Cashmere refers to the animal fiber from Kashmir goats or other types of goats, distinct from regular wool. The term "Cashmere" is often used in Western languages to refer to wool because Kashmir was once a major distribution center for exporting wool to Europe. Cashmere wool is one of the rarest and most special fibers in the world, grown by high-altitude goats that inhabit extremely cold and remote mountains. To withstand the cold, these goats have a layer of soft fleece underneath their coarse outer wool. This fine fleece is lightweight, soft, and highly insulating. During the spring and summer, when the goats shed their fleece, it is hand-combed by herders to collect the fine fibers that we commonly call Cashmere wool.