When it comes to cashmere fabric, we think of luxury and sophistication.
But not all cashmere is created the same. Like caviar and pearls, the cashmere fiber has long and humble history. Who would think that the hair on the underbelly of the Mongolian goat would be in such high demand? But it has been for centuries, and because there is relatively little of it and because processing costs are high, it has traditionally been an indulgence.
Cashmere is all about quality. Not all cashmere is created the same. It takes one Mongolian goat about four years to naturally shed enough hair to make one cashmere sweater. Thus without expensive manual “harvesting,” 100 percent cashmere might be hard to come by. Then the hair has to be washed and sorted by hand: Only the longest and finest under-fleece — the hair close to the goat’s skin — on the belly and neck is spun and woven to make good-quality cashmere. Once the raw material has been harvested, it must be spun into yarn and made into a garment.
Although China supplies almost 60 percent of all cashmere on the market, that’s only the raw material. Manufacturing is a different matter. Good quality cashmere like the one we use in our Cashmere Lingerie Collection is traditionally milled in Italy.
Cashmere is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, yet significantly lighter, which means that to reap its full reward, a buyer should invest in 100 percent cashmere of good quality.
Take every opportunity to wear it, regardless of how much your cashmere costs. Great quality cashmere’s soft feel only improves with wear.