The 411 on Cashmere
Did you know that it takes the "underdown" wool from about 3-5 goats to make one cashmere sweater? Did you know that it equates to about 2 miles of yarn? Keep reading to learn more about our process of making your favorite cashmere sweater.
There are so many steps that go into making your cashmere sweater. Lets break it down:
- Cashmere is sourced from a specific type of cashmere goat, usually once a year in April when the goats molt. These goats live in different regions but the majority we have reside in China & Inner Mongolia. During the time when they molt, the goats are sheared. This process is not harmful to the goats - its just like a Spring haircut.
- The raw materials are then sorted, making sure only pure cashmere fleece is left, and all impurities are removed. This process is done 3 separate times & under UV light.
- Next, the fleece is washed to rinse it of natural oils.
- The raw materials are then transported to Wuxi, where the fibers are examined to ensure the fiber lengths meet our strict standards. Longer fibers, better cashmere. Shorter fibers, more pilling.
- We then test again for any fiber impurities and analyze the fibers under microscopes to ensure highest quality standard.
- Depending upon our seasonal colors, the raw materials are then dyed to exclusive colors for our brand. A little insider tip, lighter color cashmere will typically be softer as its not exposed to as much dye.
- After dyeing, the fleece is "carded" (see above photo). This carding process essentially opens up and separates the fibers.
- After carding, the cashmere fibers are spun into cashmere yarn on cones.
- Now that the cashmere is in yarn form - its sent to our factory in Huidong to be knitted.
- Each part of the sweater is then knit into panels (we have over 500 machines working on this, much faster than your Grandma). So you'll end up with the front panel, back panel and sleeves for a basic pullover.
- Each panel is then inspected by hand to ensure no issues.
- Panels are then linked together. This process is referred to as "fully fashioned", meaning each part of the sweater is linked, or knit together instead of cut & sewn. For example, a typical button down woven shirt will be cut into pieces and sewn together. You can tell from the inside seam - check it out next time you're getting dressed!
- Now that the sweater is complete - it is washed again, or dry cleaned if it is a highly embellished style.
- Next, the knitwear is steam pressed and measured one last time. We make sure every sweater fits perfectly as intended, down to a quarter of an inch.
- The sweater is then inspected again (can you tell? we're very into inspection), this time under light to ensure no holes or issues with linking.
- Our label & neck trim (check it out, its a special little detail we add into almost every sweater for added comfort and style) is put in by hand. This ensures that you can't see any sewing from the label on the back of the sweater.
- The products then go through one final QC check.
- Finally, they are packed up & sent to us in the US where we get them ready to send to your door! It is truly direct-to-consumer.
When you really dig into the full manufacturing process from beginning to end, you realize how much work goes into each & every sweater. Our factories are artisans who specialize in cashmere knitwear - it is their passion & expertise!