Cashmere. Everyday Indulgence.

Cashmere Factory

Why Inner Mongolia, China?

We proudly produce most of our cashmere sweaters in Inner Mongolia, China. This prominent cashmere factory is renowned for their highly skilled professional workforce, advanced equipment and technology, and commitment to quality and excellence for over 30 years.

The great majority of the world’s highest-quality cashmere comes from Inner Mongolia. Here, the cashmere goats grow fine cashmere fibers to protect them from the extreme cold. The geographic proximity and close relationship that the factory has with the herders ensure that the raw materials are of the highest quality.

On our recent factory visit, we learned so much about the complicated process involved in converting raw fibers into a luxurious cashmere garment. Take a look at how our cashmere sweaters are made through these behind the scenes photos.

 

Sorting

After the fibers are collected each spring, they have to be sorted to eliminate any coarse “guard” hairs. This first step of sorting is almost always done by hand and requires years of experience. Here, skilled professionals manually classify raw cashmere by visual assessment according to factory standard based on more than 30 years of experience.

Cashmere factory: After the fibers are collected each spring, they have to be sorted to eliminate any coarse “guard” hairs from the cashmere. This first step of sorting is almost always done by hand and requires years of experience.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Skilled professionals manually classify raw cashmere by visual assessment according to factory standard based on more than 30 years of experience.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Scouring

Cashmere scouring is the next step following the first round of manual sorting. During scouring, the fibers go through a few rounds of washing and drying in the scouring machine in order to eliminate dirt and grease. The scouring machine is equipped with tools that loosen up the cashmere fibers so impurities can be more easily removed.

Cashmere factory: Cashmere fibers being fed to the scouring machine. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere scouring.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: During scouring, the fibers go through a few rounds of washing and drying in the scouring machine in order to eliminate dirt and grease.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere scouring.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere scouring.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Re-sorting

After scouring, the cashmere fibers go through another round of manual sorting. The coarse hairs will be further sorted by machine into different grades. The finer hairs will go to the next step: Dehairing.

Cashmere factory: After scouring, the cashmere fibers go through another round of manual sorting. The coarse hairs will be further sorted by machine into different grades. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Dehairing

Dehairing is the process of removing guard hairs and vegetable matters from the scoured cashmere, utilizing principles of centrifugation and air separation. The tiny metal pins work to loosen up the cashmere fibers, so impurities can be more easily removed. The temperature and humidity are both strictly controlled to ensure optimal result.

Cashmere factory: Dehairing, the process of removing guard hairs and vegetable matters from the scoured cashmere. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Dehairing, the process of removing guard hairs and vegetable matters from the scoured cashmere. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: The tiny metal pins work to loosen up the cashmere fibers, so impurities can be more easily removed during the dehairing process. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Dehairing is the process of removing guard hairs and vegetable matters from the scoured cashmere, utilizing principles of centrifugation and air separation. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: The guard hairs and dirt from the cashmere dehairing process. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: The tiny metal pins loosen up the cashmere fibers, so impurities can be more easily removed during the cashmere dehairing process. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

The fibers go through 8-12 rounds of dehairing until they meet the quality standard of cashmere in terms of length, thinness, and color. At the end of the process, you can see pure, super soft cashmere coming out of the dehairing machine.

Cashmere factory: The fibers go through 8-12 rounds of dehairing until they meet the quality standard of cashmere in terms of length, thinness, and color. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: The fibers go through 8-12 rounds of dehairing until they meet the quality standard of cashmere in terms of length, thinness, and color. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Expert examining the length, thinness, and color of the dehaired cashmere fiber. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: So excited to see pure, super soft cashmere coming out of the dehairing machine! Also very impressed with the advanced technology, quality, and efficiency involved in this process. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: The temperature and humidity at the cashmere dehairing facility are both strictly controlled to ensure optimal result. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Color-Matching

The advanced technology used in color-matching is truly impressive. The software analyzes the color composition and the robotic arm precisely measures and dispenses the mix of dyeing solutions, from over 80 bottles of colors.

Cashmere factory: Color-matching with the use of robotics. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

We also had the chance to see how a particular heathered-yarn is created. One heathered-yarn could have 6 or 7 different colored fibers mixed together. Here the technician is creating the perfect formula for the greenish, greying charcoal yarn with a touch of camel.

Cashmere factory: Technician creating the perfect formula for a heathered-color yarn. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Dyeing

The first step of the fully-automated dye distribution process is weighing dyestuff from the storage silos into the buckets. The factory uses eco-friendly dyestuff that maximizes color brightness, fastness (meaning resistance to dry rubbing and washing), and consistency, and is OEKO-TEX certified (tested to be free from unwanted harmful substances).

Cashmere factory: First step of the fully-automated dye distribution process: Weighing dyestuff from the storage silos into the buckets. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

The buckets containing the weighed recipes are loaded onto the distribution line, where the dyestuff is first sent to the dissolution tank and then dispensed to these dyeing machines. This automated process ensures precision and consistency, as well as maximum hygiene and safety in the working environment.

Cashmere factory: Dyeing machines.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Dyeing.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Dyeing. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Carding

The next step is carding, which is the process of loosening up and disentangling lumps of fibers and making them into a thin, even film so that they are ready for spinning. The carding machine is equipped with a series of rollers, which have closely-spaced wire pins, that move at different relative speeds.

