Scottish cashmere

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Scottish Cashmere

Some of the finest cashmere, as lovers of the fabric will attest, is woven in Scotland. It is in the Scottish Borders region adjoining England, beside the clear streams, that a Scot, Joseph Dawson, invented a mechanical process to sort and clean the fibres in the 19th century, and it is here, ever since, that designers have had their clothing produced. The hair itself comes from the Mongolian goat, which lives in sub-zero temperatures at high altitudes in the mountains of Mongolia, China, Tibet and the Himalayan region of Kashmir. It is only, as James Sugden of Johnstons of Elgin explains, when the fiber is washed in Scottish spring water, hand-spun, then colored using the finest-quality non-harmful dyes, that the very finest cashmere becomes ultra-soft. “You can feel the difference between something that has been produced in Scotland and elsewhere,” he says. “Cashmere is ruined by corrosive dyes and chemicalized water. ‘Made in Scotland’ is reassurance that that fiber has been treated in the best way possible.”