Australian Wool Yarn

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help please wool in australia?

Please HELP even if you just give me a website to go on
in your answer if you could please make it about australian wool and about wool in Australia if you can thank you
is wool a fibre?
how is wool fibre made into yarn and then fabrics or whatever? different uses for wool fibre other than clothing ?
also any websites that could help
thank you please help even if you just give me a link to a website
anything would be good as long as its refering to my question

From Humble Goat To Cashmere Jumper

Cashmere jumpers and scarves are delightfully warm and cosy to wear in the winter months. They're worn by celebrities such as David Beckham and Madonna, and regularly appear on catwalk models from Milan to New York. But what many casual observers don't realise is that the exclusive material is derived from the wool of the unassuming goat.

Cashmere is named after the former English term for the Asian region now known as Kashmir, where the cashmere wool industry first developed. Nowadays cashmere wool production is not restricted to this area of the world, and can be obtained from numerous breeds of goat, including the Hexi in the Ningxia province of China (the biggest producer of cashmere down in the world), the Wuzhumuqin in Mongolia or the Australian cashmere goat.

The wool comes from the animals' exquisitely soft winter undercoat. As the nights draw in, the undercoat shortens and intertwines with an outer coat of rugged hair - almost all goat breeds boast this double-coated fleece.

Cashmere is traditionally gathered during springtime, methods differing slightly from country to country. This coincides with the moulting season, the period when goats shed their coat naturally. The mixture of hair and down is generally removed using a rake-like comb.

A process called ‘de-hairing' is then used to separate the fine hair and the coarse outer coat hair. Grease and dirt are also removed. Once this stage is complete, the fibre can then be dyed and transformed into fabrics, spun wool and luxurious garments, such as cashmere jumpers, gloves, hats, scarves and socks.

The production and commercialisation of cashmere has become a massive industry. After China, major players include Mongolia, India, Turkey and Afghanistan. In terms of garment assembling and production, Scotland, Japan and Italy have long traditions and excellent reputations in the domain.

In fact, cashmere is part of a textiles industry in Scotland that represents the country's seventh largest exporter. The cashmere sector employs thousands of people and contributes nearly £200 million to the Scottish economy. Many Scottish companies have enjoyed great success through promoting cashmere as a luxury product - this marketing tactic has led to high demand from markets all over the world, especially North America.

Cashmere knitwear has been part of Scotland's heritage ever since the early 1800s. In 1830, recognising how important an element cashmere had become in the nation's economy, the Scottish Board of Trustees for the Encouragement of Arts and Manufactures offered a £300 reward - an enormous sum back then - to anyone who could come up with a system for spinning cashmere shawls like the highly successful one in use in France at the time.

An enterprising navy captain, Charles Cochrane, travelled to Paris to obtain the necessary information and received a Scottish patent for his troubles the following year. He sold the patent to a Glaswegian manufacturer, who went on to spin what was generally recognised to be a higher quality of yarn than the French from 1832 onwards.

Now, almost 180 years later, the cashmere industry in Scotland is a yarn that just keeps spinning!

About the Author

Cashmere jumpers are available from many online retailers. These luxury items offer comfort and warmth.


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