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#notsponsored #cashmere #fabric

Cashmere Explained - How To Spot A Quality Scarf, Sweater, Sport Coat, Avoid Pilling & Wash Kashmir

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Published on Sep 8, 2017

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What is cashmere?

It is super soft and it is a fiber which is the under hair from the cashmere goat and usually, a goat can only produce about 150 grams a year which is only about a third of a pound. It is the only defined under hair that has a very narrow diameter which makes the fiber very soft to the touch.

Cashmere is called that way because the goats traditionally lived in the Kashmir region in Asia. Today, you can find cashmere goats in other places such as Mongolia but you need to have a certain elevation which creates that fine under hair that is so prized.

Historically, cashmere was introduced to the US on a large scale in 1947 and up until the 70s when China passed some trade laws, it was a really rare commodity. Because it was so popular and fetched such high prices, more and more Shepherds decided to have cashmere goats. Now that had a substantial environmental impact. Goats are hurting animals and such, they move on, the problem is their hooves pull up the roots of the grass in nomadic desert areas in Central Asia and because of that, they're responsible for the expansion of the desert in those areas.

So what does it mean for you?
Ideally, you invest only in the highest quality cashmere because that will last the longest and therefore, you don't have to rebuy cashmere scarves every season thus impacting the desert
growth in Central Asia.

So what's the best quality cashmere?
One, it's from combed goats, it's from Mongolia or China. It's about 14 to 16 microns in diameter and it's 50 millimeters long which is about two inches. As I said, the higher the ply, the better.

So how can you buy quality cashmere?
Actually, I've always found it was extremely difficult to find out more information about cashmere especially when you shop online but also in stores. Sales clerks don't know what they're talking about and people just say "oh it's quality cashmere", most of the time you don't learn about the plys, you don't learn about the fibre length, they can't even tell you where it is sourced and as such, you should only buy cashmere from a retailer where you can return it after a while.

So what should you do and don't do when it comes to cashmere?

-First of all, don't be fooled by gauge numbers when it comes to cashmere, they don't matter.
-Do expect that a retailer should explain to you why their cashmere cost as much as it does.
-Don't buy cheap disposable cashmere that has to be renewed every season
-Do buy cashmere in timeless patterns and colors that you can wear from now and for years to come.
-Do consider the cost per wear for cashmere, especially if you plan to wear it for 20 years from now.
-Do buy cashmere products that best utilize the characteristics of material.
-Don't buy cashmere that is blended with polyester or nylon because usually it's a very low-quality cashmere and you'll regret your purchase soon thereafter.

How do you care for cashmere?
Unlike cotton, it is normally not machine washable and is a hand wash only item. I'd also try not to dry clean it if you can avoid it instead, you can get a baby shampoo and gently wash it by hand and then Pat it dry with a cotton towel and let it air dry gently, ideally on a hanger, unless it's a sweater, that should be dried flat.

Alternatively, you can also purchase low alkaline detergent which is perfect for cashmere. Once you wash cashmere and it's dried, it may feel a lot stiffer so you have to kind of crunch it and make it soft, maybe iron it, and steam it and wear it a little bit, and it will regain its original softness

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