Cashmere is a highly desirable wool fiber. It gets its name from Kashmir, the northwestern region of India where it originates. While cashmere production has occurred for thousands of years, the demand for this material has increased exponentially since the nineteenth century.
Cashmere wool comes from the hair of specific breeds of goat, called cashmere goats. The hair has two distinct layers: a course outer layer and a soft, fine undercoat. The outer layer protects the undercoat, which provides warmth for the goats in their extreme environments. Cashmere production uses only the ultrafine undercoat.
It can take one goat up to four years to produce enough wool for a cashmere sweater. This makes cashmere one of the most expensive fabrics on the market. The price varies, however, depending on the part of the goat from which the fiber is taken, the animal’s living conditions and various environmental factors.
Despite the higher price of cashmere wool, its versatility and durability make it very desirable. Manufacturers use the fabric for everything from men’s and women’s clothing to home accessories. Cashmere sweaters are a popular holiday gift, and online shoppers can buy the best cashmere sweater at TheCashmereShop.com. The Toronto-based company ships to customers around the world.