Cashmere is a breed of goat that produces the finest and softest of fibres grown for hand spinning. The fibre used is the undercoat of the dual coated cashmere. In many countries the fibre is brushed out when it starts to lift. If the animal is sheared, then the fibres have to be separated. The staple length can vary from 1.25 to 5 inches. To qualify as true cashmere in most countries the micron has to be finer than 19.5 and the staple longer than 1.25 inches and have a fine crimp and low lustre.
Cashmere goats originated in Central Asia, but many countries, including Canada, have a Cashmere Breeders Association.This
fibre is often blended with silk, and fine wools, to give strength and stability, and to cut the cost of this expensive fibre.
Because of the fineness of this fibre it weighs very little. The average shearing yields 1 to 3 lbs of fibre, and removing the hair takes about half of that weight away. Having said this, a good cashmere sweater usually weighs less than .75 lbs.
Cashmere can usually be worn next to the skin and is suitable for almost any fine garment.