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Cashmere goats are specially bred in China, Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan. The fleece of this goat is characterized by long and coarse hair. However, in winter the animal grows under its hair a short, soft and fine fleece; cashmere is this very fine under- coat that protects goats against the extreme temperatures of the regions in which they live. This undercoat is collected during spring by combing and it provides a precious raw material for the textile industry. Naturally, the raw fibres thus harvested still contain a considerable amount of coarse hair (called 'jarre') that is eliminated with a processing called 'de-hairing'.

Traditionally, cashmere is not very standardised in terms of classification, codifications and comparative technical data. Generally fibres are divided according to their origin: cashmere from China is the most precious because it is the finest, with a fibre diameter of about 14.5-15.5 microns, followed by that from Mongolia; cashmere from Iran and Afghanistan is the most ordinary. The cashmere fibre could also be classified by the colour range: from white to light brown and grey.



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