By Claudia Ostrop
Uniquely soft and fine
Anyone who owns a piece of clothing knitted from cashmere knows how wonderfully soft it is. Simply luxurious! If you haven't knitted with cashmere yet, you should definitely treat yourself!
Cashmere is very special. The average thickness of a cashmere goat's undercoat does not exceed 19 microns. Therefore, the wool is much finer than most sheep's wool. Few other animals - the vicuña or the musk ox - have similarly fine hair. Due to the fineness of the fibre, knitted items made of cashmere also have a particularly beautiful, loose drape.
Be it a sweater, a jacket, a scarf, a shawl or even a pair of hand warmers, there are a number of fun projects to knit with this very special yarn. Cashmere is so soft and light that even people with the most sensitive skin can wear it well because the delicate fibres do not irritate it. Cashmere yarn is also very adaptable to temperature. Due to its breathability, it keeps you warm and insulated in the winter time, while fresh and dry in summer months.
Not a mass produced yarn
Most of the cashmere on the world market comes from China and Mongolia. Real and high quality cashmere is expensive because the fibres are collected in a very tedious and time consuming process. Cashmere is scarce - only about 150 to 200 g of finished, pure cashmere wool can be obtained every year by combing out the fleece of a cashmere goat. This is the average amount you need for a scarf. In total, only 6,000 tons of cashmere are produced worldwide each year - a very small amount compared to 1.3 million tons of sheep's wool.
The dark side of great demand
The rapid rise in global demand for cashmere wool has led to a sharp increase in goat herds. This, unfortunately, has a negative impact on the environment: goats not only eat the grass surface, but tear it together with its roots from the ground. Accordingly, there is literally no grass growing where nomads have moved through the steppes with their herds of goats. Deserts can spread if there is no regulatory intervention.
Animal care and environmental protection are very important to us
We are fully aware of the problems associated with cashmere production. We source our cashmere from Mongolia and support the measures taken by the Mongolian government to improve the conditions of the animals, the environment and the nomads alike. Smaller herds, fenced and cultivated pastures, and the establishment of farms where goats are kept free are some of the steps taken by the government to improve things for all those involved.
Pascuali Cashmere Pascuali: organically certified
Pascuali Cashmere offers one of the best cashmere qualities in the market today. Because high quality, species-appropriate keeping of animals, fair-trade and ecologically manufactured products are at the heart of what we do, we have made sure that our cashmere is organically certified by the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce. This certification guarantees that the wool comes exclusively from wild animals and that it is also processed directly in Mongolia. With this certification, we help preserve the independence and lifestyle of nomadic herders in the area while being able to offer a high quality product with fair remuneration for breeders.
Choosing to get involved by supporting governmental efforts to regulate and promote raising goats in an environmentally sustainable fashion while respecting the people´s culture and way of life which has been in place for centuries is our way of being part of the solution.
Where is our cashmere processed?
We source the raw wool from outer Mongolia because the goats in this region have longer hair resulting in a cashmere far more superior and a higher quality. The prepared, purified raw fibres are spun for us in one of the world's best spinning mills in Italy. Once it has been spun, it is dyed also in Italy by a company with years of experience in handling cashmere wool using the best equipment. It is important for us to be able to monitor production step by step, from cleaning the fibers to the finished product.
Your cashmere garment: A lifetime companion!
Cashmere is extremely durable. With proper care, a cashmere garment can last a very long time. Caring for is not difficult at all! Airing it out in the fresh air is usually enough. To wash it, do so in the tub, soaking it with your fingers using a baby shampoo or special mild detergent. Then lay it flat in a shady place to dry. When cared for correctly, a cashmere item will last a lifetime!
One thing is for sure, whatever your project may be, knitting it with cashmere will without a doubt add a touch of the exquisite to your design. A word of warning: Be sure not to get addicted to knitting with it!