Cashmere, also known as cashmere wool, is a luxurious natural fiber that is obtained from the soft undercoat of the Cashmere goat (Capra hircus). The Cashmere goat has a double layer of hair, with the outer layer being coarser and the inner layer being finer and softer. The fine, soft fibers from the undercoat are known for their exceptional warmth, softness, and durability.
The Cashmere fibers have a diameter of around 15-19 microns, which is significantly finer than the fibers of other types of wool. This fineness is what gives cashmere its unique characteristics and makes it highly sought after in the textile industry. Due to their fineness, cashmere fibers are able to trap air, which helps to insulate the body and keep it warm. Additionally, cashmere fibers are longer than regular wool fibers, which gives them a smooth, silky texture and helps to make them more durable. The fibers of cashmere wool are also flexible, which allows them to stretch and move with the body, making it comfortable to wear.
The process of producing cashmere begins with the de-hairing of the cashmere goat, in which the fibers from the underbelly and neck are combed and collected. The fibers are then cleaned, sorted, and spun into yarn. The yarn is then used to create a wide range of products such as clothing, blankets, and accessories. The production of cashmere is primarily concentrated in the regions of Mongolia and Tibet, as well as in other parts of Inner Mongolia, where the harsh climate and rugged terrain are well-suited to the hardy Cashmere goat.
It's worth noting that the production of cashmere can be ecologically damaging if done irresponsibly. The intensive farming of cashmere goats can lead to overgrazing and desertification, which affects the quality of the land and the lives of the people and animals that depend on it. Thus, it's important to support sustainable cashmere production, which takes steps to protect the environment and the welfare of the animals.
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