Knitting cashmere

Posted on July 01 2018

Knitting cashmere

Ekotree produces a range of luxury cashmere products knitted on fine gauge looms. All Ekotree cashmere is made in our Doolin studio and includes travel wraps, scarves, hats, ponchos, baby blankets and christening robes, arm warmers, leg warmers, mittens, hot water bottle covers, and dog sweaters. Our finishing is very specialised and we control every stage of the process ensuring we create soft yet durable pieces with low pilling. A traditional Aran sweater knit using cashmere is very luxurious indeed. The chunky traditional Aran stitches combined with super soft cashmere creates an exquisite sweater.

Customers are welcome to visit our Doolin studio and select their favourite colour and have their pieces knit up and shipped worldwide for free.

Cashmere travel wrap

 A little about cashmere

Cashmere is shed annually from goats living in high, dry mountainous plateaus around the world. Only twelve regions in the world have the right temperature and terrain to accommodate cashmere goats, the best spots being in Mongolia, China, India and Iran. To survive freezing temperatures, the goats develop a thick protective layer of hair, over a downy coat of super fine hair (the cashmere). Unsurprisingly, cashmere has long been an exclusive, luxury item It's these inhospitable conditions that make the goats undercoat so fine and warm.  Due to the harsh conditions the amount of goats reared in these areas is limited. The annual world cashmere produced is between 10,000-12,000 tonnesthroughout the world.A single goat will produce as little as 50-80 grams of washed cashmere annually.

Cashmere goats produce a double fleece that consists of a fine, soft undercoat or under-down of hair mingled with a straighter and much coarser outer coating of hair called guard hair.The best quality cashmere comes from around the throat and the belly. The diameter of a single cashmere fibre is under 19 microns (1/16th the diameter of human hair). Once spun into yarn and knit it produces the warmest scarves - 8 times warmer than wool.

Cashmere is the most sleek, soft and luxurious natural fibre in the world and requires the highest standards to process it. 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.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. Cashmere is collected in three base colours - brown, beige and white and is laboriously sorted to remove impurities. After de-hairing, the resulting "cashmere" is ready to be dyed and converted into textile yarn, fabrics and garments.

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