Origin of noble Cashmere Wool
Legend has it that back in ancient Rome, Julius Caesar already appreciated the uniqueness of fine cashmere wool. Origins of the rare textile date back even further than the year 1.000 BC. Even then, nomadic shepherds living in the mountainous high plateaus of Central Asia, honored the natural resource deriving from their goats. The lightweight fiber provided comforting warmth, even in deep winter nights and offered ideal protection against the harsh climate, due to its outstanding insulating nature.
Birthplace and eponym of the noble wool is the fertile region around the high-lying Vale of Kashmir, which today is claimed by India, Pakistan and China alike.
Nowadays cashmere goats can be found in many places around the world – even in Europe or Oceania. Yet only a few places offer really ideal conditions, as extreme temperature fluctuations and temperatures below – 30° Celsius are essential for the development of the most exclusive wool. The unique undercoat, also called duvet, consists of thousands of finest and exceptionally soft fibers. These act as a natural thermal insulation, protecting the goats equally from scorching hot summers and bitterly cold winters.
Spread of Cashmere Wool
Over the centuries the Silk Road in particular, played a major role in the spread of cashmere wool. Early merchants and traders recognized the high value of the material, which, despite its minimal weight, stores heat to a special degree and thanks to its unprecedented fineness is blissfully soft.
In Western history books, first records of the noble textile date back to the 16th century. At that time, the luxurious fiber was reserved for royal houses only – and so Kashmir became known as the “Fiber of Kings”. Only towards the end of the 18th century, the desired wool came into reach of the entire European elite, thanks to the English and French trading companies. In the ensuing years, the value of cashmere skyrocketed due to an ever increasing demand. There were times when the price of a single scarf exceeded the value of a horse-drawn carriage.
Processing of Cashmere
In the highlands of the Himalayas especially in Nepal the processing of cashmere is still characterized by traditional handwork. In spring, the wool is won through the traditional method of combing the goat’s undercoat. Only about 150-200 grams of the valuable raw material is hereby carefully won from one goat per year.
The true secret of the cashmere fiber can only be revealed by modern research. Despite its extremely low thickness (~15 microns – human hair: ~75 microns), the fiber incorporates a type of internal air chamber that performs a natural function of thermoregulation and perspiration. A very limited availability of premium yarn results in the high value and price of finest cashmere.
Our collection is created primarily in traditional and caring handwork. We produce exclusively in direct cooperation with three small family businesses and spend around four months every year with our local partners in Nepal. Combining artisan craftsmanship and fair production, to form unique cashmere goods with special attention to detail.
“In keeping with our vision, to create top of the line cashmere goods in noble design and fair production.“