The desirability of these precious ‘golden’ fleeces is rooted in their rarity, which is inextricably linked to a superlative level of quality, unequalled warmth and an ultra luxurious touch that no man made substitute can match. The fibres that constitute this segment of the market are derived from several different animals.
They grow fleeces of supremely soft, light and warm material, which have aspects within the composition of the fibre that are uniquely adapted to cope with inhospitable extremes of heat and cold. Fabrics made from these fibres seem to express something of these unique environments, and possess an inherent cachet.
Their enduring appeal lies partially in their scarcity and difficulty in processing, many aspects of which are still best done by hand. Despite amazing developments in textile technology, their status in the luxury market remains unchallenged.
The creatures that produce theses fibres have evolved over time to produce coats that embody a range of complex and unique properties, and a cycle of fleece adaptation. For example, hair growth on the cashmere goat is generally regarded as being triggered by the shortening daylight hours of late summer and autumn. Although it has been observed that other factors, such as fluctuations in temperature and even slight variables in diet can have an influence on the quality of the cashmere fibre.