Everything You Have Always Wanted to Know About Cashmere

Luxury, softness, and authenticity. Cashmere is the ultimate mark of refinement, as it has been for hundreds of years.  There are documents from as far back as 300 years B.C. that refer to it.  Yet it was not until the 15th century that a real cashmere industry developed. That was when Cashmere won acclaim by clothing all the famous people of the world, princes, and monarchs.  It is called the “thread of kings.”

Today, if real cashmere still retains this aura of quality, it is not only because it is rare, but also because of its production, which requires the same attention as in the past.

Origins and Manufacturing:

A cashmere goat
A cashmere goat

Initially, cashmere came from the region of Kashmir, a wild and hilly territory in the Himalayas between Pakistan and India. Now cashmere is produced in several regions of Central and South-West Asia, as well as in Spain and in Scotland.

Mongolia and Tibet still share the reputation of producing the finest cashmere in the world.  The altitude and the rigorous climate give the wool a very high quality, the fiber is longer and finer than others. It is here, that each spring, that the goatherds collect the fine fleece, a real down which protects the stomach of the goats during the winter months.

For your information to make a cashmere jumper one needs the equivalent of the fleece from four to six goats! This is what makes it so rare and precious.

Once it has been combed, the wool is then washed, and dyed before being mechanically spun.

100% Cashmere:

“100% pure cashmere”, 100% cashmere”, or pure cashmere” ?
The different designations under which cashmere is presented often lead to confusion.  In fact, the genuine cashmere comes exclusively under the label “100% pure cashmere” which guarantees that the article contains nothing but cashmere.

On the contrary, an article labeled “100% cashmere” or “pure cashmere” usually contains a very low percentage of cashmere wool mixed with other fibers.

After the designation of a true cashmere comes the problem of the way the garment is made,  single or double thread? Contrary most opinions, there is no criterion of quality in this choice. It is simply a question of taste and what one personally prefers.  The double thread is simply heavier than the single thread, but in no way does it mean that it is better.  For the quality of a garment made of cashmere resides solely in the excellence of its fiber and the way in which it is woven.