Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions.
What is cashmere?
Cashmere is the soft under hair of the Capra Hircus goat, indigenous to the mountainous 'Kashmir' region of India, China and Inner Mongolia. To survive in this hostile climate with freezing winters of (-35*C) these goats have developed an under-down of thousands of super-soft, super-fine fibres. Every Spring when the weather is mild the herders remove this under-down using a gentle combing procedure which is entirely harmless to the animal. It takes the under-down from 2 goats to make a single garment.
What makes cashmere so special?
Cashmere is luxurious. It is also a durable and practical investment. Cashmere travels well and doesn’t wrinkle. It offers great insulation; is warm in the winter and cool in the spring. Cashmere is long lasting; it actually becomes softer with age and rarely pills after being worn and washed correctly. It should last a lifetime.
What should you look for when buying cashmere?
A quick test is to rub the palm of your hand on the surface of the garment and see if fibre starts rolling into little balls. If it happens, watch out. Another quick test is to stretch the garment body side to side and see if it snaps back into shape. If it does not, it suggests possible low quality fibre or very loose tension when knitted which is another way for retailers to lower costs.
What is the difference between and 1-ply, 2-ply and a 4-ply garment?
Two-ply yarn has an advantage to 1-ply because the ply twist offsets the torque inherent in a single yarn so wee can knit tighter with a 2 ply yarn. Sweater designers often use additional plies to add weight and colour options, but the extra plies add no additional quality.
What about the size of the yarn and the number of stitches, doesn't that matter too?
Loosely knit, limp fabric is the hallmark of a cheaply made sweater. Longer fibre makes stronger yarn that pills less. The gauge of the garment indicates how many stitches there are to the inch i.e. 21 Gauge - 21 stitches to the inch, 15 Gauge - 15 stitches to the inch and so on. Tightly knitted garments pill less than looser knitted garments.
How should I store my cashmere garments?
Cashmere should be neatly folded on a shelf, not a hanger. It should be clean and in some sort of sealable garment bag for protection against moths. If the garments wrinkle, you are better off steaming than pressing to remove the wrinkles.
What's the best way to clean my cashmere garment?
Hand wash knits with cold water, using a fine washable soap. Never wring or twist. Gently press excess water out with towels. Dry on a flat service on a fresh, dry towel until thoroughly air-dried. Woven cashmere garments should be dry-cleaned. Skipping cleaning does not prolong the life of cashmere garments because an unclean garment is attractive to moths and once a moth creates a hole, it’s trouble.
How can I avoid pilling?
Fibre migration is the correct term for what most people call 'pilling'. As you wear a garment for the first time, very fine lose fibres migrate to the surface. If you wash the garment soon after the first time you wear it, fibre migration is drastically reduced.
Is there a safe way to remove pills on my cashmere sweater?
They actually do sell pill combs to comb the pills and fuzz but since we recommend garments made from quality fibre we do not see a need for such things.
What are some of the differences between high quality cashmere and low quality cashmere?
The most important factor in the quality of cashmere is the length and fineness of the fibres. Garments made with long and thin fibres pill less and maintain their shape better than cheaper lower quality cashmere and will get better with each wash. Fineness, length and colour (natural white cashmere as opposed to natural coloured cashmere) are the most important factors in the quality.
How is cashmere fibre graded?
Cashmere fineness runs from about 14 microns to 19 microns. The lower the number the thinner the fibre and the softer it feels.