1. Where the cashmere fibre comes from on the goat
Different parts of the cashmere goat yield fibres of differing softness. Generally the softest fibres come from the throat of the goat (underside of the neck), then the shoulders, the flanks, and lastly, its back.
2. Length of cashmere fibre and softness
The longer cashmere fibres are coarser, and typically separated out by hand so that the remaining fibres can be grouped as high quality batches. Cheap cashmere is made from the long wools. Cashmere harvested in non-traditional ways (i.e. by shearing) have a higher coarse hair content and therefore a lower quality.
3. The type of weave of the cashmere fabric
The same quality cashmere fibre can have different perceived softness to the touch, depending on how it is woven, as well as the weaver’s skill. For example, some weaves increase the product’s durability, and others emphasise the fibre’s luxurious softness.
4. Cashmere gets softer with age
Cashmere also gets softer with time. In the shop, the display products feel softer than the new ones still in their packaging. Mr. Ghulam explained that cashmere fluffs out as it is taken out and worn, and this fluffing over time makes it feel even softer than originally.