BALLANTYNE WAS NOT WORKING FOR US EVEN BEFORE CHAPTER 11.
So, in 2014 we set out to create an experience that did. Our wish list wasn’t huge, we wanted ‘true to size’ cashmere, which fitted perfectly with the feel and finish of original 1970s, bare finish cashmere (which our parents used to buy), made from Scottish spun cashmere. Just like Ballantyne used to make for Berk Cashmere, back in the day. Remember? You could buy this cashmere in Burlington Arcade, London.
Unfortunately in 2014 Ballantyne Cashmere closed its factory, destroyed the machinery and the company folded. All that is left today is a Chinese manufactured imitation of the past. So, we decided to make our own cashmere; Berk Cashmere.
Here is our formula:
- With cashmere, nothing matters more than fit, feel and finish so the yarn must be Scottish spun.
- People, place and process are paramount too. That means it must be ‘Made in Scotland’.
- Only ‘fully fashioned’, handcrafted garments are acceptable. That means making in the time honoured tradition.
- Our recipe? Knit tightly and wash the garments in pH neutral water.
- Make original 1970s bare finish cashmere.
We concentrated on just a handful of garments in the endless pursuit of the definitive, crew, vee and cardigan. We started with the clean silhouette of the Ladies Thorley, and the Men’s Lorne Vee Neck then we iterated obsessively on the details: The body style, the sleeve shape and set, the neck line, the placket, buttons, yarn count, the ply, the colour, lightness every tiny detail especially sizing; neither Sm, Med and LG nor continental sizes but imperial sizes; inches.
Finally we worked with artisans, real people who combine traditional, time honoured knowledge with the most modern pre and post production methods. Today we have what is in our opinion the very finest fitting cashmere you can buy.
So is is as good as Ballantyne used to be? No! It is infinitely better. We should know.