What is cashmere wool and why is it so expensive?

CASHMERE is an exceptionally luxurious, costly wool that is widely used in shawls, cardigans and jumpers.

Why is the fine silk so costly, though, and how is the wool obtained for use?

Cashmere is a luxurious material made from cashmere goats from China and Mongolia with a fluffy undercoat.

Cashmere is a luxurious material made from the fluffy undercoat of Chinese and Mongolian cashmere goats.

What’s cashmere here?

Cashmere comes from goats, the form of goats that roam in areas like Mongolia, Tibet, Northern India, Iran, Afghanistan, and Southwest China in Asia.

Most of the luxury fibre comes from the Kashmir goat, but some samples can also come from other kinds of goats.

Usually, cashmere is thinner, smoother and lighter than the wool of sheep, and can be three times more insulating.

It is made from a very fine, tight weave and has been developed for thousands of years in Mongolia, Nepal and Kashmir.

Very soft cashmere wool is usually used in shawls, jumpers and cardigans.

Highly soft cashmere wool is widely used in shawls, jumpers and cardigans.

Is cashmere wool cruel to livestock?

The Kashmir goats undergo a moulting process every year from March to May and shed a mixture of coarse hair and a fluffy undercoat.

The two hairs have to be separated by the farmers, so that the fine undercoat can be dyed and woven into a yarn for cloth use.

Animal rights groups, however, have been slamming the use of cashmere goods.

This is because goats have so little fat on their bodies and if shorn in mid-winter, they will freeze to death (when the demand for their wool is highest).

By the end of January 2019, ASOS has announced it will withdraw all cashmere, silk and feather items.

Cashmere is usually finer, smoother and lighter than sheep’s wool, but the process is slammed by some animal rights groups

Cashmere is usually thinner, softer and lighter than sheep’s fur, but the process is slammed by some animal rights organisations.

Nearly four decades of investigations by PETA affiliates have clearly shown that staff either take the fur, skin, or feathers of live animals by force or kill them for all animal-derived materials, including cashmere, for all animal-derived materials, and any part of the process involves cruelty, sometimes serious.

Mimi Bekhechi, Director of International Programs for Peta, told Sun Online:

Sheep and goats grown in China and Mongolia need their coats to shield them from the bitter cold, but to meet consumer demand, they are often shorn in midwinter, and many die as a result of exposure.

Young goats are slaughtered with alleged ‘defects’ in their skins, and to protect the industry, native wildlife is often abused and killed. PETA urges compassionate buyers to check every label and instead opt for vegan materials.

Why is cashmere so costly?

The reason the fabric is so costly is that only around 113g of cashmere fibre is produced annually by Kashmir goats.

Every year, it takes about two goats to produce enough fibre to build a single jumper.

Clothes made from cashmere are up to eight times warmer and incredibly comfortable to the touch than sheep’s fur.

Based on how high quality they are, cashmere products are graded from A to C, with Grade A being the best but thinnest choice.

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