Cashmere comes from the underfleece of Hircus goats found in Northern China and Mongolia. To survive the harsh environment, the goats have an extremely soft and delicate undercoat. Cashmere is one of the most precious and exclusive fibers not only because of the difficulty to obtain it but how little is collected from an animal each year.
The undercoat is collected once a year in spring by delicately combing the goats, which is a completely harmless technique. Only about 100 grams per animal is collected per year. The undercoat fibers have a diameter of about 14.5 microns. This means that their ability to absorb heat is second to none, as the space between each fiber is minimal.
Merino sheep are known for ultra fine wool. Australia and New Zealand are known to produce the world’s best Merino wool, as the sheep thrive in the extreme climate conditions. The wool is collected when the sheep are sheared once a year, generally in spring. Super fine Merino wool has a diameter of about between 16 to 18 microns, making the beautifully crimped fleece a natural and breathable insulation, perfect to wear in any season.
The Bactrian Camel is found in south-east and central Asia, including Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. Camel hair is a natural and lightweight insulation, which allows the Camels to survive tough desert conditions. The soft and delicate fibers have a diameter of about 20 microns. This means that heated air is trapped by the fibers, which are also able to absorb moisture to keep the body dry, providing the perfect insulation. The fibers are collected once a year during spring when the animals naturally moult, which can last for up to 8 weeks. To collect the fibers, the animals are combed or sheared, which is a completely harmless technique.