Cashmere: The Luxury of Wool

by James Monahan

It's not possible to talk about wool and not think of cashmere. With its silky, luxurious texture and soft hue, cashmere ranks as one of the most popular types of wool all over the world. Actresses have graced television and movie screens wearing a variety of clothing made out of cashmere throughout the years, proving that it will never go out of fashion and will always be in every woman's must-have list.

From warm sweaters to bohemian scarves, cashmere garments are considered timeless, tasteful, and elegant. Wear them to occasions -whether casual or intimate -and you'll find that you'll stand out in sleek comfort. This is why the popularity of cashmere has only grown with the years.

Though it has been accorded much acclaim and praise, cashmere is actually the fur of the humble Kashmir goats, often harvested during their respective molting seasons. Kashmir goats can be found in China, India, Tibet, and Iran -but are primarily bred in Mongolia.

In fact, history tells that rulers from centuries past have gifted their loved ones with cashmere garments -owing to the beauty of the wool and the status it accorded because of its high value.

Due to cashmere's popularity; however, Americans have also jumped right in and started breeding their own cattle. What actually adds to the cashmere's price is the fact that it takes one Kashmir goat four to five years to shed enough fur to make just one garment. It is no wonder that people who collect garments made out of cashmere treat these articles with utmost care.

Cashmere wool can either be knit or woven to form various garments. Not only are such clothing highly exquisite to look out, they also provide much warmth during cold weather.

Cashmere garments are considered really chic gifts, whether they are given to the young and old, those who favor vintage or modern ways of dressing, as well as people with different lifestyles.

Just as there are many ways to design clothes made of cashmere, you'll find that this type of wool also varies in cost, depending on which part of the Kashmir goat the fur came from.

The best quality often comes from the throat and underbelly, and therefore garners the higher price. The lesser quality, which is still actually good, comes from the Kashmir goat's legs and back -and this is, logically, less expensive.

Whatever the quality, cashmere fibers can be fashioned into dresses, capes, scarves, sweaters, hats, mittens, shawls, and even blankets! There is a wide array of articles to choose from, and cashmere lovers claim that with proper care and handling, cashmere articles are the ultimate keepsakes.

Truth be told, even as more and more people purchase the latest designs, avid vintage collectors are also on the prowl for the more intricate designs of the past. Cashmere is considered timeless, and when knitted and woven in good taste, often provides an air of sophistication for the wearer.

Proper cleaning for knitted cashmere garments involve gentle hand-washing, while woven ones must be dry cleaned. Keep these garments in areas of normal temperature.

Make sure you store them in a dry place, so that they will not be ruined by any moisture. Consider your cashmere garment as an heirloom, and treat it as you would any treasured keepsake.

James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about cashmere.

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