Cashmere
is the most luxurious, softest, warmest and lightest natural fibre in
the world, and comes from the capra-hircus goat. the name derives from
an ancient spelling of kashmir. the goat (capra hirus laniger) belongs
to the subfamily caprinae of the family boivdae. the goats have a double
fleece consisting of the much finer, soft under coat of hair, which is
the source of cashmere fibre for clothing with a much coarser outer coat
of hair called guard hair. genuine pashmina fibres are always less than
14.5 microns in diameter, or about 1/6th the size of human hair. the
guard hair keeps the heat in and the under coat insulates the goats from
the cold mountain temperatures. cashmere wool is obtained from the
cashmere goat and is also known as pashmina.

cashmere
comes from the goats living in the high dry plateaus of asia,
stretching from northern china into mongolia. little is supplied by
kashmir state of india. although they have been popular with aristocracy
in southern asia since the 15th century, pashmina sales in the west
suddenly took off in 1998 when designers in london, paris and new york
started to include them in their fashion collections. since then the
growing demand has helped push the price down to an affordable level.