Why Cashmere ?
Cashmere is a luxuriant wool that many have dreamed of wearing against their skin. Its silken feel, feather-light weight, and appreciable status make it highly desirable. Despite the glamour associated with cashmere, it hails from humble beginnings. Cashmere is the wool or fur of the Kashmir goat. Kashmir goats are primarily raised in Mongolia, but many are bred in Iran, Tibet, India and China. American herders have also joined the international cashmere production market in recent years.
Cashmere is harvested from the goats during their annual molting season through the shedding or the shearing of their down. In the frigid high desert climates where most of the goats are raised, the dense inner coat guards against harsh winter weather, but once seasons change, goats begin to lose the protective layer of down.
The finest cashmere comes from the underbelly and throat of the goats, but a lesser grade is also taken from the goats' legs and backs. Longer fibers from the belly and throat area make the wool especially soft and cause less "pilling" when the fibers are woven into garments such as sweaters, shawls, capes, dresses, and coats for both men and women. The shorter fibers from the backs and legs are heavier and less expensive, making it easier to afford a luxury garment. Cashmere comes naturally in white, gray and brown, but the wool is easily dyed.
The quality and feel of cashmere will leave you longing for more. Owning a garment made of cashmere is a fashion treat to be truly treasured--after all, it takes one little goat four years to produce enough wool to make just one cashmere sweater. A cashmere sweater is actually really worth its high price.
How to Clean a Cashmere Sweater
Cashmere sweaters may be dry cleaned, but also hand washed with a very gentle cleanser such as baby shampoo or a detergent especially made for fine garments.
Dry cleaning is your best option if sweater is stained. Otherwise, hand-wash it. Hand washing will keep your sweater softer longer. It is true that many cashmere sweaters are labeled “dry clean only,” but also it is true that manufacturers put dry-clean-only labels to protect themselves in cases of careless hand washing. That’s why you’ll need to be extra cautious when hand washing your sweater.