A cashmere goat roams the hills of Nepal as they have for centuries.
Cashmere has been produceded in Nepal and the Kashmir region of the Himalayas for thousands of years. It is from here that cashmere gets its name. Wool from cashmere goats grazing in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia was brought to Kashmir where it was woven into the finest shawls, called Pashmina. As the Europeans learned of this material, they called it cashmere in reference to the Kashmir region. It is also called pashm, Persian for wool.
To withstand the bitterly cold winters of the Gobi Desert, the Cashmere goat produces a double fleece. Underneath a thick outer coat of guard hair, a fine fleece undercoat is produced for insulation. It is this fleece which is used to produce cashmere wool. The fleece is collected during the spring molting season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat. Shepherds comb the under fleece from their goats by hand, a process which can take up to two weeks. Raw cashmere is then sorted by hand and washed.