Cashmere is coveted for many reasons. It keeps us warm in the winter months, without the itch and bulk of wool. It is oh-so-soft to the touch and against the body, like a beloved robe (but WAY more elegant!). However, shopping for cashmere can be an eye-popping experience…it is expensive! In this and upcoming posts we will demystify this sumptuous fabric, covering everything from quality to caretaking!
A Cozy Investment
Why does this luxurious fabric cost so much? It comes down to quality. The highest quality comes from goats in the high plains of Mongolia, where the goats develop thick fleeces in the freezing winters. But actual cashmere comes from the downy fine under-hair of the fleece, which acts as the goat’s insulation. These longer fibers, taken from the underbelly and the neck of the goat, are most expensive and woven into higher-quality cashmere.
Spotting Quality Cashmere
The biggest difference between a $100 sweater and luxury cashmere is the number of plies. Good cashmere sweaters should be at least two-ply. Touch the fabric to see how dense and soft it is. The texture you feel depends upon how it was milled. If it sheds it most likely was over milled. Under milled will make the fabric lose its trademark softness. Also, stretch the fabric a bit. Quality cashmere should spring back because it is tightly woven. Expect to spend $300 or more.
But Don’t be discouraged! There Is Terrific Mid-priced Cashmere…
However, superb $200 mid-priced cashmere has made its way into the sweater market. It is two-ply, supremely soft, yet is milled using the less expensive shorter cashmere downy fibers.
…and Beautiful Cashmere Blends
You can still own cozy and comfy cashmere woven into a blend of other warming fabrics. It can be interlaced with silk, wool, and mohair just to name a few. The stunning colors, smooth feel, and different textures can be modern yet classic in its design.
Yes…winter is coming! Review your wardrobe and invest in a material that will keep you warm for years to come!