Cashmere the fiber of kings, produced from the lowly Cashmere goat. This fiber is so luxurious that the Arc of the Covenant of the old testament was lined and curtained with it. Sixty percent of the worlds supply of cashmere is produced in China and the remainder from Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Kashmere, Australia and New Zealand. It is a new industry for the United States. The first Cashmere goats were imported from Australia and New Zealand in the late 1980's. Since then several Cashmere breeders and growers have been producing breeding stock to launch this new industry in the US.
Cashmere goats are easy to raise. They are healthy animals and take only minimal care. They are not jumpers like many other goat breeds and standard woven wire sheep fencing will contain them. Minimal shelter is all that is required to house them due to the insulative properties of their dual coats, which is shed for the summer.
They are sheared once a year and a full grown adult buck will yield as much as 2.5 pounds of fleece. The fleece consists of two kinds of fiber, cashmere and guard hair. Average cashmere percentages are in the 20% range. The fleece can be sold to wholesale buyers or it can be dehaired and sold at retail prices to hand spinners.