Everything you always wanted to know about cashmere* (*but were afraid to ask)

Cashmere is one of the most precious fibers in the world. In this article we will discover the differences between the various qualities, we will reveal its properties and we will give some advice on how to take care of your cashmere garments so that it lasts over time.

Why so many different prices on the market?

Cashmere is a common word in use nowadays, and many brands sometimes tend to generalize, improperly calling "cashmere" even poor blends made in part on cashmere, but in the other part on natural and non-natural fibers. In this case, the final product is cheaper, but also the quality is much lower and more subject to pilling. Our advice is to look always the composition label.

Even when we talk about 100% cashmere, however we must make distinctions, because in the world there are many types of cashmere that differ for place of origin, quality and properties.

The quality of cashmere is defined by its place of origin, by the length, the fineness and the color of its fibers. The best cashmere can cost even three times more compared to the poorer one.

Not all goats are created equal

Cashmere is the underfleece of Capra hircus, which acts as an inisulating layer to protect the animal by changes in temperature between night and day. For this reason the best cashmere comes from the desert of China and from the highlands of Mongolia, where temperature variationis higher.

The fibers of the goats that live in these area are characterized by very white, long and fine fibers that differ greatly from the poorer, Iranian or Afghan cashmere, characterized by short and dark fibers.

In spring, when the climate is milder and the animals naturally shed their coats, the shepherds take the cashmere from the undercoat of the goats, through a delicate process that is totally harmless to animals. Each goat can produce only 150 grams of fiber, for this reason quality cashmere is so precious.

High quality cashmere can be worn also in summer season

Cashmere has an incredible insulating property, thanks to the natural structure of the goat's undercoat, which, as we said, protects the animal from temperature changes. The finer the fiber, the greater its insulation. Bottegiani buys cashmere only and exclusively from the best Italian spinning mills, and the exceptional finesse of the raw material makes Bottegiani garments perfect all year round, not only in winter, but also on cool summer nights.

The pilling

It is a superficial excess of fibres. By the rubbing and the static electricity, these fibres come off the surface and aggregate themselves forming small bobbles. Pilling also affects the finest cashmere, however in the latter it should happen much less than with cheaper alternatives (where fibres are much shorter) and often few washes are enough to stop it.

Bottegiani, to create a dense-knit sweaters so to avoid or minimize the pilling effect, in the weaving process uses a greater amount of cashmere than the usual one.

Some tips to take care of your cashmere garment

  • Wash, preferably by hand, with neutral soap in cold water (maximum 30 °).

  • To dry it lay the garment on a flat surface.

  • Never use the dryer

  • Iron at low temperature, using a dry cloth as a divider; never iron directly on to the fabric.

  • Do not hang it, but store it folded in the wardrobe.

  • Do not wear the knitwear garment for several consecutive days, let it rest for 24 hours at least, to prevent that the fibres are electrically stressed causing the pilling.