Cashmere fabric is one of the most expensive and finest fabrics in the world. Cashmere fabric is made from natural fiber. This natural fiber is gotten from what are referred to as cashmere goats. These goats are found in Mongolia, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, Iran India, Turkey and China. These goats are originally from Kashmir, an area in Pakistan and the word cashmere is derived from the name Kashmir.
One of the reasons cashmere fabric is very expensive is because of the way the cashmere wool is harvested from the goats. In Mongolia, the wool is combed off the goat. This is usually done in the spring, after what are usually long harsh winters. During winter, the goats grow soft, fine fleece in order to stay warm. In the spring, when they do not need the extra warmth, they start to shed it and this is the best time to collect it.
This method of collecting the fiber yields a higher quantity of pure cashmere. In other parts of the world, the fur is shorn off the goats. The result from this method of harvesting the cashmere is a lower yield of pure cashmere. Cashmere fabric from Mongolia is then typically of a higher quality as a direct result of the way it is collected.
Cashmere fabric is also expensive due to the fact that the process of producing the fabric from the fibers is very labor intensive and time consuming. It takes a minimum 4 goats to produce enough fiber to make just one sweater. This is because once the fiber is collected from the goats, it is cleaned and washed.
Cleaning includes getting rid of the coarse hair form the pure cashmere. At the end of the cleaning process, you will end up with about a third of the quantity you started off with. The fibers of the cashmere wool are also quite short making it that much harder to weave into a garment. For this reason, cashmere is also a relatively rare fabric.
The best cashmere fabric is made from fiber collected from the white goats. The yarn from these fibers is then dyed to produce the different colored fabrics available. Cashmere also comes in brown and grey.
Because cashmere fabric is highly valued, a number of people try to pass off other types of wool and fabric as being pure cashmere. However, it is difficult to be fooled if you know what you are looking for. Cashmere is soft to the touch, does not scratch and if the fabric is stretched it will return to its original shape.
Cashmere fabric is commonly used to make sweaters, scarves and coats. This is because it is very warm and light weight. It is also used to make baby clothes because of its softness.