Cashmere is a luxury fiber with high international demand. Australian cashmere fleece is shorn rather than hand combed, and the shorn fleece contains a large quantity of coarse guard hair. Normally raw cashmere fleece is scoured first, followed by dehairing to eliminate the coarse guard hair. But scouring the unwanted guard hair consumes a large quantity of water, and increases the cost of cashmere processing in Australia. Ideally, the guard hair should be removed first and then the fine cashmere fibers are scoured for further processing. This paper reports trial results on dehairing greasy rather than scoured Australian cashmere fleece, with the aim of reducing scouring cost and water consumption. The quality of cashmere fibers after the conventional dehairing process and the new greasy dehairing process has been assessed. The results indicate that fiber quality from the greasy dehairing process is better than that from conventional scouring then dehairing process.
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