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Understanding 5 Quality Metrics of Cashmere Wraps

Cashmere – regarded as the King of Fibre, is a high-end luxury wool, expensive yet elegant. Ever wondered what makes a cashmere wrap truly exceptional?

The enthusiast may ramble about its soft touch or luxurious feel, but it’s all in the metrics. The metrics differentiate wool quality from good to extraordinary, affecting cashmere wraps’ warmth and style.

1. Fiber length and Diameter

The common metrics to distinguish grades of Cashmere fibers are length and diameter. As cashmere fibers are extremely delicate, it requires a special dedication to extract longer down-coat fibers.

Grade A – 36-40mm

Grade B – 34mm

Grade C – 28mm

In terms of diameters,

Grade A – 14-16.5 microns

Grade B – 16-19 microns

Grade C – 19-30 microns

2. Pilling Properties

A technical scientific experiment is conducted for various grades of pure cashmere. The cashmere fiber was subjected to an ICI pilling box. The box has a sample tube where cashmere is flipped and rubbed. The pilling properties of every grade are scaled from 1 to 5.

1 – No pilling

2 – Slight pilling

3 – Moderate pilling

4 – Severe pilling

5 – Too severe pilling

Sample 1: 15.42 microns, 32.36 mm

The piling was initially too severe (5) after 15 minutes. It gradually fell to 4.5 and 4 after 30 and 45 minutes respectively. The maximum worn size was 0.011 gm.

Sample 2: 15.37 microns, 29.50 mm

After 15 mins, the piling was at scale 3. After 30 and 45 minutes, the piling degraded to 2 and 1 respectively. The maximum worn size was 0.017 gm.

Sample 3: 15.38 microns, 24.50 mm

The pilling was around 2.5 after 15 minutes and around 2 after 30 minutes. Surprisingly, there was no pilling after 45 minutes. The maximum worn size was 0.017 gm.

The cashmere fiber with Grade A length pills more compared to Grade B and Grade C fibers. However, the size of pilling is much smaller in Grade A cashmere fiber.

3. Origin of Cashmere

Cashmere goats with herder

The quality of fiber is directly proportional to the region where cashmere goats are found. Chyangra of the high mountains of Nepal is subjected to the thin and crisp air of rocky terrain. The harsh climate and challenging terrain make the cashmere quality more finest quality compared to other regions.

3.1. Chyangra Goats 

Chyangra or Changtangi goats are the foundation of Kashmir Pashmina. These goats are mostly found in Nepal, India, Mongolia, Tibet, Bhutan and Myanmar. These types of Cashmere are rarest contributing to 0.1% of global cashmere production.

The finest cashmere from Chyangra are 12-13 microns and fiber lengths up to 55-60 mm. These high-grade cashmere are the most expensive cashmere type in the world.

3.2. Australian Cashmere Goats

Australian cashmere goats were selectively bred from northern and western Australian bush goats back in the 1970s. A single goat can produce 250 grams of cashmere of 15 microns.

3.2. Hexi and Zhongwei Cashmere Goats

60% of the semidesert cashmere goats of Gansu Province are white. Other than Gansu, Hexi is prominent in Qinghai and Ningxia provinces. Hexi is capable of producing 184 grams of cashmere of 15.7 microns.

Originating in the same region, Zhongwei goats are known for their kid fur and cashmere production. This goat produces an average of 216 g of down at 15 μm diameter.

3.3. Inner Mongolia Cashmere Goats

The Inner Mongolia cashmere goats are dual-purposely raised on pastures of Alasan, Arbus, Hanshan, Wuzhumuqin, and Erlangsan. The down coats of these goats are 14.3-15.8 microns with the singular goat producing up to 240 grams of Cashmere.

Wuzhumuqin cashmere goats can provide 285 g of down at 15.6 μm diameter with an average down length of 46 mm. Ninety-eight percent of the herd is white, and the luster of the fleece is better than that of the Liaoning goat as per the developer. 

3.4. Liaoning cashmere goat

Developed in the 1960s from six counties in Liaoning Province, this breed has been improved to enhance cashmere production in China. The selection process focuses on size, body length, cashmere quantity and quality, climbing ability, sturdiness, conformation, and growth. This breed can produce 326 g of down at 15 μm diameter.

3.5. Licheng Daqing goat

Licheng is a dual-purpose breed from Shanxi Province with brown down. The average down yield for a doe is 115 g at 14 μm diameter.

3.6. Tibetan Plateau goat

Found in the Tibetan Plateau regions of China, this breed is kept for down production. The doe can produce an average of 197 gm of down, while adult bucks produce an average of 261 gm.

3.7. Zalaa Jinst White goat

The only entirely white cashmere goat breed is found in the southwest region of the Gobi Desert. The average cashmere production for males is 380 grams, and for adult females is 290 grams with fibers averaging 16.0-16.5 microns in diameter.

4. Gauge of Cashmere

Silver Grey Cashmere Scarf - Lightweight

Gauge means how tightly the cashmere wraps or any other garments are knitted. You might see 16 gauge cashmere or 122gg cashmere on the description or label.

If there is a 7 gauge cashmere in the label, it means 7 stitches per inch. This metric is more choice-based and less quality-based. Lightweight cashmere has a lower gauge compared to heavier cashmere garments. 

5. Color Fastness

A recent study on color fastness was conducted in the high-grade cashmere fiber. The plant-based dyed cashmere was subjected to washing at 40 degrees Celsius and rubbing. Based on various IOS and AIS standards the color fastness was found to be 4, which is a good fastness. This means if you follow the proper care guide for cashmere, your colorful cashmere will last for a very long time.


These quality metrics of cashmere are not going to stay the same if the production process is not planned well. Breeding programs should focus on selecting animals with desirable traits such as size, body length, and down production.

The environment in which they are raised should be conducive to their health and well-being while also promoting optimal down production. Processing techniques should be chosen carefully to preserve the integrity of the fibers and maintain their softness and warmth.

By understanding these quality metrics, producers can create high-quality cashmere wraps that meet the needs and expectations of consumers worldwide.

Research works based on: Li Long and Zei Wei’s Technical Pilling Analysis, Dyeing-Fastness test by S. Tserendulam, and Pure Cashmere production test by A.S.M Raja