Cashmere is the most sort after fibre in the world and has been coveted for centuries by cultures around the world.
It's impeccably soft, fine, more insulating than wool yet light and breathable, making it a trans-seasonal fibre to be enjoyed throughout the year.
Cashmere comes from the cashmere goat which inhabit the Himalayas where temperatures are as low as -30C. Their freezing habitat means they are equipped with a very thick, extremely soft undercoat and protected by an outer layer of wirey hairs. While one sheep produces about 3 kg of wool, a cashmere goat will only produce around 200 grams once a year when it sheds it's wool.
Cashmere is threaded gold. It takes the wool from more than one goat to make one of our Kasmiri wraps.
Processing raw fine cashmere takes much time, love and care. Equally, fibres need to be carefully woven by hand so as to not damage the fibre and this is why high quality handmade cashmere is expensive.
The exquisite properties of cashmere means that it can be used to make a wide variety of pieces. From robes, throws and blankets that require a heavier consistency to delicate, cloud like pieces such as our woven Kasmiri featherweight wraps.
The quality of cashmere is graded on its fineness and length. Fine quality hairs can be as fine as 14 microns in diameter and 36mm in length (Grade A).
Sadly, there are many cheaper cashmere products in the market produced by using low quality cashmere. If the cost seems too good to be true, it probably is.
How to identify quality Cashmere
1. Grade A cashmere
Ensure you buy from a reputable brand who use only Grade A cashmere. Whilst 100% cashmere is the ultimate luxury, one needs to ensure the cashmere is of the highest grade.
2. Feel it
Quality cashmere will feel soft, but firm. If it's too soft, it has likely been treated with chemicals or washed excessively to soften it and this will reduce its quality and lifespan. If it's too scratchy, it's likely the cashmere wool used is of lower grade with shorter hairs and it won't be long lasting.
3. Look for Two Ply or more
Look for two ply garments, where two threads are twisted together to create the yarn. This will keep you warmer and will last you a long time as opposed to a one ply which is not very durable.
Sometimes, a looser weave is a style choice such as a 7 gauge scarf or sweater which uses less cashmere. If you can see through it, it's likely to develop holes. We recommend a 12 gauge which is a tighter knit, more durable and luxurious resulting in a beautiful drape.
All cashmere will pill over time but with proper care, your cashmere piece will always look and feel beautiful. However, low quality cashmere will begin to pill almost immediately if your hands go over it or after the first wear. This is due to shorter fibre hairs (lower grade) which intertwine to create little pill balls.