool of 4-6 animals. For a voluminous cardigan of 10 threads, material from 20 animals is used. It is this circumstance that determines the high cost of things made of real cashmere.
The difference between cashmere and regular wool can be felt to the touch. The sensitivity of the fingers allows a difference of one micron to be determined. Human hair is 50 microns thick, and good cashmere fabric has strands of only 16 microns. As a result, the airiness of such things is felt immediately.
Cashmere continues to grow in popularity today as living standards improve in European countries, Japan and the United States. It does not cause allergies and gives a unique feeling of softness and comfort.