We know that your curious minds have enjoyed our previous articles in our cashmere series and now we’re at the end of the road - a final post on the making of cashmere wool.
The fine cashmere is obtained from the cashmere goat via the soft and fluffy undercoat belly. This wool is sourced during the Spring as this is the time where naturally the wool will start to shed. As the cashmere fibres are already in the process of shedding, a comb is taken and through softly combing the undercoat, the cashmere can be obtained. It is often obtained from around 3-4 goats depending on the desired end product as cashmere is hard to come by.
At this point, the cashmere fibre in its raw form can be quite greasy and coarse therefore it is taken to be processed and washed so that it can be ready for sorted through and cleansed of any impurities. Cashmere is usually sorted twice – once to sort the distinctly lower grade of cashmere which is known for being thicker, coarser and then a second time to sort them into colours and identify any unfit for purpose cashmere that missed the initial sorting.
Following on from this, the cashmere fibre is hung out to dry naturally and dyed with various colours to achieve the desired effect. Once dyed, the cashmere is hand woven and spun as a yarn to create many different pieces including items like scarfs, shawls and even jumpers. At some point the cashmere will go through a dehairing machine to naturally remove the coarse feel of the fibre but also to reduce the cashmere fibres to a lower grade hair content so that it is easier to weave or knit.
After the process of hand weaving, any damages or faults are detected and then amended by hand. Afterwards, depending on the desired result, the cashmere is then brushed to go through additional procedures that may include scouring, milling and waterproofing particularly in the case of cashmere scarf making. Once the cashmere has been through these processes, it is then ready to be shipped to suppliers all over and sold.
Next time, when you encounter a cashmere item, feel the fabric with your bare hands, then you will know what we are talking about here.