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WHERE WE GET “CASHMERE WOOL” :

Imagine the icy temperatures that blast from the high plateau of Mongolia near of our country. Imagine temperatures falling to – 40C. Imagine the freezing wind that whips through the glaciers and mountainsides. It is in this 14,000ft, forbidding region, that the beautiful Himalayan mountain goat (capra hircus) roams. To survive this inhospitable environment this wonderful animal grows a unique, incredibly soft pashm, or inner coat, six times finer than human hair. Known in the west as cashmere, this is one of the world's most rare and precious fibres; soft to handle, light and warm, and to wear it is to be insulated in your very own summertime.

Every spring/summer, Himalayan farmers climb these mountains to comb the fine woollen undercoat from the neck and chest of, the Capra hircus goat. The fleece consists of the very fine, crimpy down and the usually longer, outside, coarse, straight guard hairs. Cashmere fibers must be separated, either by combing out the down or by using a commercial dehairer on sheared fibers. It is painstakingly sorted to remove any coarse hairs, sand and loose dirt reducing the yield. A yield of at least 30 percent down is desirable, but is not the average by any means. Buyers pay on the down weight or weight of dehaired fiber, not the weight of the entire fleece. The longest, finest down is used in knitted garments and the shorter down in woven fabrics. Because it is only 14-19 microns in diameter (the fiber must be under 19 microns to be labeled cashmere), it cannot be spun by machines, so the downy wool is hand-woven into shawls. It takes the wool of three goats to produce one shawl.

 
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