Cashmere is a precious fibre, the finest hair from goats originating from Tibet and growing at the base of the fleece, consisting of long, setose hairs. They are between 50 and 130mm long and have an average thickness between 1.5 and 13 microns, much finer than even the finest merinos wool, for example. The gathering of the wool takes place in the spring with the technique of “combing”. The preciousness of cashmere derives not only from its exceptional properties of fineness, softness and shininess but also from the limitation of the habitat in which the animal can breed and the scarcity of the quantity, 60-170 grams of hair, produced in a year by each animal. The name comes from the historical region of Kashmir, which today covers the border area between India, Pakistan and China.
Cashmere fibre is very similar to that of sheep’s wool. However, it is characterized by the lack of lanolin, like the alpaca, which makes it non-allergenic. For this reason it is considered ideal for children.
The diameter of a thread of cashmere is about 1/10 of the diameter of a human hair. The goat is combed by hand to obtain the fleece. For example, to produce a scarf, wool from two or three cashmere goats is needed.