Cashmere knitting yarns are well-known for being very soft, comfortable and lightweight while still providing an excellent source of protection against the weather and other elements.
Cashmere Knitting Yarn comes originally from Cashmere Wool but not all of that comes from the region of Kashmir where it originated. In fact, China is the largest producer of both the cashmere wool and not surprisingly perhaps, the cashmere knitting yarn as well.
Cashmere Knitting Yarn is especially well-suited for knitting lightweight garments that come into contact with the skin but still must afford a certain level of warmth and comfort as well. However, due to the fact that cashmere wool makes some of the most luxurious and perhaps expensive knitting yarns, it is rarely used for under clothes but rather for suits that are made for winter wear as well as for blouses and shirts.
Cashmere knitting yarn is among the softest knitting yarns and between that and its price, it is generally reserved for knitting higher-priced items that people can show off as opposed to garments that are normally covered or hidden from view.
The primary reason that cashmere knitting yarn is so expensive is because it is not actually from the wool of the Cashmere Goats but their down fur. The down, no matter whether it come from fowl or mammals, is much softer and also much more scarce than the fur, hair or feathers that grow out of down. The cashmere goats are somewhat unique in that their down actually grows around their fur as something of a sub-growth to keep them warm in colder climates. The wool and the down are harvested at the same time in the Spring when the goats would normally be shedding their coats anyhow.
Pure cashmere knitting yarn is generally spun into lace weight yarn, fingering weight yarn or occasionally as large as double knitting yarn. However, the cashmere knitting yarns are frequently blended with other fibers to add different features to the yarn and the finished, knitted garments. The blended cashmere knitting yarn is also generally much cheaper than the pure cashmere yarns.
Some of the fancier cashmere blended knitting yarns are blended with silk. These yarns still generally remain very expensive though. One of the most common blends for cashmere yarn is with different types of wool. This allows the yarn to be spun much thicker and giving it more elasticity as well as retaining the ability to keep people warm. It also helps to sell cashmere knitting yarns at discounted prices.
While this is not a major issue for everyone, it can be a great benefit if you are just learning how to knit and do not want to spend a lot of money experimenting with different types of yarn to make garments that may or may not be all you thought they would when you started the knitting project. Still, both the blended and pure cashmere knitting yarns are generally very easy to work with and according to some people at least, as pleasurable to knit with as they are to wear.