Ever wondered why your cashmere clothes are so expensive? Is cashmere obtained from a goat or sheep? The answer is, wool fabric for your knitwear comes from the rare cashmere goats. These goats are found only in mountainous areas and cold climates. Goat’s hair becomes thin and soft to avoid the harsh cold.
The fine and soft hair absorbed the heat and retain it and keep the goat warm in very cold weather. This wool is very fine, soft, and cozy. Cashmere goats are a breed of goats that originated from Kashmir, India. The price of the wool depends on the quality of the fluff and the kind of cashmere goats.
The manufacturing cost of knitwear also depend on quality of cashmere wool and where you get from. Mongolian and cashmere from Kashmir region are much expensive and pure in quality.
What are the Cashmere Goats?
Cashmere is not a specific type or breed of goat. In simple words, several breeds of goats can produce cashmere wool. These goats are found in the Himalayan region and have fine and soft coats to protect them from harsh winters. The word cashmere is defined as high-quality wool found in the Kashmir region of India.
What do Cashmere Goats Eat?
The diet of cashmere goats is very simple. It can be less than other dairy animals. You don’t require any special feed for these goats. But to get enough good quality fiber, the feed should contain all essential nutrients. The common diet for cashmere goats is grains, fodder maize, grass fodder, crude protein, hay, pastures, alfalfa, etc.
What Part of the Goat does Cashmere come from?
These goats have two layers of hair. Guard layer and cashmere layer. The guard layer is the outer layer which is thick and wiry. The inner layer is the cashmere layer. The guard layer protects the cashmere layer from dust and grease. The cashmere layer is very thin and soft. A goat can produce around 150-250 grams of cashmere wool.
Also Read: How Cashmere Fabric is Made
Characteristics of a Cashmere Goat
Cashmere goats are small or middle-sized goats with hanging ears. Bucks have long and outwardly turning horns whereas goats have small sickle-shaped horns. These goats have fine long hairs and dense undercoats. Cashmere goats are usually white black, gray, and brown.
What is the Breed of Cashmere Goat?
Cashmere goat or Kashmir goat is a type of domestic goat. No, there is not any specific goat breed named cashmere. Several domestic goat breeds are valued for their soft and fine wool. The cashmere goats’ characteristics, color, and weight differ from breed to breed. The distinguishing characteristic of cashmere goats is the long and dense undercoat. This undercoat keeps them warm in winters. The undercoat of these goats is the source of cashmere fiber. People select specific breeds that can provide a good amount of quality wool.
Types of Cashmere Goats
Changthangi Cashmere goat
This breed is found in Nepal, China, India, Bhutan, Tibet, and Myanmar. These goats have twisted and large horns. The diameter of Changthangi cashmere goat yarn is around 12-13 microns and the length is around 50-60 mm.
Zhongwei Cashmere goat
Zhongwei is a type of cashmere goat breed found in desert areas of Zhongwei China. These goats are popular for cashmere wool.
Zalaa Jinst White Cashmere Goat
These goats are found in the southwest region of the Gobi desert. The diameter of this cashmere goat fiber of this breed is around 16-16.5 microns. The male goat can provide 380 grams whereas the female goat can provide around 290 grams of wool.
Australian Cashmere Goat
These goats are found in the northern part of Australia. The goat production depends on the herds and the average yield of cashmere goat wool is around 250 grams.
Hexi Cashmere Goat
Hexi goats are found in the desert region of Gansu, China. These goats are white and provide good quality wool.
Where are the Cashmere Goats found on the World Map?
Cashmere goat are found in different parts of the world.
Pashmina Goat (Himalayan Region)
Do you know where the cashmere goat originated? The original breed of cashmere goat is the pashmina goat which is found in the Kashmir and Ladakh region of India. Other than India, these goats are also found in Tibet, Nepal, China, and Myanmar. These goats are usually pure white. But you can also see black, gray, and brown pashmina goats. These goats are popular for their long and twisted horns. Indeed they are the original breed for cashmere wool but now they produce only 0.1 percent of total cashmere production around the world.
Australian Cashmere Goat
Australian breed goats have now become the standard breed for cashmere wool. Herds prefer Australian breeds because these goats are easy to breed. This Australian breed was already diminished in 18 century. But production started increasing in the late 1970s. Now Australia has become one of the prime producer of fine cashmere wool. These goats produce around 250 grams of fleece every year.
Chinese Cashmere Goat
There are two different types of cashmere goats found in China. One in semi-desert/desert region and another one in Himalayan region. China is a mass producer of cashmere wool with these two type of goat.
Zhongwei goats are found in the semi-desert and desert regions of China.
Liaoning goats are mountain breed of goat found in the Himalayan region of China. This breed provides better quality of fiber. These goats have more cashmere wool and grow in larger area of china.
Mongolia Cashmere Goat
In Mongolia, there are five different types of Cashmere breed. The breeds differ depending on geographical location and temperature. The major strains of cashmere goats are Lasan, Arbus, and Erlang Shen.
The Wuzhu Gin and Hanshan goats produce less quality of cashmere wool. Mongolian goats produce about one-third of the total cashmere production in the world. These goats breed so fast and destroy the environment. Due to this, the owner has to purchase food for the goats and this results in the inexpensiveness of the cashmere wool.
How Much Wool does a Cashmere Goat Produce?
The wool production of cashmere goats depends on the breed. The cashmere wool is obtained by brushing or combing the hair. While in case of sheep, fleece obtained by shearing the sheep.
Due to this, the production of cashmere wool is way lesser than other sheep or other animals. The pashmina goat produces around 150 grams of yarn per year. The Australian, Mongolian and Chinese cashmere goats produce around 250 grams of wool.
Cashmere goats produce the finest wool around the world. Herders are pastoring these goats as they are valuable. These goats provide the best quality wool than other normal goat. Your cashmere knitwear is costing a few hundred dollars because it comes from the rare goats living in the foothills of the Himalayas. In upcoming years, the demand of cashmere knitwear and other clothing would increase.