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Cashmere: origin, legend and history.
Legend has it that the first garment made of cashmere was a pair of socks given to the King of Persia. A few centuries later, it was a Frenchman, Jean-Baptiste Decrétot, a sheet manufacturer in Normandy at the end of the 18th century, who introduced cashmere to Europe. Throughout the centuries and on all continents, cashmere has always been synonymous with luxury and elegance. Cashmere originates from the cashmere goats that are raised in a territory that stretches from Kashmir, on the Indo-Pakistan border, to Mongolia. In winter, a downy coat of fine, supple hair is added to the summer coat of the Kashmir goats to protect them from the extremely harsh climate (up to -40°). In spring, this hair is shorn from the animals' chests. It is these hairs that, after several stages of treatment, will produce the cashmere wool.
An exceptional product
A single cashmere goat produces only 100 grams of cashmere per year, and the total world production of cashmere represents hardly more than 0.5% of the total wool production. This makes it easy to understand why cashmere is such an exceptional fibre.
Several things to know about cashmere
Fine and strong
Cashmere wool is unique in that its fibres are 3 times more insulating, softer and finer than fibres such as merino wool. Cashmere wool is incredibly soft because the fibres in it are exceptionally fine. They are 6 times thinner than our hair! And they are not only fine but also particularly strong. If you look after your cashmere socks according to the recommended instructions, you can keep them for a very long time.
Warmth and softness
Although cashmere hair is particularly fine, it is nevertheless exceptionally warm and insulating. Indeed, their primary function is to protect cashmere goats from the winter cold of these regions, which sometimes drops to -40°. It is commonly estimated that cashmere wool is three times as warm and insulating as sheep's wool. So it's no wonder that these fibres, when used to make the wonderful Monnet cashmere socks, give you a unique feeling of warmth, softness and comfort.