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Cashmere 101 - Everything You Need To Know

Cashmere is a natural fabric that has been used for hundreds of years to make coats, jackets, sweaters, shawls and dresses. The silky, fine and strong cashmere fibres are obtained from the soft underfleece of the Kashmir goat which acts as a layer of insulation. Cashmere fibres are approximately three times warmer than sheep’s wool and help by trapping air in the tiny spaces between the fibres.

Kashmir goats are bred in various locations around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, China, and Mongolia, but Italy and Scotland are known for their cashmere manufacturing expertise.

In order to produce one average-sized jumper, wool from between 3 to 5 goats is required.

 

Not all cashmere fabric however is the same and this is often reflected in the price. The quality of the yarn matters the most and also where the garment was manufactured. Each year from March to May when the Asian climate is milder, the Kashmir goats undergo a natural moulting process and sheds a mixture of coarse and soft undercoat hair. The fibres are obtained gently by combing the goat, gathering the delicate underfleece and ensuring no harm is caused to them. The fibres are then sorted to ensure only the finest (between 14 - 19 microns) and longest fibres are used to make luxury garments.

Longer cashmere fibres are more durable and help to maintain the integrity of a garment for a longer time by allowing it to retain its structure. Pilling is more likely to occur in garments made of shorter cashmere strands.

Cashmere can only be collected in spring, during the molting season. This small window frame makes the wool quite rare.

Luxury brands such as Loro Piana have the skills and expertise in washing, treating, dying and refinement of cashmere fabrics. Only the best cashmere is used in accordance with Loro Piana’s high standard of excellence where each lot is tested for diameter and colour purity.

Even thin cashmere has great insulation properties and can keep the wearer warm when only a few millimetres thick even when it is -40 °C.

 

Did you know?

Cashmere fibre is six times finer than human hair.

Only fibres measuring around 15 microns are used to transform cashmere into superior quality coats, jackets, jumpers, scarves and other cashmere garments.

Cashmere comes in three natural colours - grey, brown and white.

In order to produce one average-sized jumper, wool from between 3 to 5 goats is required and hence what makes cashmere so expensive.

Shop our men's cashmere coating collection here