Cashmere is one of the most sought-out fibers in the world. It's fine hairs are softer and lighter and five times more insulating than any other wools. A luxury jumper could cost you around 500 hundred dollars. Some may use lower grade cashmere or different processing techniques to make the end-products cheaper. But it's still twice more expensive than other wool garments.
There have also been cases not using 100 percent cashmere but mixing it up with other types of hairs like yak, sheep, camel even rat hairs. There is nothing in the world like cashmere that you can do almost everything with it starting from jumpers, coats to even rug because it has great properties.
Cashmere is a naturally renewable commodity, whereby the fibers are combed off the goat in the shedding season, immediately after the harsh Mongolian winter, causing no harm to the animal, and, thus, can be a sustainable industry, benefiting both the Mongolian economy and its nomadic people directly.
Cashmere, a luxurious garment that is soft and cloud-like wispy. Stemming from the cashmere goat, the fiber is three times more insulating than sheep wool. It is combed from the underside of the goat in a very natural process at springtime when goats start to lose their winter coats. Herders with generations of expertise hand comb the fiber to protect the goats from overheating and to prevent them from follow-up animal diseases such as ticks and lice. This is the most sustainable and humane way of harvesting cashmere. To the goats, it is almost like receiving a massage. Cashmere is extremely light-weight and comfortable, keeping you warm in the cold and cool in the heat. Although the fiber is very delicate, if cared for properly, it can last a lifetime.
Cashmere is the only fiber that has a very narrow diameter which makes it extremely soft to the touch. To protect the term cashmere, the US Government made the wool labeling act which says that in order for it to be called cashmere, it has to be 19 microns in diameter or less. Some parts of Mongolia produce cashmere with a diameter ranging between even 13-14 microns. This means that it is the finest and the most expensive fiber, in other words, the so-called Khaan Shirhegt, ‘King-Fiber’ which stands out as top quality above the others.
It is a standardized cashmere fiber and it is classified into four micronized fiber categories; micron, long, greasy and mixtures. The highest grade of processed cashmere is classified as“Khaan shirkhegt”, I, II, and III. The Green Gold project initiated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation updated te cashmere standard and extended to “Khaan shirkhegt” and got it approved after consulting with industry researchers, scientists, and relevant professionals. The best breeds were the ones that could survive harsh drought and dzud and require a small number of feeds even though they have considerably low levels of productivity.
White, beige, warm gray and brown are the four natural colors of cashmere and this makes Mongolia the country that provides the widest color range. On top of that, quality-wise and sustainability-wise, Mongolia is getting more and more recognized on the international market.
Herders prefer to harvest light-colored cashmere based on market needs and the attractive price for light-colored cashmere. And the king-fiber is the best fit not only for making luxurious clothes but also decreasing the huge number of livestock that causes overgrazing and desertification. Promoting different kinds of good class breeds is believed to improve the quality of fiber without reducing yield. Getting together under different cooperative NGOs, herders began to apply a more scientific approach to obtain the required skills necessary for sustainable grassland management and best breed fiber preparation. To make a long story short, Mongolians are planning and taking measures to make Mongolian Cashmere as a fiber that is considered as “king”-quality at the international stage as a whole.