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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Caring for Cashmere

When I put on a cashmere sweater, I don’t instantly think ‘goat’.  But I should because there is a type of goat – the Kashmir goat – in parts of Asia, such as Mongolia, Tibet, Northern India, Iran, Afghanistan, and Southwest China, that moult each year from March to May.  In the moulting process, they develop a mixture of coarse hair and fine undercoat.  At some point, the goats are shaved, the hair is processed, dyed, and finally woven into yarn.  The most interesting thing is that one Kashmir goat produces around 4 ounces of hair each year, and as a result, it usually takes 3-4 goats to produce one average-sized 2 ply cashmere sweater.

When I put on a cashmere sweater, I typically think about how warm, soft, and luxurious it feels.  Then I look in the mirror, and I admire how beautiful it is.  And with any luxury garment, it requires special care to ensure it retains its like new feel and look for years to come.  Here are some tips to help accomplish that:
  • Wait for deodorant, lotion, perfume, and hair products to dry before putting on your sweater.       
  • Use caution with purses, jewelry, belts, and seat belts because they can abrade the fabric and cause pilling, snags, and even a hole.
  • Don’t put or let anyone put an adhesive name badge on your sweater. (Just FYI - The same holds true for suede and leather items too.)
  • To avoid distortion, don’t push up the sleeves and use care if it is a pullover sweater so that you don’t stretch the neck area.
  • The best way to store a cashmere sweater is to fold each side of the sweater inward by a third, smooth the arms down, fold in half, and either place or a shelf or in a drawer.  Never hang a cashmere sweater because the weight of the fabric and the pull of gravity will cause shoulder dimples and overall distortion. 
Finally, follow the care label when it comes to cleaning the garment.  Cashmere sweaters are delicate items, and if you have any doubts, we recommend you take it to a professional

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