ashmere is the soft, airy, luxurious down from the cashmere goat. The cashmere is combed off the goat by hand and has a staple length of about 2 inches.  Separation of the shorter soft fibers from the long, coarse guard hair is tedious and difficult, contributing to the expense of the fiber. The soft, delicate fiber is woven or knitted into fine, high quality garments. Cashmere can be blended with silk, cotton, alpaca or wool.