There are no purebred cashmere goats. Although feral goats from Australia, and Spanish meat goats from the American Southwest, selected for fiber traits, form the basis of most American herds, any goat can produce cashmere.
Unlike dairy goats, they are usually not dehorned. Both males and females have lovely twisting horns which, when working with them, make great handles.
The quality of the cashmere fleece is determined by three factors: its length, its diameter, and the degree of crimping. Most of the hair is guard hair. The downy undercoat, or winter coat, is the cashmere and is shed in the spring. The cashmere is harvested either by shearing or combed out by hand. The cashmere fibers must be separated from the guard hair, usually by a specialized piece of machinery at a fiber mill.
The annual cashmere yield from one goat can be as much as four ounces, but fiber length, fineness, as well as the health and size determine the quantity.