Aw yes, cashmere! That’s what my yearling gave to me this spring. No, I don’t have a cashmere goat, I have a Saanen milking goat but any goat (except an Angora goat) can grow cashmere. A true cashmere goat is selectively bred to produce significantly more than the others goats.
My Martha is our cashmere goat of sorts as she produces far more than our other goats. That isn’t much.
A few combings and its all you get. True cashmere is of greater quality and amount but put simply, it is the downy under wool that is formed to keep the goat warm during winter. A cashmere adult buck is sheared once a year and will produce about 2.5 pounds of fleece and of that fleece it is said only about 20 percent will be cashmere. The other amount is guard hair. That is your first clue why cashmere is so expensive. The quality of the cashmere fleece is determined by three factors: its fiber length, its diameter, and the degree of crimping. Sorry Martha, you get a D in all categories. Oh well, what do you expect from a high grade milker? Our granddaughters want to keep what we get each year and see what grandma can make of it. I’m just glad they didn’t say the same of the cat’s downy underwool we combed off Duke once we were done with Martha.
First of all we’d have to de-hair the cashmere, (remove the guard hairs). We shall see how well they like that task.