By Lisa Dante
There’s no denying that once you start wearing cashmere and feel the luxuriousness of the fabric, the ultra softness and the warmth, there can be no substitutes!
Did you know that this sustainable, natural fabric, which comes from the underbelly of cashmere goats is one of the softest fibers in the world?
But what should you consider when purchasing cashmere?
If you’ve lived in South Texas for any amount of time, you know by now that winter is like a box of chocolates. Like Forrest Gump said, “You never know what you’re going to get.” I remember many winters when you never even needed so much as a sweater. But I also remember that it was in the single digits not to long ago. In fact, it was record breaking, sub-freezing cold, as in bitterly, deadly, dangerously cold.
I don’t remember how old I was when I purchased my first cashmere sweater. What a I can tell you is that I still have that black turtleneck sweater. It’s a timeless classic and the investment was well worth it.
At the time, I didn’t know a thing about cashmere, only that it was very, very soft, lightweight and kept you very warm. My next cashmere purchase was much more sporty. It was a hoodie that zipped up the front. It was scratchy and eventually started to pill. What was going on here?
How was I to know “good” quality cashmere from “bad?”
Was it the feel? Yes!
Was it the fabric content label? Yes!
Was it the price? NO!
Only pure cashmere sweaters can be labeled 100% cashmere. That’s what you need to look for, unless you want a blend.
Having a minimum of two-plies means that multiple pieces of yarn are twisted together to make the garment. But what exactly does that mean? It means that it’s softer, stronger and warmer. And guess what? It gets softer the more you wear it!
What about care?
Cashmere can be washed at home. Use either baby shampoo or a special cashmere shampoo. The only way to wash cashmere without damaging it is to use COLD water. Either wash by hand or on the gentle/delicate cycle in a washing machine. Then lay your sweater flat on a towel to air dry. NEVER, ever, put the sweater in the dryer!
Cashmere is, of course, not limited to sweaters. Consider gloves, hats, scarves, coats, pants and more!
What about price?
I can honestly say that I have seen cashmere at all price points! It really depends where you like to shop. Does a higher price mean better cashmere? Not necessarily! Buy from a reputable source.
Shop around and stay warm this winter!