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July 04, 2011

Caaaashmere!

Baby-cashmere--mongolia--loro-piana_1486

Cashmere is one of those few universally adored things,  who wouldn't want to feel incredible softness against their skin? There's a reason premium toilet paper boasts of its likeness to it! (It's still not quite the same, though I appreciate the effort.)

So where do we get the fibres that make the coveted cashmere knitwear we all lust after so luxurious? The cashmere goat, and the whitest and therefore finest is said to come from Mongolia who produce the second largest quanties behind China. If I had access to a baby cashmere goat I'd be rubbing my face in it, too. It doesn't get softer than the little ones.

PureCashmere The double fleece hair, consisting of of a fine, soft undercoat mingled with a straighter and much coarser outer coating, is naturally shed during the spring moulting season and collected for the textile industry (the goats don't even know what they're missing!). It then goes through a mechanical process called de-hairing that separates the coarse hairs from the fine hair, preparing it be dyed and converted into yarn, fabrics and garments.

I used to make felts and have used cashmere fibres which I blended with fine merino. This produced the most gorgeously soft felts, and whenever I worked with the cashmere I had to snap myself out my ritual of rubbing the wispy fibres through my fingers. And I admit to sitting with the 'top' - that's when fibres that have been carded and combed for feltmaking - in my hands as if I'm holding a little bunny. That is some magical hair.

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Comments

I love Cashmere! And your post is wonderful! The first picture is so cute and sweet!

ahhaha, very funny pic ;)

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