Cashmere, all of a story, only the word lends itself to warmth and tender feelings. What would be more sensual, soft and feminine than Cashmere.
That’s the purpose of today’s article, forgive me in advance for summarizing this so wide and interesting topic but at least I will try to provide most , oh dear who knows that there are plethora, of the relevant assets of it : cashmere jumper highlights whichever outfit, even the most plain and basic ones…
It remain a jumper so how do you style it without appearing to conventional ? Let’s get some of my advises , as well as a description of the fabric, to shine softly and delicately as a cashmere diamond and with a distinctive style.
How to choose well your cashmere jumper ?
What is actually cashmere ?
Cashmere is a natural fibre that is obtained from the underfur of the cashmere goats (Capra Hisca or Capra Hircus Laniger) which live in the coldest weather conditions you definitely don’t want to face (Minus 30°, that is freezing, mind, poor little ones …).
The biggest production comes from Mongolia, China and Afghanistan, but originally came from Kashmir region in India and was known as « Swan’s Down ». It is a precious fibre, with exceptional insulation and softness… and therefore with a price tag !!!
How much in average for a cashmere jumper ?
Let’s get back, a minute, to the production as this is also what would rightly points out its value.
Cashmere wool is collected during the spring mounting season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat, and here you go the jumper is here ready to be packed in shopping bag! Big joke eh ?
The actual steps of the process are – shearing (sometimes it s even removed by hand YEPP by hand) – Hairing (separating coarse from fine hairs) – Washing – Dying – Converting into Textile Yarns… now you realize why the hell this marvelous jumper could become so expensive, but isn’t it fair, after all, little goat freezing cold, gently and experimented people’s hands ?
Cashmere is definitely a noble and valued fabric which if it s from the finest fiber of cashmere will give a trendy touch of class to any of your favorite style, chic, casual, sexy. It’s a key piece that all stylish wardrobe should contain.
Of course and like any fabric, there’s different quality of cashmere, reflected price wise as well.
Even though if anything priding itself on being made with cashmere, is nowhere near cheap, you have to pay attention of the composition of the garment you invest in : cashmere at 49€ is not guaranteed to be high quality.
Be cashmere or not to be… that’s the question you have to keep in mind when you decide to purchase one, but no panik either, you don’t need to save your yearly bonus to get a good one.
Cashmere may also be blended with other fibers like Rabbit to bring the garment cost down or to gain their properties, such as elasticity and softness from wool (that’s why you can easily have a crush in those type as they are particularly soft in the very beginning but the dark side is that they will get spoiled very quickly too).
During the combing each goat gives about 1 kg of wool (per year).
After the sorting there remains approximately 250g of cashmere (enough to make a sweater roughly).
So one goat = one sweater per year.
This explains the prices, and the craze around the cashmere sweater. Quality = price = rarity.
7 grades of quality for a cashmere jumper
After combing, the hair is sorted and classified into 7 grades according to its qualities.
Grades 1 and 2 correspond to the best quality cashmere, which are the longest (between 36 and 40mm), the finest (15 microns) and the lightest.
Then comes the stage of fulling: the wool is washed.
For this, it is stirred with soap.
The wool is then dyed and finally spun.
The resulting yarn is fragile. It will therefore be twisted to make it stronger.
This twisting is done with 2 threads and 2 threads.
Cashmere can be 2, 4, 6 threads… and up to 24 threads.
The more threads, the stronger the wool and the warmer the sweater.
Before the lifting of quotas on Chinese textiles (2005), cashmere was not processed in China, it was exported directly to Scotland or Italy to be processed, woven, dyed and knitted.
The cashmere jumper was then a real luxury garment.
Following the lifting of quotas, cashmere was used directly by Chinese factories to flood the market with cashmere jumpers of lower quality.
Cashmere has become more democratic but the quality has decreased.
Some low-cost cashmere jumpers have cashmere only the name, we are very far from the grade 1 or 2.
How to recognize a good quality cashmere jumper ?
Now you’re wondering how easy it is to find a great quality cashmere to enhance your looks? Perfect, read on.
Faced with this plethora of products where price is not always the best indicator (you get it, don’t you?), how can you recognize a good cashmere sweater?
There are several clues that can put you on the track:
- The knit should be dense, flat and even.
- The weave should be tight. The stitch can be stretched, it must be in its place.
- The new quality cashmere sweater is not especially soft.
Beware of very soft new sweaters, the cashmere will probably have been mixed with rabbit hair. In reality, good quality cashmere gets better with time (like good wine, you know?).
It will get softer and softer over time, from being worn and washed.
Count at least 10 washes of your cashmere sweater for true softness. Good news, right? A garment that gets better with time!
- The sweater falls beautifully and is soft. The wool does not mark folds inside the elbow for example.
- Finally a quality cashmere sweater will have been knitted in full-fashion finish. This means that the edges of the knitted panels have been trimmed to the right width but never cut.
The cut of your cashmere jumper
Go for a loose fit, that is to say not too close to the body but not too loose either.
The ideal is to be able to wear a shirt underneath without looking stuffed. Can you see the style you need? The winning combination for a feminine look without a lot of effort is a loose-fitting cashmere jumper (and the rest of the great fashion tips you’ll find in this complete ebook).
Round neck ou V-neck ?
- V-neck if you are in the #bigboobs team (the round neck will enclose your bust too much and increase the volume of the chest).
- Round neck for the other cases and particularly if you have a “bony” bust.
The color of your cashmere jumper
If you want a really soft cashmere jumper, go for an ecru one.
This is the natural color of cashmere, so the wool in this sweater will not have been dyed.
The closer the color of the jumper will be to the natural color of cashmere, the softer the jumper will be.
The black jumper is a basic that will give you a real cachet to your black monochromes in winter.
Otherwise, opt for neutrals: beige, gray, camel, navy blue or for powdery colors that will bring light to your winter outfits: light mottled grays, powdery pink, water green … for example.
If you want to make it a lasting piece of your wardrobe, avoid preferably the colors …
FOLLOW UP TO THIS ARTICLE
- Favorite brands: what are the best brands at the best price for quality cashmere?
- How to wear your cashmere sweater without looking classic: with which pants or skirts, which shoes, which jackets, to associate it for looks that really have pep?
- How to accessorize an outfit with a cashmere sweater?
- Mix & match: 22 outfit ideas and a downloadable PDF to help you out on those mornings when you’re running out of ideas!
- Pinterest inspirations: all the hot outfit ideas to wear your cashmere sweater with maximum style!
Find this complete article in the wardrobe encyclopedia EBOOK “Everything you need to know about wardrobe items”.
*These are images for which the sources could not be identified on Pinterest.
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