The fine, downy undercoat obtained from the Kashmir goat, Capra hireus, native to India and Tibet. By the 19th century, shawls made from cashmere were very popular in Europe and Great Britain. Cashmere wool is naturally a white, gray or tan color. The goats molt each spring and the hair is collected, sorted into the coarser outer hair and the soft downy undercoat. Because each goat only produces about 4 ounces of undercoat each year, it is very expensive. Cashmere fibers are silky and fine with moderate strength and good resiliency. They are used for high quality clothing, shawls, gloves, and sweaters.
Synonyms and Related Terms
kashmir; tus (India); Kaschmirwolle (Deut.); cachemire (Fr.); casimir (Esp.); cachemira (Esp.); kasjmier (wol van de kasjmier geit) of cashemire (Ned); pashmina; pashm;
Fiber cross section is circular or oval. The medulla is nearly invisible. Fiber length = 5.0-12.5 cm (outer); 2.5-9.0 cm (undercoat) Diameter of undercoat is about 15 micrometers. 5-7 scales per 100 micrometers
Hazards and Safety
Damaged by alkalis.
° G.Cook, Handbook of Textile Fibres:I. Natural Fibres, 5th edition, Merrow Publishing Co., Durham, England, 1984.
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
- Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
- Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at http://www.wikipedia.com Comment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cashmere_wool (Accessed Oct. 18, 2005)
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 154
- Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998