Cashmere

What is cashmere?

Cashmere is an extremely soft, luxurious fabric made from the hair of the Cashmere goat, native to Kashmir in Northwest India, Tibet, Turkestan, Iran, Iraq and China.

The goats are found in the highest mountain ranges – an important point as the mountain territory’s temperature extremes are critical to the quality of fibre. The Cashmere mountain goat is one of very few animals that can survive in this environment, and the conditions mean that the goat produces the finest yet strongest hair fibres of any animal. Once shorn, the fleece must be separated from the coarser “guard hair” and so the resulting yield per goat is very small, which contributes to the global opinion of cashmere as a precious and luxury commodity.

Why Pringle Cashmere ?

Pringle of Scotland is synonymous with cashmere. We are proud to still make many our cashmere garments in Scotland, the home and heart of Pringle.

Our cashmere uses the finest white fibres, from the chest and the underbelly of goats found mainly in the mountain ranges of China and Tibet. Traditionally the goats were combed to obtain the fibres, but as shearing puts the animal under less stress, it is now the more common practice in the Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi areas where our cashmere is sourced.

We are committed to protecting animal welfare, and proud to work with suppliers who operate unique tracing and quality management systems to provide transparency and traceability for where their cashmere is obtained. Our cashmere comes from one of Scotland’s, and the world's, leading cashmere yarn spinners. The unique Pringle of Scotland cashmere hand owes it qualities to the very soft water from local Scottish rivers used during the production, as well as a specific degree of tension and twist perfected over the years. This allows our cashmere to mature and soften as it is washed, worn and loved.

Making cashmere knitwear

We buy our yarn from Todd and Duncan, one of the world's leading cashmere yarn spinners. The company shares the heritage of its founder, Joseph Dawson, who is credited with creating today's cashmere industry. He invented the first mechanical process to clean and de-hair raw cashmere fibre at the end of the 19th century.

The process of ‘milling’ (washing) is an important part of cashmere production. It uses a precise combination of very soft water from local Scottish rivers and specific softening agents. How much water, detergent, polymer and time required for milling is calculated according to the pantone colour chosen, in order to ensure the fibre opens. Only after the fibre has opened will the garment achieve the right level of tension and the luxurious and iconic cashmere feel. Millers have developed the unique Pringle of Scotland cashmere handle over many years working with our teams to perfect the process. We require specific degrees of twist and percentage of oil in our yarns and we specify the exact tension that we want our cashmere knitted to.