Cashmere comes from mountain goats in Central Asia, mainly China and Mongolia. The cold temperature, desert and mountain plateau landscapes and diet contribute to the development of a special coat to protect the animals from the bitter cold; it is constructed of two coats-in-one. The outer coat or guard hair is very coarse and wiry while the undercoat or down is extremely soft and silky.
Cashmere hair fibers are collected during molting season when the animals naturally shed their winter coat. It can also be removed from the underbelly of the goat by combing. It then will be de-haired, a process that separates the outer from the inner coat. It takes one cashmere goat 4 years to produce enough hair for one sweater!
All these factors, scarcity of fiber and labour intense treatment of the fleece makes cashmere expensive and sought after. Cashmere is a very special, precious and expensive fiber, famous for its softness and durability, for the extreme lightweight warmth and the luxurious feel. It keeps you warmer than wool without being bulky. Cashmere travels well and doesn't wrinkle, keeps you warm in winter and cool in spring; it is long lasting and actually becomes softer with age. Undyed and natural colours range from white over grey to light brown.
Many retailers claim their products made of cashmere when in fact most often they are blends with either wool, cotton or manmade material to reduce their costs. MountainMasche guarantees the exclusive use of either 100% cashmere or a blend with another noble fiber, the silk.