Cashmere refers to a luxury fiber that is obtained from cashmere goats other types of goats. The cashmere products are finer, stronger, lighter and softer than sheep wool. They are hypersonic, hypo allergic, biodegradable and a long time durable. The Cashmere cloths for babies make them feel comfortable. Cashmere keeps us warm in winter and cools in summer. They are non-pollutants as they are easily decomposable by the bacteria. China is said to be the largest producer of raw cashmere and then Mongolia comes in second. There are different processes of making cashmere in Nepal
. Their processes include a collection of wool, sorting, spinning, pot dying, drying, hand weaving, screen printing, and hand finishing.
The delicate shawls are handspun and woven by the traditional methods in the mountainous region of Nepal. Every spring, cashmere wool is collected from the goats when they naturally shed their winter coat. Basically, the natural wool is obtained from the undercoat of the neck of the goat. These wools are obtained without harming the goat. The finest fibers that are up to 16.5 microns are considered as the cashmere.
After the collection of wool from the cashmere goats, the cashmere wool is sorted. These wools are said to be more valuable which values more price in the market than the bulky wool.
The cashmere is spun with the help of hand on a spinning wheel in a traditional way. This spinning wheel is known as ‘Charkha’. We can get about 4 to 8 ounces of pashmina per year from the Himalayan goat. The fiber collected is also spun by the machine in some parts of the country.
After the process of weaving, the cashmere wool is dyed by the manual process. The wool is shaded by different colors on either side of the fabric. The fiber is found exceptionally absorbent and dyes so easily and deeply.
Before weaving the cashmere, it is completely dried by spreading it in the open air and allowing the sun and air to dry it naturally. It has many advantages although the method seems slow. The process of drying is an important process. The wool that is dried in high temperature seems to have a harsh unkind feeling and the fiber loses its suppleness.
The cashmere is woven by the special skill that is still surviving in the remote mountains. This traditional method is passed from generation to generation. The process of weaving is done by the help of hand on looms to meet the exacting standards.
The process of screen printing includes the coloring in the cashmere wools. This process introduces printing techniques that support an ink-blocking stencil in order to receive a desired image. The screen printing is the method of printmaking in which a design is imposed on the screen of the products. There are different colors that are forced into the mesh openings by the fill blade. Several screens can be used in order to produce a multi-colored design.
This is the last method of making cashmere which is finished by each strand of our hand-knitting which are twisted fringe. The process of hand-knitting takes a full day to complete for one item. This process gives each piece an equally masculine and feminine look.