In winter, we mostly talk about how to keep warm. When it comes to keeping warm, we think of cashmere or wool products, but most people can't tell the difference between cashmere and wool.
In fact, we often confuse between cashmere and wool when choosing sweaters or scarves. Look at your cashmere sweater, cashmere scarf, or cashmere coat in your closet, do you know if it's cashmere or wool? Let's take a look at the difference between cashmere and wool.
Come from different animals
Cashmere is the wool that comes from goats. Cashmere is a kind of special animal fiber, which grows on the skin of goats, and covered with a thin layer of fine wool at the root skin of a goat. The best cashmere comes from Inner Mongolia, one region of China, which produces almost 70% of the world's cashmere.
Wool usually comes from sheep, even though the sheep wool is very thin, it is called wool in the industry. Wool products also have the function to keep warm.
The best sheep in the world comes from Australia. Australian merino wool is usually considered the best wool in the world. Its fiber is curly, light, soft, and elastic, suitable for making fine textiles.
There are many kinds of wool. We also can see alpaca wool, virgin wool, Lana wool, and Exxon wool products in the market. These kinds of wool also vary in warmth, yield, and price.
Different collection methods
In addition to the different animals from which the cashmere and wool come from, collection methods are also very different. The wool collection process, like a haircut or taking off one's clothes, is completely shaved with scissors and then taken off completely, also known as shearing.
Compared to the wool, the cashmere grows on the roots of the goats' hair and falls off naturally. So in spring, the herdsmen will use the iron made comb to grab down bit by bit.
Each sheep can produce several kilograms of wool each year, each goat can only harvest a few grams of cashmere per year. In 2017, global wool production was around 1.1 million tons, while cashmere was around 20,000 tons. It can be said that cashmere has become a "luxury".
If all the cashmere produced in the world were used to make cashmere sweaters, one-piece could be shared among every 5,000 people in the world. If all the wool produced in the world were used to make woolen sweaters, each person in the world would own two.
Fiber fineness and shape are different
Cashmere is 14-16 microns in diameter, much thinner than wool. The shape of the wool is pointed, while cashmere is round. Wool shapes are arranged more closely and thicker than cashmere's, and its fleece is larger than cashmere too.
The curl degree of wool is smaller than that of cashmere. The curl number, roll curvature, and the curl recovery rate of the cashmere is larger than those of the wool, so it is suitable for producing plump, soft, and elastic knitwear.
Warmth and weight are different
Due to the high natural curly, cashmere is closely arranged in the spinning weaving. For the same coverage area, cashmere can retain more air than wool, so it is warmer than wool. One 100% cashmere scarf is 8 times warmer than the one made of wool.
The cashmere fiber is smooth, and there is an air layer in the middle, so it is lightweight too.
Because wool is a solid fiber with medullated material, while cashmere is hollow and unmedullated, a double-sided cashmere coat feels quite elastic when grasped by the hand.
Even after a hard squeeze, the garment will be flat and will not wrinkle as soon as it is released. Cashmere products do not shrink after washing, while wool products shrink.
Cashmere is expensive than wool, because cashmere is softer, lighter, finer and stronger. It is one luxurious and expensive textile material in the market. The price of pure cashmere is more than 100 dollars/kg, and the price of wool does not exceed 9 dollars/kg.
This rare and precious fiber, which is traded on the basis of grams, it is not accepted to sell in small quantities.