What is Cashmere? Why is Cashmere very expensive?

What is Cashmere? Why is Cashmere very expensive?

You’ve probably seen Cashmere in high-end fashion boutiques or luxurious gift shops, within the grasp of captivated shoppers. But what is Cashmere? This coveted fabric has become synonymous with luxury; The soft, insulating material is one of the most valuable natural products used in the fashion industry today. It is characterized by an incredibly smooth finish. This is the result of delicate fibers that are almost silky to the touch. It doesn’t have the itchy quality of wool, but it still provides insulating warmth. Hence, why cashmere is such a sought-after fabric?

What is cashmere made of?

Cashmere is made from the soft wool under the layer of a goat coat. Its growth is driven by cold air and it grows in winter. In fact, the colder it gets, the more it grows; It is designed to isolate and protect goats from the harshest climates. As soon as the weather warms up, goats naturally shed their coats. Cashmere producers then comb the valuable product before spinning it and are usually dyed of all kinds.

There is a breed of cashmere goats from which the soft fibers often come. However, it can be taken from any herd as long as the hairs are fine enough to make the cut. That is less than 19 microns, comparatively a human hair is 50-70 microns. Those goats are generally found in nomadic herds around the world, usually in Mongolia, China, and Iran. Large fluctuations in temperature make conditions more suitable for growing cashmere. In Mongolia, the goat population grew from 5 to 20 million in the period 1990-2009 due to increased demand in Cashmere.

Types of cashmere

The types of cashmere vary greatly. It all depends on the environmental factors that surround the animal it comes from. In the Himalayas, goats grow very fine hair to keep them warm during the coldest winters. This fine hair is much better at producing super-soft cashmere. The most luxurious cashmere wool comes from this area, where the yarn stands out for its straight, long, and soft fibers. In addition to the thickness of the hairs, the length of the hair makes a difference in the quality of the fabric. The longer each hair is, the better the fabric will be in terms of pilling and achieving the fluffy quality we love so much.

Why is Cashmere very expensive?

There is no doubt that cashmere is one of the most expensive materials to use in fashion making. But why is it so expensive? Well, that is due to two main problems; the complexity of the manufacturing process and the rarity of the raw material. Surprisingly, a single goat only provides about 200g of cashmere, which is not even enough for a jumper. Considering that it will take a year of fur from about 2-3 goats to create a cashmere garment, it’s no wonder the price has skyrocketed. Along with this, there is unfortunately a finite amount of Cashmere available in the world.

What is cashmere used for?

You are probably wondering: what is cashmere really used for? Can be used for almost any lightweight clothing product; everything from light summer jackets to scarves and shawls. Known for its heat retention qualities, cashmere is particularly effective for winter clothing. It will keep you comfortable without being too bulky. You will also find it used for some home furnishings and the softest blankets you have ever felt.

Origins and History of Cashmere

The name Cashmere is derived from the location Kashmir. The fiber was originally produced there as early as the 13th century. Between the 1500s and 1800s, the emperors of Iran and India wore cashmere shawls in religious ceremonies and political proceedings, for example in Indian Mughal courts. This fabric has a long and rich history, particularly in Europe, where its popularity has exploded over the last 500 years. It began to be imported into Scotland in the 18th century after a Scottish manufacturer discovered cashmere shawls in India. Since then, its use in the textile industry has increased dramatically, defining its luxury status.

How to know if your cashmere is of high quality?

Generally, the higher the percentage of Cashmere in a garment, the higher the quality of the product. The fabric is often spun from silk to retain its luxurious silky smooth quality, without being prone to excessive pilling. (They are those little bubbles that form on the surface of the fabric). Pilling can occur with 100% Cashmere garments. Another way to check that you’re getting the good stuff is to look for a tight-knit product. A tighter weave is generally indicative of two-ply yarn. This means that two pieces of yarn were twisted together in the manufacture of the product. Consequently, a stronger and warmer garment that will last much longer. It is also important to keep an eye out for bright colors. The brighter shades mean the Cashmere was very clean at first and the dyeing process was first class.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cashmere

With any fabric there are advantages and disadvantages; here are the most notable qualities of Cashmere:

Advantage

  • Light
  • Very Warm
  • Extremely Smooth
  • Luxury Object

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Limited quantity
  • Hard to find

So now that you have an answer to the question “what is Cashmere?" If you have any queries about Cashmere and its products than please contact us: hcmc@ntc.net.np

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