Nothing compares to that first soft touch of a cashmere garment. Cashmere is prized for its warmth, durability and most of all, softness.
Most cashmere comes from goats in Mongolia and China as the harsh climate (winters can be -40 degrees) means the cashmere goats develop a double fleece. There is an outer layer that protects the coat from water and an undercoat made of ultra-fine hairs with strong insulating properties. This undercoat is what produces cashmere. Inner Mongolia is seen as the best origin for cashmere, due to harsher winters which produces the longest, thinnest, softest hair.
The hair is hand-combed from the ‘undergarment’ of the goat during the spring moulting season. Only 20% of the fibre hairs are kept, which is a small quantity compared to wool. It can take up to five goats to make one jumper.
There are official classifications for cashmere and the fibres must be at least 3.175 cm long and less than 18.5 microns in diameter. To illustrate just how fine these fibres are, the average human hair is between 70-100 microns. Cashmere is also considered eight times warmer than wool and is able to absorb water and moisture from the body and its surroundings without feeling damp or wet. Inferior short hairs are often sold cheaply and blended with other threads to produce low quality “cashmere”, leading to a garment which may only last one season.
High quality cashmere will last a lifetime if well loved....
We recommend dry cleaning or hand washing, however, if your machine has a hand wash or gentle cycle, this would also be suitable. Hand washing your cashmere will actually make your garment softer over time.
- Wash in a clean sink ensuring there is no leftover residue from previous products that could harm your cashmere.
- Use lukewarm water – no hotter than 40°C / 104°F.
- Use a small amount of gentle detergent, whether it's one specially-made for cashmere or even a very gentle baby shampoo. Ensure it's fully dissolved in the water before you begin washing.
- Don't rub, wring or twist the fabric while washing, instead just gently squeeze the water through the fibres.
- When rinsing, use the same temperature water as you used to wash.
- Roll up in a towel to absorb excess water. Reshape and lay flat to dry away from sunlight.
- After cleaning and drying, fold and store flat.
- Never hang cashmere as it will distort the shape.
- Iron on the lowest heat setting using a damp cloth between the cashmere and the iron and keeping it moving. Alternatively, use a hand steamer.
- Moths love cashmere. To store safely, make sure it is totally dry and clean. Fold and place in storage bag provided in a space that has been lined with moth prevention cedar balls, anti-moth liners or strips.
- All cashmere is prone to pilling. To prevent this, avoid friction with hard objects or coarse clothing. In case of pilling, use a cashmere comb to lightly brush over the item or remove by hand.