So you’ve heard about cashmere, maybe you even own a sweater or two… but do you know where it comes from? Do you know about all its magical properties? No? Good – keep reading. We’re going to dive into why cashmere is one of the most multi-faceted fibers in the world.
Cashmere is a natural fiber which comes from an animal – just like silk, wool, and any other hair or furs. Some other common natural fibers you might have heard of include: merino wool, mohair, sheep’s wool, & the list goes on. There is also a laundry list of natural fibers that instead come from plants: cotton, linen, bamboo & more. These naturally occurring fibers (whether they are derived from plants or animals) are more valuable and precious than man-made synthetic fibers like viscose, rayon, or polyester because of their natural properties & the benefits they provide.
Where do cashmere goats live you ask? A lot of cashmere goats (like ours!) live in Inner Mongolia where temperatures are extreme. These goats grow a long, coarse coat – but underneath is a soft, down-like fleece. During the Spring, the goats “moult” and the soft underdown is combed. This fleece is then cleaned, dyed (if applicable) and spun into yarn which then is made into your favorite cashmere sweater. See The 411 on Cashmere for more on the process.
What is so great about cashmere wool vs. sheeps wool? Why pay a premium for a cashmere sweater instead of a cotton one? Let’s cut to the chase:
- Soft as a Baby’s Bottom: Cashmere in its raw form has one of the narrowest fiber diameter – making it finer and softer to the touch. Part of the softness also depends on the finishing (dying, washing, etc). Soft, high quality, cashmere will feel like butter against your bare skin.
- Cozy & Warm: Cashmere is about 8 times (YES, 8x) warmer than a regular wool sweater. It is arguably the warmest fiber you can wear. If it keeps the goats in Inner Mongolia warm – it will do the same for you. For the coldest temps, opt for cashmere and you’ll be cozy & warm.
- Adaptable: While we just went over how warm it will keep you – the fibers also adjust to your body temperature. Unlike other fibers that will “trap” heat – cashmere adjusts to your temperature keeping you comfortable no matter the weather. While we don’t recommend a heavy cashmere sweater on a 90 degree day, it is perfect for transitional weather or cool summer evenings.
- Lightweight: Traveling? Cashmere is your friend. The fibers are powerful but incredibly lightweight and naturally fairly wrinkle resistant. It will continue to look fresh day after day without weighing you down (literally).
- Long Lasting: If you take good care of your cashmere knitwear, it should last you a lifetime. A classic style will stand the test of time and you’ll never get sick of that cozy feeling it provides. For more information read Caring for your Cashmere.
Why do you love cashmere so much? Let me know!