High Quality Cashmere: What Makes It So Special?

Cashmere is an unbelievably soft material sourced from the undercoat of cashmere goats. The delicate cashmere fabric has a softness that’s met only by an extremely small amount of other materials, such as alpaca wool. One of the common comparisons to cashmere softness is silk. But silk has an entirely different finish to it.

 

Just because it doesn’t have the silky smooth feeling of silk doesn’t mean cashmere isn’t delicate. Cuddling yourself up in cashmere has a heavenly feeling of being embraced by the softest clouds.

 

High-quality cashmere is so soft and delicate that it’s the perfect material for skin contact. However, some types of cashmere aren’t as heavenly as others. If your cashmere clothes cause you skin irritation, it may be the case that they’re made of nonauthentic cashmere material. They could also be made from a material blend or a lower grade of cashmere.

 

But even excellent quality cashmere can get itchy after prolonged use. How can cashmere be made less itchy, then? By properly caring for it. Sometimes all you need is to remove the pilling from your cashmere garment, at other times you need to go through the entire cashmere washing cycle. Check out our guide on how to care for cashmere if you need more information.

 

The Cashmere Journey: From Goat to Garment

Cashmere’s Origin Story

 

Cashmere Goat

Figure 1 – Cashmere Goat

It is born not from sheep but from the soft undercoat of goats indigenous to the Himalayan highlands. The immensely harsh winters of the region mean that the goats have a double fleece: an outer layer made of coarser hair that protects against moisture and an undercoat made of ultra-fine hair with such exceptional insulating properties that it is capable of keeping the goats warm in -30°C temperatures. The underside of the neck is where the longest and finest fibers grow, from which come forth the softest, most luxurious cashmere fibers.

 

The harvesting of the fibres takes place in Spring when the goats naturally shed their coats. The fibers are collected through an arduous and time-consuming process. They are cleaned to remove any top hair or dirt and then are segregated into different grades of quality based on the fibers’ thickness, length, and color. The best cashmere fibre, graded A, is the thinnest, 7 to 14 microns, and the longest, up to 36 mm. The lowest quality fibre, grade C, is around 30 microns. A typical sheep’s wool has a diameter of around 36 microns.

 

Genuine cashmere is extremely expensive due to its difficulty in collecting and its scarcity. On average, a cashmere goat generates around 150 grams of fibres annually, while it takes around 300 grams to make a sweater.

 

The Delicate Process of Cashmere Collection

Only around 6,000 tonnes of cashmere are produced globally in a year, compared to over one million tonnes of natural wool. Today, China is the largest producer of cashmere, followed by Mongolia, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Iran. Australia, New Zealand, and Scotland also have large cashmere goat breeding farms.

 

Cashmere From Fibre to Fabric

 

Figure 2 – Cashmere: From Fibre to Fabric

Once the fibres are extracted, they are dyed and spun into yarns. They can then be knit or woven into premium suits or accessories fabrics. The most established companies that manufacture yarns and knits are in Italy and Scotland. Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana Cashmere, Brunello Cucinelli, Pringle of Scotland, Sofia Cashmere, Ballantyne, and Kinross Cashmere are some of the most respected names dealing in high-grade cashmere.

 

However, in recent years, the world has witnessed the emergence of lower-cost and often much lower-quality cashmere from China. Another source of ‘cheaper’ cashmere is when cashmere fibres are mixed with other fibres in varying proportions. In such cases, the manufacturer must list the ingredients and their respective percentages. Given that there are grades of cashmere fibers, a product labeled “100% cashmere” may also be misleading if only the lowest grade fibers are used. High-quality cashmere, when compared to wool, is lighter, insulates three to eight times better, retains its shape better, and is much more durable if treated appropriately.

 

Key Qualities of High-End Cashmere

 

Cashmere quality can differ, with fineness, length, and color being the key factors.

 

Cashmere Fibre Production

Figure 3 – Cashmere Fibre Production

The fibers’ length and fineness are the most crucial factor in cashmere quality. Items with long, fine fibers pill less and maintain their shape better than those with shorter hair. In addition, the finer the cashmere fiber, the softer it feels.

 

Color also impacts cashmere quality; naturally, white hair is more desirable because it doesn’t require as much processing to dye different colors. Less processing equals a softer result.

