How is cashmere made of
A cashmere goat is any breed capable of producing cashmere wool. Most goat breeds aside from Angora can produce cashmere down to varying degrees, including dairy goats. Since they are not a distinct breed, there is no such thing as a "purebred" cashmere goat.
There are two types of fiber in the fleece of cashmere goats. A protective outer coat consists of coarse fiber, or guard hair, which tends to be straight and relatively long. The downy undercoat features the fine, crimpy, and soft fiber commonly referred to as cashmere. While the guard hairs can be up to 8 inches in length, cashmere itself is generally between 1 and 4 inches. The cashmere undercoat can be plucked, combed, or sheared in the spring, during the molting season.
Once they are removed from a goat, the fibers are cleaned and processed. The processing removes coarse guard hairs to increase the ratio of downy cashmere, and the resulting fabric is softer — and generally more expensive — if it has fewer guard hairs remaining. Once removed, the guard hairs may be used for other purposes, such as rugs or brushes.
Cashmere is typically harvested from goats once a year. One individual goat may produce between 1 and 3 pounds of fleece, although it often takes several goats to produce enough fabric for a single garment. China is the world's leading producer of raw cashmere, followed by Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and other countries in the Middle East.