Cashmere comes from the Kashmir Goats which live high up on the plains of Inner Mongolia. In order to withstand the bitter winter cold when the mercury can plunge as low as 40 degrees celsius, these little white goats grow a fine inner coat to keep them warm.
And, this hair is incredibly fine, measuring around 14 microns compared to wool which is much thicker at 20 and 40 microns.
Did you know that cashmere is only finer and lighter than wool, but is also much warmer?
In the summer, these goats begin to shed this inner coat in order to keep cool. And, that’s when they are sheared: summer in the Inner Mongolian grasslands gets very hot with temperatures climbing over 30C so they really do not need the extra insulation.
After all, we all trim our dog's hair during the summer, so the same principle applies to these goats.
But, each goat only makes enough cashmere to make about one baby sized jumper (or half an adult jumper) , revealing just how precious this delicate fibre really is.
And that explains why it is so much more expensive compared to other fibres such as wool.
However, if cared for properly, a good quality cashmere jumper should last for years as it is incredibly durable, making it the perfect hand-me-down material in this age of much needed sustainability.
Once the yarn has been sheared, it is sorted, dyed and spun into yarn which is both insulating and breathable, making it the perfect fibre for your little one as they won't over heat as they move from being outdoors in the cold to the warmth of the indoors.
Cashmere has been around since the 18th century, and mills have been perfecting this art form for centuries. And, one of the companies that we work with has over 40 years experience in fine-tuning this technique.
A completely vertical operation from the goats to the finished garment, not only does it employ the finest Italian spinning techniques, but it has its very own goat farm to ensure that its cashmere only has the finest yarn.
After all, not all cashmere is made equal. In order to meet high global demand for this highly sought after material, a lot herders interbreed their animals with coarser haired goats in order to produce more hair.
But, at Mika & Milo, we only use the finest cashmere as we all know how fussy our little ones can be. And, surely our children and the planet that they will inherit, deserve only the best.
We therefore believe in making beautiful sustainable pieces which will stand the test of time so that they can be passed down from sibling to sibling, and then of course generation to generation.
After all, what could possibly be nicer than for your kids to hand down their cashmere jumpers to their own Little Ones?