Unlike most wool on the market, cashmere is not sourced from sheep but rather the cashmere goat. It's still classed as a kind of wool, but its fibres are beyond compare in terms of strength, softness and sheer luxury. Every piece of cashmere clothing is made from these wonderfully soft fibres. It has an insulating quality like no other, which keeps you perfectly warm or cool, depending on the weather.
One of the key differences between cashmere and wool is its scarcity. While sheep can provide more than a kilogram of wool each year, the cashmere goat only produces about 100g of yarn in each season. This is a testament to the remarkable insulating properties of cashmere, as this amount of cashmere is enough to keep the cashmere goat warm throughout the harsh winters in Inner Mongolia and the mountainous regions of North China.
Warmth – Its insulation capacity is three times higher than wool (up to eight times for the very best cashmere), making it perfect for maintaining your body temperature. The result is a yarn that keeps you warm but not hot.
Softness – The diameter of cashmere fibres is very small, creating a very fine texture, the softest of all yarns.
No itchiness – For the same reason, the density of fibres are much higher than wool, and therefore the texture is not scratchy. This gives a great feeling when wearing cashmere directly on the skin or when touching a jumper.
Lightness – Given its insulating qualities, cashmere jumpers can be lighter than those made of wool and still keep perfect body temperature.
Shape resilience - Quality cashmere does not shrink when washed correctly, and will retain shape better than wool over the years.
Durability – The best cashmere jumpers can last 10 years when the right care is given to the garment. It is not uncommon to hear of people wearing cashmere jumpers from their grandparents.
Pilling – This happens when short fibres twist around themselves in areas of the jumper where there is more friction, creating small bobbles. This phenomenon is inevitable due to the presence of shorter fibres and it afflicts expensive cashmere as well. However, in the latter it should stop after the first few washes, and it should happen much less than with cheaper alternatives (where fibres are much shorter). Don’t worry, normal pilling is easy to remove with a cashmere comb, shaving machines or even simply by hand.
Care – Cashmere fibres are shorter and thinner than most other yarns, therefore you will need to follow the washing instruction to avoid damaging the garment.