Cashmere factory: Carding, the process of loosening up and disentangling lumps of fibers and making them into a thin, even film so that they are ready for spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Fibers going through the carding machine, which is equipped with closely-spaced wire pins to disentangle the fibers into an even film so that they can be more evenly spun into yarn. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Fibers are made into a thin, even film so that they are ready for spinning.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Fibers are made into a thin, even film so that they are ready for spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Spinning

Spinning, the process of converting fibers into yarn by drawing out, twisting, and winding the fibers, is the key value-added step in cashmere production. Specific twists are inserted to bind the fibers together to add cohesion and strength.

Cashmere factory: Ready for spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh).

Cashmere factory: Spinning, the process of converting fibers into yarn by drawing out, twisting, and winding the fibers, is the key value-added step in cashmere production. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Spinning, the process of converting fibers into yarn by drawing out, twisting, and winding the fibers, is the key value-added step in cashmere production. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. Specific twists are inserted to bind the fibers together to add cohesion and strength. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Cashmere spinning. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Knitting

The factory uses advanced computer-aided knitting machines that allow a variety of gauges and are capable of producing more than 10,000 different stitches and patterns. The knitting machines are designed to adjust stitches to narrow or widen the panel, thus producing shaped knitwear panels with minimal wastage. Yarn feed and tension are closely monitored to yield consistency throughout the fabric, which is essential to shaping and integral garment production.

Cashmere factory: Knitting machines. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Knitting machines. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Knitting machines. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Knitting machines. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Knitting machines. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

This machine is working on a complicated intarsia design using more than 30 cones of yarn.

Cashmere factory: This machine is working on a complicated intarsia design using more than 30 cones of yarn. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: This machine is working on a complicated intarsia design using more than 30 cones of yarn. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: This machine is working on a complicated intarsia design using more than 30 cones of yarn. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: This machine is working on a complicated intarsia design using more than 30 cones of yarn. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Knitting machines. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

It takes a knitting master as many as 4 days on this computer-assisted machine to complete this cashmere piece featuring such intricate intarsia design. The colored indicators on the computer-assisted machine provide precise guidance to the knitter. It requires a master with over 20 years of experience to knit pieces as intricate as this one.

Cashmere factory: It takes a knitting master as many as 4 days on this computer-assisted machine to complete this cashmere piece featuring such intricate intarsia design. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: The colored indicators on the computer-assisted machine provide precise guidance to the knitter.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Inspection

The garment goes through many rounds of inspection during the production process.

Cashmere factory: Inspection.  (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Silk Screen Printing

We always love an opportunity to talk to the production people firsthand. We learned so much from the printing master who has been doing this for almost 20 years.

Cashmere factory: Discussing with printing expert. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Long production line for silk screen printing.

Cashmere factory: Silk screen printing. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Silk screen printing. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Silk screen printing production. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Silk screens.

Silk screens. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Silk screens. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Digital Printing

The digital printing team created this giant soft semi-sticky pad with garment grading marked on it for the digital machine specifically. The garment can then be precisely laid down and will stay in place for accurate printing. Everyone at the factory is always encouraged to come up ideas that help improve the efficiency and quality of production, and this is a great example.

Laying down the garment for precise digital printing. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

The software creates a virtual simulation of the printed garment for checking the results before printing begins.

Digital printing: The software creates a virtual simulation of the printed product for checking the results before printing begins. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Digital printing done on the Shima Seiki inkjet printing machine. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Beautiful cashmere scarf featuring digitally printed geometric patterns done on the inkjet printing machine.

Beautiful cashmere scarf featuring digitally printed geometric patterns. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Digital printing color reference.

Digital printing color reference. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Testing print colors for client’s final approval.

Digital printing: Testing print colors. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

After printing, the fabrics are washed to remove the excess dye and environmentally friendly solutions. Fabrics are washed in a number of wash cycles at different temperatures to make the print washfast.

After printing, the fabrics are washed to remove the excess dye and environmentally friendly solutions. Fabrics are washed in a number of wash cycles at different temperatures to make the print washfast. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Linking

The computerized hanging system efficiently delivers batches of garment panels to each workstation for linking, trimming, and inspection.

Cashmere factory: The computerized hanging system efficiently delivers batches of garment panels to each workstation. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: The workstation. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Great skill and concentration are required during linking, where garment panels and sleeves are being linked together by hand on the linking machine. The machine uses a chain stitch to attach the parts without cutting; each stitch of the chain passes through a knitted stitch and creates a very neat compact seam.

Cashmere factory: Linking garment panels and sleeves by hand on the linking machine. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Linking garment panels and sleeves by hand on the linking machine. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: The linking machine. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Washing

Finished garments are washed and tumble-dried to relax the fabric structure, remove any oil or dirt accumulated during manufacturing, and achieve the desired surfaced finish and wonderful hand feel.

Cashmere factory: Finished garments are washed and tumble-dried to relax the fabric structure, remove any oil or dirt accumulated during manufacturing, and achieve the desired surfaced finish. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Pressing

The garment is steam pressed before final inspection.

Cashmere factory: Pressing. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

Cashmere factory: Pressing. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

Inspection

After a final round of detailed inspection, the garment is ready for delivery.

Cashmere factory: Inspection. (Photo by Paychi Guh)

 

It is a meticulous process converting the precious raw fibers into a luxurious cashmere garment. We hope you have enjoyed learning about how our cashmere sweaters are made through these behind the scenes factory photos we brought back from Inner Mongolia.