Skip to content

DISCOVER

WHAT IS
CASHMERE

Cashmere is synonymous with luxury

In the world of textiles, cashmere is synonymous with luxury. The delicate wool is soft and lightweight, making it perfect for high-end garments.

While cashmere is often associated with high-end fashion, it is also increasingly used in various other products, from blankets and throws to home furnishings. Thanks to its unique combination of warmth, durability, and softness, cashmere is truly a luxurious material that can be enjoyed by everyone.

But what exactly is cashmere, and where does it come from?

But what exactly is cashmere, and where does it come from?

Cashmere is a luxurious type of wool that comes from Cashmere goats. These goats are native to the Himalayan Mountains, specifically to the Kashmir region of India, where they have been bred for centuries for their valuable wool.

Because of the harsh temperatures in the mountain regions of Asia, the goats produce a soft, downy fleece that is used to make cashmere garments. The fiber is necessary for the goats’ survival in the cold, harsh Himalayan environment, and it has been harvested for centuries by local people.

The hair of Cashmere goats is very soft and fine, which makes it ideal for making luxury garments. Most people know cashmere as a luxurious type of wool, but they do not realize that cashmere is a type of fiber that comes from the soft undercoat of the cashmere goat.

The thread is harvested through a process known as dehairing, which involves combing the wool by hand and separating the cashmere fibers from the coarser outer coat. The fibers are then spun into yarn and used to create a variety of garments, from sweaters and hats to scarves and gloves.

Cashmere is often referred to as the “diamond fiber” due to its strength and softness. The fiber is also extremely light, making it perfect for garments that need to be warm but not bulky. As a result, cashmere has long been prized by royalty and the wealthy for its luxurious feel and appearance. Today, cashmere remains a popular choice for high-end clothing and accessories and is sure to add a touch of luxury to any wardrobe.

What does cashmere mean - Shawls of Srinagar

What does cashmere mean

There is often confusion between the words “cashmere” and “Kashmir”. Cashmere is used in high-end clothing and accessories and, as mentioned before, is prized for its warmth, beauty, softness, and durability. It is no wonder that it’s considered a luxurious fabric choice.

The word “cashmere” \ˈkazh-ˌmir, ˈkash-\ has similar definitions in most dictionaries. Let’s look at two of the definitions:

But does the word “cashmere” have a special meaning? The term “cashmere” is believed to come from an old Persian word meaning “wool of the goat”.

And Kashmir is the name of the region where Kashmiri goats and the use of their fibers originated.

THE HISTORY OF KASHMIRI GOAT

Cashmere is considered one of the most valuable and luxurious fabrics, with a history spanning centuries. Cashmere wool is incredibly soft and desired by designers around the world.

Although different breeds of goats grow fluffy undercoats, cashmere wool comes from a particularly fine-haired breed known as Capra aegagrus hircus.

In the 14th century, this goat was first discovered by a Persian named Ali el Samdani in Kashmir – Ladakh.

The story of the Kashmiri goat, and hence the Kashmiri wool, began when Mir Ali Hamadani took wool from the Kashmiri goat and made socks, scarves, and hats.

He donated them to the King of Kashmir and suggested they start making scarves from this wave.

Where does cashmere come from

Since wool processing was first developed in the Kashmir region, the region’s name has thus become a generic name for the fabric.

The hills of Ladakh and Tibet are the most authentic regions for the cashmere wave. Capra Hirkus lives at 4200 meters above sea level.

To cope with extreme temperatures, which can reach -40°C, and the long winter, which lasts six months, the animal is covered with thick woolen fur formed by long hairs.

The cashmere goat has two types of hair: an outer layer of coarse hair and a soft inner layer of downy hair. It’s the downy hair that is used to make cashmere wool.

This wool is much more delicate and softer than regular sheep’s wool, making it extremely luxurious.

What material is cashmere - Shawls of Srinagar

What material is cashmere

The quality of cashmere fibers varies considerably, depending on the region where the goats live and the time of year when the fleece is collected.

The best fibers come from the innermost layers of the coat, which are shed naturally during the spring molting season.

These fibers are incredibly soft and fine and are used to make some of the most expensive and exclusive cashmere garments.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CASHMERE AND PASHMINA

Unlike the Changtang tribes, who live all year round in the high plateaus of Ladakh, goats raised in Kashmir descend to lower altitudes in winter as the high ones on the slopes of the Himalayas accumulate a lot of snow and growing and providing food becomes very difficult.

Kashmir’s climate varies from subtropical in the lowlands to alpine at higher altitudes. It is the essential difference between pashmina and cashmere.

What is the difference between cashmere and pashmina - Shawls of Srinagar

Their origin is from the same goat, but because Ladakh goats are exposed to lower temperatures, they form thicker fur and finer undercoats.

Goats keep two layers of fleece, a coarser outer layer, and a thick but soft fine fibrous undercoat. They have minimal body fat for insulation, and their coats protect them from the harsh winter, where temperatures can drop between -20 and -40 degrees Celsius. Just before summer, the fur is removed by combing with special combs and thus collected by shepherds to obtain raw wool from pashmina and cashmere.

The wool is extracted from the inner layer of the fur under the coarse protective hairs. Traditionally, shorter and finer undercoat fibers from the abdomen or neck are considered pashmina. The thickness of cashmere fiber varies from 12 to 21 microns in diameter, while pashmina applies only to those fibers that range from 12 to 16 microns.

Wearing cashmere is a real pleasure - Shawls of Srinagar

WEARING CASHMERE IS A REAL PLEASURE

Consider a cashmere shawl or garment if you’re looking for a luxurious and practical gift for a loved one. Cashmere is an incredibly versatile fabric that can be dressed up or down, making it ideal for any occasion.

A cashmere shawl also makes a great travel companion, as it’s lightweight and can be easily packed into a suitcase. A cashmere shawl is sure to please you whether you choose a classic style or something with a more modern twist.

Cashmere is incredibly warm yet lightweight, making it ideal not only for shawls but for various garments, from sweaters and wraps to gloves and hats.

While cashmere is often associated with high-end fashion, it is actually a fairly delicate material that requires special care. For instance, cashmere should always be laundered by hand using cool water and a mild detergent. It should also be dried flat to prevent wrinkles and damage.

Why is cashmere wool so expensive

High-quality cashmere is often quite expensive due to the limited production of cashmere wool, which is about 0.5% of the total world wool production, and high demand.

The process is associated with many difficulties. Goats can only be sheared once a year, meaning the fiber can only be collected once a year. This material must then be carefully sorted and cleaned before it can be used. And once assembled, handling pure cashmere is a complicated process involving very delicate work.

Why is cashmere so expensive - Shawls of Srinagar

The amount of material from one goat that can be used after processing is about 200 grams of wool. It takes fiber from two cashmere goats to make just one cashmere sweater. Cashmere is often blended with another high-quality fiber such as silk or cotton to add softness and durability. As a result of all these factors, cashmere clothes are always quite expensive.

However, it is worth the investment, as cashmere garments can last many years with proper care.

If you want to know more about how to care appropriately for your cashmere and pashmina garments, read our article here.

Luxurious cashmere gifts from Shawls of Srinagar

Cashmere is always a good choice if you are looking for an extraordinary gift.

The softness is visible, and the touch is unforgettable. Cashmere hugs gently and leaves a feeling of finesse, coziness, and ease. Gifting a cashmere garment is like giving your special someone a warm, tender hug. Just don’t forget, when shopping for cashmere, look for items made from 100% pure cashmere wool for the best quality.

Look at our cashmere collections for men and women and choose a gentle hug from Kashmir!

DISCOVER
SOFTNESS