We learnt from Material 101: Cashmere v.s. Wool that cashmere only comes from cashmere goats, today, let’s focus on these cashmere goats. Where do we find them?
You might have been aware that northern China (mainly Inner Mongolia) and Mongolia are the two most mentioned places when it comes to cashmere origin. Yes, that’s the Gobi desert, a vast, arid region that gives cashmere goats their resistance. Other than that, cashmere goats can also be found in Central Asia, especially Iran and Afghanistan, the Himalayas, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Ladakh and Baltistan (Kashmir region).
75% of the world's cashmere production every year comes from Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, as they have a long history with cashmere goats who adapt well to desert and semidesert pastures. These are places where temperatures can drop to -30°C or -22°F. This freezing cold habitat means that cashmere goats can grow an incredibly thick, warm coat.
Then there’s Kashmir in India, a place that the word "cashmere" derives from. Historically, Kashmir became known worldwide when Cashmere wool was exported to other regions and nations. It was also where the first cashmere shawl was woven in the world in the 19th century. In the modern days, the cashmere industry in the region is taking less and less marketing share globally, due to decreased abundance of the cashmere goat and increased competition from China
As for the Himalayas, it is the highest permanently inhabited plateau in the world, and home to an extremely hardy and rare breed of goat - the Changthangi, or Pashmina goat. It is very rare so the cashmere production only constitutes less than 0.1% of global cashmere production.
State Cashmere sources its raw material from Inner Mongolia. Our herders practice a loving and humane treatment of the goats. All the cashmere goats are groomed and given a healthy diet with grass and clean water.
Next week, we will talk about the grooming of cashmere goats, stay tuned.