Some Facts About Cashmere Fiber2 years ago Post By : Mishu Shrestha
Cashmere or in other words Pashmina is a luxury fiber known for its quality and comfortability. But how many of you know about Cashmere? Where does it comes from and what are its features and all? Here in this article we will be discussing about that.
Cashmere is defined as fiber from Cashmere goat Capra Hircus Laniger.
The word Pashmina is originated from a word "pashm" which means "soft gold" in local language (in Kashmir) and "wool" in Persian language. Pashmina is the down fiber derived from the hair of domesticated goat Capra hircus indigenous to Asia namely China, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India. Apart from these countries, Australia, Britain and New Zealand also produce cashmere fiber.
"Pashm" A term used in Kashmir, for cashmere. Sometimes spelled Pashim, Pashum, Pashmina, Pushmina.
As per the Nepal Gazette (Sectin 50, Number 28) published on 2057-07-014, the mean diameter of Pashmina fiber should be 17.5 micron or less.
Cashmere fiber (hair): Originally hair from the downy undercoat of the Asiatic goat (Capra hircus laniger) with a mean diameter of 18.5 microns or less.
Pashmina (Cashmere) is the fiber obtained from the undercoat of a domesticated Chyangra (Cashmere goat) (Capra hircus). In Nepal, the goat (Capra Hircus) is called Chyangra which lives at the altitude above 3,000 meters in Himalayas.
Identification of Pashmina (Cashmere) from other animal wool fibers:
Pashmina (Cashmere) is a high-value specialty animal fiber, but Pashmina (cashmere) and other animal wool fibers such as sheep's wool, yak, camel, etc. exhibit great similarities in their physical and chemical properties, so that their blends are difficult to distinguish from each other by both mechanical and chemical methods.
Research on the accurate identification of Pashmina (cashmere) fibers has been a long undertaking. At present, the most widely used and reliable identification techniques include the light microscopy (LM) method and the scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The SEM method shows complementary characteristics to those of LM method.
SEm is used to differentiate Pashmina (Cashmere) and wool fibers based on the cuticle scale pattern. Cuticle scale characteristics and scale height have been used as the main diagnostic features to classify wool and Pashmina (Cashmere). The test accuracy that can be achieved depends largely on the anlayst's expertise with the fiber surface morphology of various types of animal fibers.
The advantage of the LM method is that the internal medullation and pigmentation of fibers can be observed; the disadvantage is that some subtle surface structures cannot be clearly displayed. A decolouring process needs to be carried out on dark samples for testing. An improper decolouring process can affect the judgment of the fiber analyst.
The SEM method shows opposite characteristics to those of LM method so some types of fibers need to be identified by scanning electron microscope.
The LM and SEM methods need to be used together to identify some difficult-to-identify samples in order to utilize the advantage of both methods.