The days are getting shorter and there’s a definite chill in the air, so it’s time to get the cashmere out.
Nothing keeps you as warm and as stylish quite like cashmere. It’s a type of wool where the fibre is collected primarily from cashmere goats, (which explains the name) and has been used in textiles for thousands of years.
We’ve compiled a list of everything you’ll ever need to know about cashmere, as well as some quick tips to keep your cashmere in great condition.
Cashmere provides more insulation than regular wool, sometimes up to eight times as much. It’s great for containing body heat and although it rejects the cold, it won’t make you too hot either.
The fibres that make up cashmere are smaller than those in sheep’s wool which allows the texture of the fabric to be much finer, giving it that premium softness. This also means that cashmere is lighter than other wool and, most importantly, less itchy because the fibre density is higher creating a texture that isn’t as scratchy.
If longevity is important to you, then you’ll love cashmere. The higher end cashmere products can last for a decade and sometimes even longer if kept with good care, making for great investment pieces to your wardrobe.
While the good shines bright, cashmere also has its faults. Pilling, the bane of any jumper enthusiast, still occurs with cashmere because the fibres twist around each other when there is friction. More expensive cashmere shouldn’t have as much of a problem but there is still a risk.
One of the biggest problems with cashmere is the price. You’ll have to earn a pretty penny before you can have your exclusively cashmere wardrobe. But again, if treated right these items could last a long time.
If you own any cashmere items or are thinking about investing in one then here a few tips on how to keep them in great condition:
- When it comes to cleaning cashmere the best way is by hand-washing in cool water, usually around 30˚C.
- You shouldn’t hang dry cashmere items as they can lose shape by stretching.
- If you’re not going to wear the cashmere garments for a lengthy amount of time, such as the summer months, storing them in dust bags will help protect them from moths.
Now you’re clued up on cashmere, get the lowdown on all things wool.
Words by Matt Starr