Is cashmere better than wool?
Cashmere and wool have long been favorites in the luxury clothing industry. Still, there is often ambiguity about what these materials are and whether one is better than the other. Wool and cashmere are natural fibers that certain animals produce in the form of a woolly pelt.
Both cashmere and wool are known for their softness & quality. However, there is often some ambiguity between the two. In this guide, we're going to discuss some of the key differences between these much-loved wools and help you make the right choice for your wardrobe this winter.
- Cashmere comes from goats and wool comes from sheep. Only goats are called cashmere. No matter how fine the wool produced by sheep is, it can only be called wool. There is no such thing as sheep cashmere. The most common merino wool is also sheep wool.
- The difference in the fiber itself: cashmere is hollow, while wool is solid. Cashmere fibers are entangled and absorb moisture better, so cashmere is much warmer than wool. Cashmere has thinner and smoother scales than wool, so wool shrinks and felts more easily than cashmere.
- Price: The price of cashmere is several times that of wool. Cashmere is taken from the softest down of goats that is close to the skin and is combed around May every year. An ordinary cashmere sweater needs the output of 5 or 6 goats. And sheep can produce about 5 kilograms of wool a year. So cashmere is more precious.
- Softness: Cashmere is softer than wool as it has a higher loft. Loft refers to a fiber's structural ratio of fiber to air. A high-loft means more air which gives the material a soft and fluffy feel. Plus, more insulation. Cashmere is also immensely soft because it comes from a specific type of goat that grows an undercoat of superfine fibers concentrated on its underbelly. One cashmere fiber is less than 18.5 microns in diameter whereas merino wool is around 22 microns.
- Cleaning: Both cashmere and wool are composed of protein, so neutral detergent is required. Silk is also protein, Silkworms are raised in childhood, and silkworm moths need to secrete alkaline juice to break out of the cocoon. Therefore, this kind of protein fiber is acid-resistant and not alkali-resistant. In addition, wool and cashmere need to be washed with normal-temperature water.
- Pilling: Both. Pilling also depends on the density and washing of the clothes. The loose weave and the large suede are easier to pill. Normal pilling is a small ball propped up, don't pull it, just shave it off with a shaver. Do not rub against rough surfaces.
Cashmere and wool are both great choices for winter-weather garments, but they have different properties, advantages, and characteristics. Cashmere is warmer, softer, and lighter than wool, but it is also more delicate and expensive. Wool is more durable and suitable for activewear. Ultimately, the choice between cashmere and wool comes down to personal preference and the garment's intended use.