What Animal Does Cashmere Come from and How Is Cashmere Made?
What Animal Does Cashmere Come From?
A common misconception is where cashmere comes from, people might be surprised to know it comes from goats!
The finest and highest quality comes from a ‘cashmere goat,’ or Hanshan goat. To survive some of the coldest winters on earth in Inner Mongolia, they grow exceptionally long, fine downy fibres to protect them from sub-zero temperatures.
How Cashmere Is Made:
- Collecting the cashmere fibres
During the frigid winter, the Hanshan goat’s coat thickens. The coarse outer coat is designed to protect the goats from wind, rain, and snow. The soft fine undercoat is there to keep the goats warm. As winter becomes spring the goats have their coats combed and the fine undercoat is the cashmere fibre that all our Loop Cashmere garments are sourced from.
- Sorting the cashmere
The second step is sorting the cashmere based on its length and fineness. Specifically, the soft undercoat hair needs to be separated from the guard (outer layer) hair. We only select the fine long fibres for our cashmere. The exact length and fineness of the fibre are specified and regularly tested to ensure our quality is consistent time after time. Our fibre is between 15.8-16.5 microns and 34-38mm’s in length. The cashmere is then washed to remove any dirt.
- Dehairing the cashmere
The cleaned cashmere goes through a machine to remove and remaining coarse guard hair and any impurities that may be left. Now the cashmere is ultra-soft and ready to be dyed.
- Dyeing the cashmere
The cashmere is then dyed to achieve the desired colour. The natural colour of cashmere is white, brown, and grey. We dye the fibre rather than the finished yarn to give the best depth of colour, that does not fade and remains as beautiful as the day you bought it. Melange or heathered yarns, ones that are not all the same shade, like our foggy or pewter colours, and can have as many of seven individual fibre colours mixed to give the final finished colour that we are happy with.
- Manufacturing the cashmere yarn
The fibre is spun into yarn and ready to be shipped to our expert makers.
- Finished product
Our expert makers to craft the yarn into beautifully designed garments, made to stand the test of time. It takes at least four goats worth of cashmere to make an average cashmere jumper. Each item is finished, steamed, and rigorously inspected to ensure it is perfect.
- Ready to be packaged
Once all these steps have been completed the luxuriously soft garment can be shipped and sent to customers!