 

The unique qualities of cashmere:

 

  • Cashmere is among the world’s finest natural materials, with its ultra-thin, soft hair fibers.
  • Cashmere has a handful, a softness you have never known in any other textile material.
  • Cashmere insulates three times more than sheep wool.
  • Cashmere is 100% non-itching and may be worn directly to the skin, even to a newborn.
  • Cashmere is a natural and renewable resource and does not harm the environment.

 

Cashmere Quality Grading

The grading of cashmere depends on the fineness, length, and color of the fibers. Fineness is the thickness (measured in microns) of the individual fibers, with thicker fibers having higher quality. The length of the fibers is also essential since longer fibers tend to be more robust and durable.

 

 

Grade A Cashmere Scarf for Men

Figure 4 – Grade A Cashmere Scarf for Men

  • Grade A –highest-quality cashmere often used by luxury brands. The thickness of this cashmere can be as low as 14 microns. For comparison, human hair is 70 microns.
  • Grade B –this grade is less soft than Grade A cashmere. Its thickness is about 20 microns.
  • Grade C–this is the lowest quality cashmere. Its thickness is about 30 microns, more than twice as thick as Grade A’s.

 

Besides the thickness and length, the cashmere grading system also considers the color of the fibers. White or light-colored cashmere has a higher grade because it requires less processing to achieve a wide range of colors. Darker or mixed-colored fibers are lower quality and may be used for lower-grade cashmere products.

How to Tell if it’s Good Quality Cashmere

 

You can do several tests before buying a cashmere item that will help you determine the quality.

 

Unisex Pure Cashmere Scarf

Figure 5 – Unisex Pure Cashmere Scarf

The Touch Test

Cashmere should feel soft and not scratchy against your skin. Higher-quality cashmere is soft but not overly soft to the touch—it softens over time. Some companies increase the softness by treating the cashmere with chemical additives and softeners or overwashing it. This reduces the life of the cashmere garment, so beware of cashmere that feels unbelievably soft.

The Stretch Test

Gently stretch out a piece of the cashmere and see if it springs back into shape. Good-quality cashmere will remain out of shape, and lower-quality cashmere will remain out of shape. Also, stretch it and look through it. The tighter the cashmere knit, the better its quality, and the better it will retain its shape and be less susceptible to holes.

The Pilling Test

Rub your hand over the cashmere item. If little balls start forming, it is a sign that the cashmere used contains an excess of shorter hairs, which means lower quality. All cashmere will pill when rubbed over time, but if it pills immediately, it’s a sign of low-quality cashmere.

The Look Test

Hold the cashmere item at eye level and look across the surface. A small amount of fluffiness, between 1-2mm, indicates longer hairs were used, which means less pilling will happen. If more fluffy than that, shorter hairs have been used, which can increase softness but also means the item will pill more and wear out quicker.

 

The Difference Between 100% Cashmere and Cashmere Blends

 

100% cashmere is luxurious. It feels soft and offers excellent insulation, keeping you warm in winter and cool in spring. Cashmere becomes softer with age and rarely pills after being worn and washed a few times. It’s lightweight, breathable, and doesn’t wrinkle. Cashmere should last a lifetime.

 

 

Pure Cashmere Scarf for Men

Figure 6 – Pure Cashmere Scarf for Men 

A blend will combine cashmere with wool, silk, or synthetic fibers. These cheaper fibers lower the price. Additionally, blends are often made with lower-quality cashmere made of thicker and shorter cashmere hairs. Buying a blend means you’re compromising price for the things that make cashmere so sought after – its soft, lightweight, insulating properties.

 

Cashmere is up to 8 times warmer than sheep’s wool, yet significantly lighter, which means to reap the full reward of cashmere, you should invest in only 100% cashmere items.

 

To check if the garment is 100% cashmere, read the label, which should state ‘100% cashmere’ as required by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. If it is a blend, by law, the percentages of yarn must be stated on the label, e.g., 20% cashmere / 80% merino wool.

 

What Does Ply Mean?

Ply is the number of cashmere threads twisted together to make the yarn.

 

2-Ply Knit Cashmere Scarf

Figure 7 – 2-Ply Knit Cashmere Scarf

Two twisted threads are referred to as 2-ply, and three twisted threads are referred to as 3-ply, etc. Since cashmere is fine hair, it benefits from the increased strength of the twisted thread.

 

Look for items that are 2-ply or higher, as 1-ply cashmere is less durable and is more likely to develop holes. Higher plies, such as 4-ply, add additional weight and warmth but do not indicate additional quality.

 

What Does Gauge Mean?

It measures how tightly the item is knitted. Gauge refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch. The higher the gauge number, the tighter the knit and the more cashmere yarn is used.

