Tuesday, August 2, 2016

When Buying Cashmere, It's Mere Cash...Quit Groaning, That Was Unavoidable

Quick quiz...

1. Cashmere comes from...

           A. rabbits
           B. goats
           C. beings from outer space

2. Obtaining cashmere includes...

          A. collecting it during moulting season
          B. chanting, dancing naked in a forest, and throwing chicken bones into a fire
          C. shearing

3. Cashmere is the....

          A. outer hairs of the animal
          B. under hairs of the animal
          C. a magical substance handed down from aliens

4. The word cashmere comes from...

         A. The region of Kashmir
         B. The name of the first producer of cashmere
         C. The name of a goat god

Okay, question that you must answer either here or on the Facebook post to see if you're reading this...

Donegal is a town in _____.


1. Cashmere comes from goats. If you answered rabbits, that's a pretty good guess, but it's angora that comes from rabbits and goats. If you guessed beings from outer space, then I like the way you think and maybe we could get together for coffee sometime.

2. Trick question here. The answer is A and C. However, the best and highest yield comes from moulting season. From Wikipedia...

Cashmere is collected during the spring moulting season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat. In the Northern Hemisphere, the goats moult as early as March and as late as May.
In some regions, the mixed mass of down and coarse hair is removed by hand with a coarse comb that pulls tufts of fiber from the animal as the comb is raked through the fleece. The collected fiber then has a higher yield of pure cashmere after the fiber has been washed and dehaired. The long, coarse guard hair is then typically clipped from the animal and is often used for brushes, interfacings and other non-apparel uses. Animals in IranAfghanistanNew Zealand, and Australia are typically shorn of their fleece, resulting in a higher coarse hair content and lower pure cashmere yield. In America, the most popular method is combing. The process takes up to two weeks, but with a trained eye for when the fiber is releasing, it is possible to comb the fibers out in about a week.

If you answered B, then that's some wild parties you've been to. Don't let other people know about them because then they might avoid you - unless that's what you want.

3. Cashmere is the under hairs of the animal. Even more specifically the neck area.

Cashmere goats produce a double fleece that consists of a fine, soft undercoat or underdown of hair mingled with a straighter and much coarser outer coating of hair called guard hair. For the fine underdown to be sold and processed further, it must be de-haired. De-hairing is a mechanical process that separates the coarse hairs from the fine hair. After de-hairing, the resulting "cashmere" is ready to be dyed and converted into textile yarn, fabrics and garments.

Now are you seeing why cashmere is known to be exotic and expensive? Between having the job of combing and carefully gathering the yarn, and then having to go through the yarn to pick out all the coarse outer hairs, and that it comes from the neck area - shearing lambs looks easy.

If you answered "C. magical substances handed down from aliens", the only magical substances handed down from aliens that I can think of are chocolate and coffee.

4. The word cashmere comes from the region of Kashmir. Here again is info from Wikipedia...

References to woolen shawls appear in texts surviving from between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD.[7] However, the founder of the cashmere wool industry is traditionally thought to have been the 15th-century ruler of Kashmir, Zain-ul-Abidin, who introduced weavers fromTurkestan.[7] Other sources consider that cashmere crafts were introduced by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani.[8] In the 14th century Mir Ali Hamadani came to Kashmir along with 700 craftsmen from parts of Persia.[9] When he came to Ladakh, the homeland of cashmere goats, for the first time in history he found that the Ladakhi goats produced soft wool. He took some wool and made socks and gave them as a gift to the king of Kashmir, sultan Kutabdin. Afterwards Hamadani suggested to the king that they start a shawl weaving industry in Kashmir using this wool.[10] UNESCO reported in 2014 that Ali Hamadani was one of the principal historical figures who shaped the culture of Kashmir, both architecturally and also through the flourishing of arts and crafts and hence economy in Kashmir. The skills and knowledge that he brought to Kashmir gave rise to an entire industry.

So if there is a goat god named Cashmere, the yarn is not named after him or her and therefore chanting, dancing naked, and chicken bones are not required. All you need is a pair of knitting needles, and threats to your family not to touch your cashmere or you will shear their heads to make yarn.

And now for the sale info.

75% Off Sale

Cashmere Donegal
100% Cashmere, Aran

Regular Price: $10.00
Sale Price: $2.50

Hats, mitts, and scarves. Imagine your very own cashmere scarf. And you won't even have to comb through a goat to get it.

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who you will never see dancing naked in a forest - not that I would never do it, you would just never see it - besides, it would cause blindness).

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