Cashmere is a natural fibre from cashmere goats, known for its soft hand feel and incredible warmth quality. As these goats live on high mountains, they grow an ultrafine undercoat layer of hair to protect themselves from extreme cold conditions. This precious undercoat layer is what is known as cashmere. With each goat yielding only a few ounces that qualify as cashmere per year, this makes cashmere such a precious and valued natural fibre.
Cashmere is harvested through a combing process. Then, the quality of cashmere harvest will be then graded based on their colour, thickness and length:
Cashmere naturally comes in 3 colours: cream, beige and taupe. As the cream fibre is the rarest among the three and has the softest hand feel, it is usually kept as is and will not be dyed further. The beige fibre will be dyed to make light colours while taupe fibre will be used for dark colours.
You will often hear the word 'micron' used to describe cashmere's quality. Micron is actually the unit used in measuring cashmere's diameter. The finer the fibre is, the softer hand feel it provides. The best quality is between 14-16 microns, often referred to as superfine cashmere fibre in the industry, and is the finest and softest.
The length attributes to the durability of your cashmere. The longer the fibre, the better your cashmere piece withstand to shedding or pilling. If you have a cashmere sweater, a good quality one will stop pilling after 1-2 washes, but those made with short fibre will continue to pill and form tiny yarn balls.
Processing cashmere also attribute to the quality of your cashmere. First, colour dye plays an important role to how comfortable the cashmere feels on hand after processing. European natural dyes have passed European garment testing and standards, and they are 3 times more expensive than regular dyes. Lower grade dyes on the other hand are usually chemical dyes, which can cause skin irritation. Then, most cashmere pieces will go through a final washing process. Over-washing will cause a piece to discolour and pill; under-washing will give a coarse hand feel, but it does not necessarily mean the piece is not of good quality. Therefore, only experienced factories could balance the washing process to give it a perfect hand feel.
All of our cashmere is sourced from Mongolia, harvested through combing process. We use only superfine cashmere, which is 14-16 microns and 28-32mm long. We chose the finest for our cashmere to make our pieces more durable yet stays airy light. We work with a Mongolia cashmere factory, a group of artisan technicians who has over 30 years of experience. Many have wonder why our colours are not as vibrant as some out on the market (such as neon colours). That is because we use only imported European natural dyes on all our pieces, and we also do not use optical brighteners. Optical brighteners, or fluorescent brightening agents, are chemicals used to intensify colours but can cause skin irritation. Because we do not use these chemicals, our pieces will tend to be less vibrant but more pleasant to your skin.
Your cashmere can last for a longtime with a little love and care. Here's a few tips for you:
DRY CLEAN ONLY
We recommend dry clean only for cashmere. Professional dry clean can remove stains effectively while preserving your cashmere, but in cases where you must wash it immediately, soak the soiled piece in cool water and lather with cashmere detergent or baby shampoo for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze the piece a few times, do not twist or wring it as this will break the cashmere fibre causing it prone to pilling. Then, rinse it through cool water and gently press water out like before until the water runs clear. Next, lay flat to dry either on a dry towel or drying rack. It is important not to hung to dry as this will warp your garment's shape.
Always fold your cashmere, never hang them as this will warp your cashmere's shape. You can use mothballs to keep moths away but these contain chemicals. We recommend using cedar balls as these are natural bug repellent and best of all, non-toxic and natural.
Wearing your cashmere with natural fabric, such as cotton, silk or wool, can reduce the friction that cause yarn balls to form.