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About Cashmere


A CONSUMERS GUIDE TO SCOTTISH CASHMERE

“THE WAY TO DRESS FOR ALL SEASONS"

 

Cashmere, the world's softest, warmest, luxurious and expensive fabric.

First and most important is yarn quality. The finest 100% pure cashmere yarn is critical to producing a world class garment.

Second the 100% Made in Scotland label guarantees a skillfully crafted fully fashioned garment. Now we want to advise you on some other important points.


  • The amount of cashmere has always been limited; less than 5 million pounds of cashmere fiber are produced annually, as opposed to 5 billion pounds of wool or 25 billion pounds of synthetic fibers. Hence, it is expensive; moreover, the differences in the production of cashmere products are enormous.
  • Once a year in the spring, the Himalayan herdsmen remove the soft fleece which grows under the goat’s thick outer coat of coarse hair by combing. This is not a process of shearing, as with sheep, but one of laborious combing and gathering.
  • There are many distinct grades of fiber. The most expensive and sought after fibers are lightest in color longest in length (1 ½ - 2 inches) and are about 15- 17 microns thick. Human hair is 40 to 100 microns thick.
  • The quality of cashmere is dependent upon three requirements.
  1. Color i.e. light or dark. There are fewer white goats.
  2. The Length of a fiber, which should be from 38mm to 51mm or 1 ½ to 2 inches long.
  3. Softness, which is determined by the thickness of the fiber measured in microns.

Cashmere is also lightweight and very durable.

Further, the goat hair is hollow and takes dye permanently. Yarn spun and dyed in Scotland will not fade after 100 washings.
One goat produces about 4 ounces of high-quality cashmere fleece per year. It takes one year’s production of 3-4 goats to produce one sweater. The thicker, or heavier, the sweater—the more expensive. Prices on garments from 1-ply to 10-ply will vary accordingly.

Ply indicates the number of separate strands of yarn that are twisted together to form a single strand from which your sweater is knitted. There is no rule about how thick each separate strand is before it is twisted together with the other strands.

However ply can be deceiving, a four-ply garment can be heavier and more luxurious than a 6 or 8 ply garment. The reason is the thickness of the individual strands of the yarn before they are plying up into one strand & knitted.

For example, 8 ends of 1/64 gauge yarn will not be thick as 4 ends of 1/28 gauge yarn.

Only 30% of those products labeled as 100% cashmere actually are! Price is usually the first “tip-off” to mislabeling. Mislabeled “cashmere” products may well be blends of rabbit fur, nylon, rugs, recycled cashmere and/or wool.

Pilling occurs from the friction of objects rubbing against the fabric. Pills are actually tiny balls of fiber on the surface of the garment. The longer the original yarn fiber, the more resistant a garment will be to pilling.

Cashmere Guide: