Amongst the varied knitted fabrics, the cashmere wool is considered to be the softest and of course, the most expensive. The name cashmere comes from the place of its origin, Kashmir, a state situated in the northern regions of India. The cashmere wool is obtained from the goats of the Kashmir region. Other than Kashmir, the goats are also raised in Mongolia, Iran, Tibet and China. In the recent past, American herders have also joined the cashmere production market. A luxuriant cashmere sweater can make quite a style statement. Check out how to care for your cashmere sweater. Pick up fashion tips on wearing your cashmere with panache!
The main reason for the yarn being so expensive is that, these goats survive in one of the coldest regions of the world and sweaters made from the wool keeps us warm, without requiring additional woolen clothing. The cashmere sweater protects and keeps you warmer than probably any other form of wool. The yarn created from the raw wool is very fine and the knots used to create the sweaters are tiny and very close knit. This calls for many hours of hard labor, which in turn makes cashmere wool very expensive.
Cashmere is harvested from the goats during their annual molting season through shredding or shearing of their down. The finest cashmere comes from the underbelly and throats of the goats and the long fibers taken from these areas make the wool especially soft thereby causing less pilling. In fact, it takes four years for a goat to grow enough wool for a single sweater. Cashmere comes in natural colors of white, grey and brown. Though the wool can be dyed in various colors, it is preferred to retain the original colors as the wool undergoes minimal chemical treatment and thus remains gentle and soft.
Buying Cashmere sweater
Cashmere is synonymous with softness and luxury. Due to its silken feel and light weight, cashmere sweaters are a must- have for many a fashion conscious woman. The quality and feel of cashmere will leave one longing for more. You have to be ready to pay a sizeable amount to own pure cashmere. When buying one, pull and release the sides of the cashmere sweater. A high quality garment must return to its proper shape.
Also, feel the fabric. If it is rough or coarse, it is a sign of inferior quality. The softer the garment, the better it is. Do check if the sweater is two-ply knit, which is comparatively sturdier than one-ply, but still light weight. Beware of bargains as it has been noticed that sheep wool blends are often passed on as pure cashmere.
Care of cashmere sweater
Most cashmere items can be safely hand washed. In fact, washing actually makes the cashmere softer by allowing the yarns to bloom. Be sure to use only detergents specifically intended for fine garments. Fill your sink with lukewarm or cool water, depending on the garment's washing instructions and add the recommended amount of the detergent. Soak the cashmere sweater in the water for 20 minutes and gently squeeze the suds through it. Drain the sink and rinse the sweater till the water runs clear.
Gently press the water out of the sweater and place it on a clean, dry bath towel. Roll up the towel and press with your palms to squeeze out excess water. Remove the sweater from the towel and smooth it out so that it regains its original shape. Lay the cashmere sweater flat on a dry towel and let it air dry. If taken care of well, your cashmere sweater will last a lifetime.
Cashmere sweaters – A fashion statement
Designers love cashmere for its pure luxury and classic elegance. Cashmere sweaters have been woven into timeless styles and have remained an eternal favorite among women. A versatile item for every wardrobe is the super chic cashmere turtleneck which can be paired with everything, from a menswear print trousers to denim.
Another classic item is the cabled cashmere V-neck, which also offers more layering opportunities. You can match a tight fitting tee underneath and teem it up with pants or denims. You can also try the cashmere jersey camisole which has a slim fitting camisole and an interior cashmere shelf bra for comfort. Ribbed v-neckline with skinny rib knit straps offers a sleek silhouette.
You can also try the cashmere cable cardigan designed with double collars that is long enough to wear folded over as a plush turtleneck. An exposed gold finished zip and pull complete the luxurious look. Alternatively, you can buy the cashmere polo sweater, which is ideal for wearing under a cardigan but can be worn solo also. You can choose from various options like the sleeveless one or a long-sleeved tee or a short-sleeved contrast polo sweater and can teem it up with jeans or capris.
Cashmere scuba sweaters match well with cotton sail pants and jackets. The finely ribbed cashmere jersey crew neck can be worn on its own or can be layered under a slim jacket. It can be teamed with linen or jersey pants. Whether you prefer a crew neck or a V-neck, a cardigan or a crossover top, cashmere adds an additional touch of glamour. It lends an aura of haute-couture which every woman aspires for.