A History of Cashmere

Cashmere is the so called "Fibre of Kings" and is unparalleled in luxury, warmth and durability. But what do we really know about one of the most precious natural fibres in the world?

Our Cashmere comes from the mountain goats found in the freezing climates of Inner and Outer Mongolia and China. These incredible animals grow a downy undercoat to protect themselves from winter temperatures as low as -40℃. This undercoat is Cashmere.

Cashmere is one of the rarest and most precious natural fibres in the world. Its lightness, its warmth and its caressing touch make cashmere one of life's ultimate pleasures. To be cocooned in its ultra-soft luxuriousness is quite simply an irresistible sensation that many seek to enjoy.

It is extraordinary to discover that such a delicate and treasured fibre has remarkably humble beginnings in one of the most desolate, forgotten regions of the world. This fibre of supreme softness is painstakingly combed by nomadic tribesmen from the wiry mountain goat that thrive in the icy temperatures that blast the high plateaux of Mongolia and Xinjiang in China. It's transformation however happens halfway round the world in Scotland. There, more than a century of wisdom and understanding of this raw natural fibre is used to turn it into clothing of incomparable appeal and quality.

But before Scotland there was India. In 16th century India, Kashmiri Craftsmen wove shawls from the downy fleece from the cashmere goats. They bought the fleece from caravans of traders that travelled along the Silk Road bringing their precious cargo from China, Tibet, Afghanistan and northern Persia. The Indian Emperor Akbar is known to have owned several of these shawls in a multitude of exotic hues. However, it wasn't until the early 19th-century that French Empress Eugenie, a celebrated style icon, made cashmere fashionable.

By the late 19th-century the cashmere industry had grown into the Scottish Borders where special weaving and knitting techniques were developed for underwear. During the following decades Scottish Cashmere Knitwear grew with some small towns having as many 50 different manufacturers and factories. 

Today the knitwear industry has seen a sad demise over the last few decades. With big players such as Pringle, Peter Scott and Hawick Knitwear ceasing to manufacture in Scotland. The competition from offshore manufacturers proved to be too much for many of the factories and those towns mentioned before with 50 plus factories are now down to single figures.

Now wouldn't it be sad if all this history, heritage and dedication to providing the world with one of the most superior and luxurious fibres on planet ceased to exist?