We all associate the word cashmere with feelings of luxury, softness and Sex and the City (“That’s why they call it CASH-mere”).
Cashmere is one of the most covered fibres in the world of fashion – especially during the colder months – and if properly cared for, it can last you years without losing shape.
However, before buying a garment made from the fine goat’s wool, we recommend you to do your research first. After all, a cashmere scarf or clothing is an investment, so you really want to make sure you get what you want and what you are expecting!
To help you out, we’ve done the hard work for you and listed the things you need to know about cashmere before you buy this winter.
1. If it’s too cheap, it might not be cashmere
A higher price point indicates better quality cashmere, so even though there are some great bargains around, be aware that you will have to pay to get the highest quality of cashmere. Expect to pay at least $150 for a sweater.
Buy cashmere from trusted retailers only, and make sure to check the label or product description closely. If in doubt, you can request fibre certificate from the manufacturer. However, if you’re buying from a reputable retailer, you shouldn’t be worried.
2. Cop a feel if you can
If you’re shopping in a bricks and mortar store, feel the quality of the cashmere. If it’s 100% percent cashmere, the material should be incredibly soft. A tip is to lightly rub the material between your fingers to see if fibres being to roll up (pill) or shed. This could indicate the quality is not the best.
3. Always read the label
A sweater might be promoted as being cashmere, but if you read the label, it could have as little as just a few percent of cashmere in it. So always read the label; garment manufacturers are required by law to list all the fibre content.
If percentage isn’t listed in the label (for instance, 20% cashmere, 40% silk, 40% cotton), know that the content is listed from the fibre used the most to the least. So Cotton, Silk, Cashmere indicates that the majority of the fibre is cotton, followed by silk and then cashmere.
4. Get the right blend
If you don’t want to splash on a 100% cashmere sweater, go for a blend.
A silk and cashmere blend won’t be as soft as 100 percent cashmere, but it will have a luxe sheen to it that you will love. Another good blend is cashmere and cotton, it blends the coolness of cotton with the warmth of the cashmere.
If you have sensitive skin, avoid a blend which is heavy in wool (unless it’s lamb wool), as it tends to be itchy. The blend should have at least 20 percent cashmere in it to make a difference to the wool.
5. Take good care of it
If well taken care of, cashmere actually becomes softer with age, doesn’t lose its shape and rarely pills.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but it will typically recommend that you hand wash your cashmere, and use a gentle, liquid detergent specifically for wool and other delicate fabrics.