How to identify the quality of cashmere?
Whether you are buying a luxurious cashmere sweater or a pair of cashmere socks, do you know if the price tag reflects the quality? In this guide, we help you identify the best-grade cashmere.
What is Cashmere Wool?
One of the most precious and luxurious natural products around, cashmere is coveted by many for its softness and insulating properties. High-end fashion garments and other items of superior quality are often crafted from cashmere wool.
Cashmere is renewable, sustainable, and it provides warmth without adding immense bulk. The best part? Unlike other forms of wool, cashmere does not have an itchy feeling.
Where Does Cashmere Come From?
Cashmere comes from Kashmir goats, which dwell in the northern hemisphere, with the biggest herds located in China, Iran, Mongolia, and Afghanistan. The goats grow an extra layer of fleece for warmth between the 21st of June to mid-December. The colder the weather the goat's experience, the longer their fur grows. On the outside is a guard layer that is wiry and waterproof, while the undercoat is ultra-fine.
From that undercoat, we get cashmere.
However, depending on where the goats are located, the texture and softness of their fur may widely vary. The best cashmere fiber is harvested from Chinese or Mongolian Kashmir goats.
What Determines Cashmere Quality?
According to its color, cashmere is usually divided into white cashmere, green cashmere, purple cashmere, etc. Among them, white cashmere has the highest color ratio and the best quality. Whether it is feeling or color, white cashmere is the best cashmere.
Of course, it also depends on the situation in actual use. White velvet is not suitable for dark-colored products, because more dyes will be used and the fabric itself will be affected.
In addition, it depends on the fineness and length of cashmere raw materials. Generally speaking, cashmere with a fineness of less than 15.5 microns and a length of more than 32 cm is of better quality. Most of the top brands in the first line use cashmere raw materials with a fineness of about 15 microns and a length of about 38 mm.
"1436", the most high-end brand of Ordos, China which is positioned as a gift-level luxury product, is named after the diamond-grade cashmere specifications - the average fineness is below 14.5 microns, and the length is more than 36 mm.
The raw material of 1436 is collected from the rare kid cashmere from the shoulders and sides of the year-old Arbas kid goats grown in the semi-desert grassland area of Ordos City, Inner Mongolia. Only 2 grams per 1 kg of raw cashmere can meet the stringent requirements of 1436.
Note: Extra-fine cashmere refers to fiber fineness less than or equal to 14.5 μm, fine cashmere refers to fiber fineness less than 16 μm and greater than 14.5 μm, coarse cashmere refers to fiber fineness less than 25 μm and greater than or equal to 16 μm.
Investing in luxury cashmere provides the opportunity to treat yourself and your wardrobe with a sustainable, quality product. When shopping for top-shelf cashmere you can be sure you're receiving a true luxe investment piece: one crafted by nature itself that will last through stylish seasons ahead.