The hair is combed from goats reared in China. The goats are strong and active, in the high uplands of Central Asia. The fleece on the goat is open, with long, relatively coarse hair. The underhair or duvet, however, is sleek, very soft, warm and almost silky. The white hair is most highly valued. The “duvet” is very fine, only 12-16 microns, and it is harvested in Iune by combing by hand, not clipping. It is the “duvet” which makes the finest caslunere cloth today It must be recognized that as in every fiber, there are many grades, and the mere term “fine cashmere” does not indicate that it is the very best or even close to it. It could be the coarser clipped hair from the back of the goat. Only handle and experience will recognize the finest and most expensive.
The finest cashmere goat is raised in Tibet, the Kashmir province in Northern India, Iran, Iraq and southwest China. Cashmere is most like wool than any other fiber. The hair is very cylindrical, soft, strong, and silken—like. True cashmere, which is brownish in color, ranges from l l/4 to 3 l/2 inches in length. The long coarse outer fibers are from 3 l/4 to 4 l/2 inches long. The fiber diameter is l/1600 inches.