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Fabric Guide: Cashmere

What Is Cashmere?

Cashmere is easily considered as one of the most luxurious, high-end fibers. It is characterized by fine, soft, natural fibers that are almost silky.

The soft cashmere fiber comes from the cashmere goat, which is found across the Himalayas. The goat is also bred in locations like China, Mongolia, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, and Scotland. The bitterly cold temperatures in these regions (which can go as low as -30°C), cause these goats to develop two coats of hair to deal with: a thick, wiry topcoat and a super soft, down cashmere undercoat. The second coat is where cashmere comes from.

The name Cashmere derives from the Kashmir region, located between India, Pakistan, and China.

How Is Cashmere Made?

When the weather warms up for Spring, the Kashmir goats undergo a natural shedding process in which they get rid of a mixture of both coarse and fine hairs. The goats are brushed gently to delicately gather the under fleece – ensuring none of the fibers are harmed or damaged.

Once the fibers are collected, they undergo a selection process to keep only the longest and most delicate hairs. After, cashmere fibers are woven into a usable fabric through a delicate process that focuses on zero chemicals and no over-processing to keep the fabric as soft as possible. Too much processing or the addition of harmful chemicals can damage the fibers, taking away their soft and downy nature.

Check the ply and gauge

The higher the gauge is, the tighter the garment is knit, making it warmer and more durable.

The cashmere fibers can only be collected once every year, making their supply extremely limited. Added to that, the fiber selection process narrows down the supply available because the wool of approximately 4 adult goats is needed to make one average-sized sweater. And to make matters more selective, the fabric creation process requires expert handling of the delicate fibers, leaving no room for mistakes, chemicals, or over-processing.

Cashmere is an extremely soft fabric that works as an insulator (meaning that it keeps the warmth inside), which allows you to stay warm in cold conditions. Added to that, the fibers make it one of the most lightweight fabrics available, which makes them extremely comfortable to wear.

Wearing cashmere garments can yield many benefits:

  • Insulation: cashmere has an insulation capacity 3x higher than regular wool.
  • Sustainability: the fabric is gathered through a sustainable and natural process.
  • Durability: the garments are of higher quality and longer lasting than other fabrics, which means that you can have the same clothing for many years (avoiding fast fashion waste).
  • Lightweight: cashmere fibers are extremely fine, which makes this fabric lightweight for all winter wear. This is also convenient for traveling!
  • Comfortable & Soft: cashmere is one of the softest fabrics in the world, which makes it extremely comfortable and cozy to wear!

Things you should know about cashmere

A cashmere goat can produce 100 grams of usable fiber in just one year. Male goats are the most sought-after as they produce a greater quantity of fabric.

The diameter of a piece of cashmere yarn corresponds to about 1/10th the diameter of a strand of human hair. In fact, to produce a scarf takes the amount of wool produced by two or three cashmere goats.

Cashmere comes in three colors – white, grey, and brown – but the material can be dyed like any other type of wool.

The most popular and most famous factories for processing and turning Cashmere wool into garments are in Europe – Italy and Scotland to be more precise. The oldest factory that is still producing Cashmere clothing is in the city of Elgin in Scotland and it was founded in 1797.

Cashmere fineness starts from 14 microns and goes up to 19 microns. Thinner cashmere is softer. This means that cashmere is quite delicate and should be washed very carefully.

Valentine’s Day approaches

This day is perhaps one of the most beautiful in the year, because it is filled with a lot of love, kisses, and warm hugs.

We all have someone to whom we want to make this day special.

Engayla upcycles and re-designs cashmere creating one-of-a-kind garments and accessories making them especially unique. In Winter I design cashmere neck warmers that are perfect on top of a crew neck sweater, tunic, or blouse. Don’t wait! These neck warmers are never available for very long. They sell fast and they are extremely popular!

The black, grey, and brown neck warmer is more easily available than other colors. This year we have sold neck warmers in green, blue, and teal cashmere combinations and in purple, red and rust combinations.

Below is a link to the most commonly available neck warmer (as mentioned all cashmere accessories are one-of-a-kind):

cashmere valentines gifts

Thank you for your interest!

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