Cashmere is an animal soft, fine and the most luxurious fibre collected from the undercoat of the Cashmere goats. It is low in luster, generally grey, brown and white. Its rare production makes it very luxurious and sometimes it is mixed with very soft wool.
The origin of these fibres dates but as far as the Mongolian empire in the 13th century. The Silk Road impulsed the development of cashmere and shawls made of this fabric reached their greatest popularity in the early 19th century.
The name comes from an old spelling of Kashmir, the region well its production and trade originated.
These images were taken at Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm, where some field research was carried out.
Further characteristics of the fabric: It is silky and extremely fine, soft and drapes with a grateful flow; it retains warmth and it is comfortable to ware; it's weaker than wool and mohair yet it absorbs and retains moisture like wool.
Cashmere fabric is also flame resistant, and hypoallergenic. The best quality cashmere is between 13 and 15 microns in diameter 35-37 mm; the animal fibre is 7 to 19 microns, 25-90 mm.
The alternative to cashmere is wool mohair, yak, alpaca, camel, qiviut or vicuña.
Further interesting facts about respiratory diseases of goats, pregnancy toxaemia and ketosis are below.