I love cashmere fiber. It's so luxuriously soft and warm! That's why you usually see it used in cashmere sweaters.
Photo of Pashmina cashmere goats provided by Redtigerxyz via Wikipedia
It's also a good insulator, so it will keep you nice and warm. It's about eight times warmer than wool because the goats are bred to withstand harsh winters of temperatures well below freezing.
Cashmere is also about 33 percent lighter than wool, just as alpaca fiber is lighter and warmer.
Cashmere goats grow two coats or two types of fiber in their fleece. The longer and courser guard hairs are combed out so that the fine undercoat fibers remain. This fine undercoat is the luxury fiber we call cashmere. It is a short staple with a lot of crimp.
The goats naturally shed their winter coat over a period of a couple of weeks in the spring. A good shepherd will spot the appropriate time and start combing the goat to remove the fibers by hand, but they can also be sheared and combed for guard hair separation.
Each goat produces about 1 pound of fiber, but only 6 to 8 ounces is the fine undercoat. The natural colors are grey, brown, and white, but it can be dyed just like wool.
These books have some patterns using cashmere and describe this luxury fiber so that you can learn how to tell what quality you're buying.
This is a website dedicated to fiber artists with a yarn addiction.
See what's new.
Here you can learn some new skills and share your ideas about your favorite ways to use yarn.
You might want to also take a look at my other website about Embroidery Methods which is very popular with a worldwide audience.