What is Cashmere?
Cashmere is goat wool! Cashmere goats come from countries New Zealand, Pakistan, Iran, Australia and Afghanistan. But the finest cashmere come from Mongolian goats.
Inner and Outer Mongolia experiences harsh winters which can drop to minus fifty Celsius. This causes goats to grow naturally soft and fine fiber. Goats really need their fleece to stay warm.
That is the reason why many US, French, Italian and UK retailers such as pure collection love Mongolian cashmere so much.I love Mongolian cashmere too but not Mongolian winters ;)
It can be collected in one of two ways. The first is by shearing the goat - this happens in Australia. The second produces a much finer and softer quality - combing it off, strand by strand!
As I mentioned the finest cashmere is produced in Inner and Outer Mongolia. Every spring an army of herders get out their combs and patiently start collecting the goat hair. The goats love it!
The finest cashmere fibers come from young cashmere goats. It takes 5 months for a baby goat to grow the wool in the harsh Mongolian winter.
I visited local herders in Mongolia in when they were hand combing cashmere in the spring. They choose spring because after a long harsh winter this is the time that the goats start to naturally shed their hair.
I was impressed by how carefully they combed. I even had a go myself and can tell you that cashmere feels soft from the very beginning.
Next the Mongolian herders transport their raw cashmere to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, in the back of large trucks. They sell them to local
and workshops such as Goyo and Gobi for 40 000 tugric (2011 rate) per kilogram.
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