Our friend Abdela Igmirien(@igmirien) went to the centre of the cashmere universe also known as Inner Mongolia to hangout with the world’s softest goats. With freezing -40°C winters and boiling +40°C summers, these goats seriously know the true meaning of extreme weather. This weather is what makes them some of the world’s hardiest goats and perfect for the cashmere craft.
To keep warm, our goats have developed not only a thick coat of long hairs but also an undercoat of fine downy fleece. Each time spring rolls around and the temperature starts to climb, the fleece is combed out by local goat farmers. The drastic change in temperature is what contributes to these goats’ top quality cashmere wool.
“To keep warm, our goats have developed not only a thick coat of long hairs but also an undercoat of fine downy fleece.”
It all comes down to the comb. Before we even start to knit, our wool goes through the (nearly obsessive) meticulous process of combing, scouring, dehairing, and spinning. Why are we so fanatical about the hairs selected you may ask? It’s because a common and easier way of harvesting the fleece is to shear rather than to comb. This means a lot of raw material but also low quality, short, and thick hairs that can’t be used for our cashmere sweaters. Instead, our cashmere is removed by hand with bristly brushes that gently comb tufts of fleece from our little guys.
“Before we even start to knit, our wool goes through the (nearly obsessive) meticulous process of combing, scouring, dehairing, and spinning.”
Next, we move on to dehairing. The collected fibres are then combed and cleaned, and the stray coarse hairs are removed during the combing process and recycled to make brushes or stiff interfacing fabrics.
You’re right, about now would be a good time to kick back and relax, but we’re not done yet. After the wool is tightly spun to our precise standards, it’s then fully fashioned using high precision machines. Now the cashmere process has come full circle. It’s the perfect combination of the craft of the old with the technology of the new, resulting in high quality cashmere, glorious cashmere.