Sought after for its softness and warmth for thousands of years, cashmere is a treasured material that carries with it a certain mystique – and a few misconceptions. Linda is often asked about cashmere by shoppers at Crimson’s Paris boutique, especially regarding care for cashmere. Here are the most frequently asked questions, with Linda’s expert answers.
What is cashmere?
Cashmere is essentially the wool from goats; special breeds of goats. Cashmere fibres are especially fine in texture, lightweight and soft, yet strong and supremely insulating.
What about the goats?
Cashmere is collected during the spring moulting season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat. No goats were harmed in the making of a Crimson sweater!
Are there different qualities of cashmere?
You bet! And that’s one of the things that set Crimson apart. Cashmere comes in all sorts of qualities, with lots of the low-grade, cheap weaves (mainly from China) making its way into expensive clothing with famous European labels! By contrast, Crimson Cashmere is of the finest quality. Our cashmere is mainly woven in Scotland, where cashmere textiles have been produced by highly-skilled artisans for generations.
Crimson sells cashmere in summer! Isn’t cashmere just for cold climates and winter weather?
Since it comes in different weights and weaves, cashmere can be worn all year ‘round in all different climates. Crimson Cashmere’s summer collection is woven in a lighter weight or looser weave, which is much cooler and allows the skin to breathe.
Isn’t cashmere a pain to care for?
Not at all. You can (and should) simply hand or machine wash cashmere at 30oC to keep it clean and fluffy. In fact, cashmere pills less and less the more it’s washed! (Just don’t make the common mistake of washing it in cold water: Any extreme in temperature, either hot or cold, will attack the fibres, so don’t be fooled by anyone who says to wash it cold.) To dry, simply lay your garment flat on a towel and just let it dry naturally.
What about dry cleaning?
Dry cleaning is okay, especially if you’ve dripped something oily on your favourite cashmere sweater, but it’s not as good as washing. Regular washing will keep your cashmere soft and help it last longer.
Does cashmere pill?
The combination of rubbing and dirt causes all natural fibres to pill a little. If your cashmere sweater pills, the best thing to do is wash it. The more you wash it, the better! You might also want to be mindful about specific things that could rub your cashmere, such a belt, handbag strap, or a dense, artificial fabric (like fleece) if worn over top.