 

Luxury Cashmere Rib Scarf 12-Gauge

 Figure 8 – Luxury Cashmere Rib Scarf 12-Gauge

With 12-gauge, there are 12 stitches or rows of yarn in one inch of knitted cashmere, so the cashmere is relatively dense. With 7-gauge, there are 7 stitches or rows per inch, so the cashmere has a more open or mesh-like look and is more lightweight than an item knitted in 12 gauge if the same yarn is used.

 

Experience Top Quality Cashmere with RESOVON: Customized High-end at Every Action

At RESOVON, our enthusiasm depends on cashmere and the unrivaled deluxe it symbolizes. We recognize the details of remarkable quality and also the difficulties connected with determining it. This is why we are devoted to providing our clients with the finest cashmere garments crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

 

RESOVON Coloured Cashmere Scarf

 

Figure 9 – RESOVON Coloured Cashmere Scarf

RESOVON: Your Partner in Wholesale Supply Excellence

 

Our dedication to high quality begins at the actual structure. We create solid, collective connections with reputable cashmere manufacturers in Inner Mongolia, an area identified for its morally sourced and exceptionally premium cashmere. This ensures a constant supply of the finest basic materials, developing the foundation for our deluxe productions.

 

Mindful Craftsmanship: Where Tradition Meets Innovation

 

Our group of proficient and skilled craftsmen stands for a bridge between classic customs and contemporary fashion. They meticulously craft each cashmere item utilizing strategies handed down with generations while flawlessly incorporating cutting-edge improvements. This ensures that every RESOVON garment includes not just unsurpassed convenience plus elegance but also exceptional longevity, which has been developed to be valued for a long time ahead.

 

A World of Beautiful Styles: Customized to Your One-of-a-kind Design

 

We curate a varied collection of cashmere garments, satisfying a variety of choices. From classic standards beyond short-lived patterns to modern items that record the significance of modern design, we provide a tailored method for high-end cashmere. Discover our personalized cashmere scarf collection, find garments that mirror your distinct spirit, and raise your daily closet.

 

The RESOVON Difference: Personalized Luxury Awaits

 

By selecting RESOVON, you’re not merely getting cashmere; you’re starting a trip of tailored deluxe. We recognize that every consumer has unique choices and aim to supply an extraordinary experience that satisfies them. From our dedication to sourcing quality, meticulous workmanship, and varied style choices, we supply every facet of your style. The RESOVON experience is developed to bring you closer to the ideal expression of your design.

Conclusion

You should now be able to identify cashmere quality when purchasing your next item. Cashmere is a luxurious fiber, and buying quality items and the proper cashmere care should last you a lifetime.

 

Cashmere’s softness, beauty, and warmth make it one of the most popular luxury materials. A top-grade cashmere product can last you for decades.  With many low-quality cashmere items in the market, you need to make an extra effort to ensure you get a high-quality product.

 

At RESOVON, we offer you a wide selection of excellent cashmere items that help you look stylish and make excellent gifts. For more information about cashmere scarves from our collection, please get in touch with our team at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What Makes Cashmere So Special?

Cashmere fiber is hollow, so it is extremely soft and light. The air chamber inside the fiber acts as a thermal insulator and has the exceptional property of thermo-regulating your body with respect to external temperatures.

 

2. How Do You Know If Cashmere Is Good Quality?

Cashmere of high quality retains its shape after being stretched. So, if your cashmere stays stretched after you pull it, it may not be pure. The Look Test: With a sharp eye and maybe some help from a magnifying glass, you can analyze the structure of cashmere fabric. High-quality cashmere has a very tight structure.

 

3. Does Cashmere Get Softer Over Time?

Incredibly, the answer is yes–but it’s best to let that happen naturally over time. Adding fabric softener will likely have the opposite effect. If you’re compelled to soften, try an all-natural, DIY version made from white vinegar or baking soda.

 

4. Does High-quality Cashmere Shed?

Unfortunately, shedding is essential to the nature of wool and cashmere. It’s unlikely that you’ll shut down the shedding process completely, but yes, you can control it. Wool or Cashmere have protein fibre from animals and hence shed necessarily.

 

5. Why Is Cashmere So Sumptuous?

Unlike many other types of animal hair and wool, cashmere comes from one type of goat—the cashmere goat. Many people prefer cashmere wool over other types of wool because it is warm but also soft and less itchy to wear, and this demand certainly impacts the price at which it is sold.

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