As one of the world’s finest and luxurious natural fibers, Cashmere is a sought-after and well-known fabric that not only has the ability to breath and be comfortable on direct skin, but it also has advantages that other textiles lack. The delicate fabric is extremely warm and super light, which makes it perfect for both adults, kids and babies. It is also three times more insulating than sheep wool. Another benefit with Cashmere as a fiber, is that it’s perfect to use throughout all seasons of the year, and - with the right care – will last you almost a lifetime.
Cashmere doesn't come from a sheep like you may think, but from the cashmere goat. These goats are found across the Himalayas where temperatures can drop to -30°C and their freezing cold habitat means that they grow an incredibly thick, warm coat. Cashmere goats have two layers of hair — thick wiry guard hairs and a super-soft cashmere undercoat. While a sheep can produce at least 3 kilos of wool each year, a cashmere goat will only give you around 200 grams. The supply is severely limited because of the tiny amount each goat produces. The fibers can only be collected once a year. Even when you've harvested the fibers, the usable weight halves once it's been stripped of grease, dirt, and thicker hairs. Cashmere still only makes up 0.5% of the world's total wool production, just to give you a hint about how luxurious it really is...
Note: There have been extreme cases of mislabeling too, and some supposedly 100% cashmere products have been found to contain yak hair or even rat fur. If you do find a really cheap product that claims to be cashmere, it may be too good to be true.
Now that we know how delicate and special this fabric really is, let’s move on to how to take care of it:
Yes, it’s possible to clean your cashmere at home. Whether you’re washing a sweater, dress or scarf by hand, these steps will help you keep your favorite garment looking brand new.
- Fill your basin with (almost!) cold water and add either a Cashmere shampoo or super mild detergent to it.
- Let your Cashmere soak in the basin for five minutes, before rinsing thoroughly.
- Take out your clothing and fold it up into a ball to get the excess water out. Don’t wring your Cashmere, which can stretch out the delicate material.
- Place your clothing flat on a towel and roll it up to remove any remaining water.
- Lay your garment on an even flat surface or place it between two towels to dry flat.
Don’t have the time to wash by hand? This might surprise you, but you can use a washing machine to clean Cashmere. Modern washing machines nowadays are smart, they include a special washing program for delicate fabrics which works perfectly in this case. Just place your garment in a laundry or mesh bag before placing it into the machine!
If you are trying to wash a heavier coat or don’t have a washing machine available with the delicate program, the best option for you would be to give your Cashmere to a professional dry cleaner for the best result.
Care tip: Ideally, you should clean your Cashmere after 5 to 7 wears. In between washings -you can easily remove any fabric pills with one of our special Cashmere combs or bristled garment brushes. Note that pills don’t mean the Cashmere you purchased is cheap—they’re simply a sign of friction from wear. Although items made with long fine fibers pill less and maintain their shape better than items made with shorter hair.
Never tumble dry cashmere, let it dry naturally. The best method is to place it flat on a clean towel in a well-ventilated room, away from direct heat or sunlight. Hanging on a hanger while wet will cause your cashmere garment to become misshaped.
Friction of wear can subject your cashmere to tiny balls of fuzz. Restore to its original silk soft state by using one of our de-pilling combs to lightly brush the affected areas in the direction of the knit. No batteries needed, easy to carry!
Don’t give away delicate knitwear to the moths. Protect your garments by storing them in a breathable zip-up garment bag between wears and pack your knits in airtight plastic bags between seasons if possible.
How can I tell the good Cashmere apart from bad?
Cashmere should feel soft and not scratchy against your skin. The better-quality cashmere is soft, but not overly soft to touch – it softens over time. Some companies increase the softness by treating the cashmere with chemical additives and softeners or by over washing it. This reduces the life of the cashmere garment, so beware of cashmere that feels unbelievably soft.
Gently stretch out a piece of the cashmere and see if it springs back into shape. Good quality cashmere will, lower quality cashmere will remain out of shape. Also stretch it and look through it. The tighter the knit of the cashmere the better quality it is and the better it will retain its shape and be less susceptible to holes.
Rub your hand over the cashmere item. If little balls start forming it is a sign that the cashmere used contains an excess amount of shorter hairs which means lower quality. All cashmere will pill when rubbed over time, but if it pills immediately it’s a sign of low-quality cashmere.
Understanding the standard Cashmere Terms:
What does Ply Mean?
Ply is the number of cashmere threads twisted together to make the cashmere yarn. Two twisted threads are referred to as 2-ply, and three twisted threads are referred to as 3-ply etc. Since Cashmere is a fine hair, it benefits from the increased strength in the twisted thread. Look for items that are 2-ply or higher, as 1-ply cashmere is less durable and is more likely to develop holes. Higher plies such as 4-ply add additional weight and warmth, but do not indicate additional quality, although it might be slightly higher in price range.
What does Gauge (gg) Mean?
It is a measure of how tightly the item is knitted. Gauge refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch. The higher the gauge number, the tighter the knit and the more Cashmere yarn that is being used. With 12-gauge there are 12 stitches or rows of yarn in one inch of knitted Cashmere, so the Cashmere is relatively dense. With 7-gauge there are 7 stitches or rows per inch, so the Cashmere has a more open or mesh-like look and is more light-weight than the 12 gauge if the same yarn is used. A basic rule is to remember that the higher gauge – the thinner garment. The most popular gauges are between 5 gg, 7 gg, 12 gg, 14 gg or 16 gg and these differences are usually easy to see in knit sweaters particularly.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF GARMENT FITS
This means normal fit and is mostly applied over T-shirts. A regular fit is not too tight neither oversized. “Lagom” - as we say in Swedish.
The main object of form-fitted clothing is to outline the shape of the body. In general, form-fitting refers to women’s clothing (dresses and tops), however, in more recent years, certain fitted items are worn also by men, such as socks, tee’s and vests.
By definition, the word oversize means “bigger than usual”. Therefore, when referring to the fit of a garment, it means that a shirt, cardigan or a pair of bottoms is a little roomier than normal. Compared to a tailored or form-fitted garment, which is designed to contour the body -oversized fits are relaxed and roomy. An oversize-cut is not designed with as much structure as a tailored design because its loose-fit is meant to be comfy and relaxed. (It’s no wonder this style is so popular!)
MOST USED TYPES OF KNITS
STANDARD PLAIN KNITS
The most popular and standard type of knit is the plain knitting of a cardigan or sweater. This type of knitting usually has a flat and woven-like texture and is quite plain, without any special pattern.
Chunky knitting is a heavier type of knit where the finished result can look like braids or remind of herringbone knit. This usually requires thicker yarn and gives a cozier look to a garment.
This type of knitting uses another method than the rib or plain, where the final product shows more decorative and creative patterns.
Rib knitting is a way to knit where the end results shows straight or horizontal knitted lines. This can usually be done with thicker, thinner or fine rib knitting.