Linens and cottons ruled your summer wardrobe but come winter, there’s one fabric that stands head and shoulders above the rest: cashmere. Luxuriously soft and supremely warm, cashmere is the key to staying toasty when the temperature drops. The fine yarn also makes for a great investment owing to its durability – and if you’re on the hunt for cashmere knits you’ll want to wear for seasons to come, look no further than Luca Faloni.
Cashmere is derived from the fibres found in the undercoat of cashmere goats hailing primarily from China and Mongolia. Since an average cashmere goat only generates 150 grams of fibres per year, high-quality cashmere is rare and expensive. But with numerous low-quality producers, it can be difficult for the untrained eye to discern subpar weaves from the real deal. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the experts at Luca Faloni to create the ultimate guide to identifying quality cashmere and finding the pieces on which to build the winter wardrobe of your dreams.
Why choose cashmere over wool?
While wool is a great winter fabric, and certainly has its place in your knitwear wardrobe, for something really special, nothing surpasses cashmere. Cashmere fibres are far finer than wool, creating a fantastically warm and lightweight knit that won’t scratch and feels smooth to the touch. The best cashmere also provides up to eight times more insulation than wool, making it ideal for maintaining the body temperature without overheating. Cashmere also does away with the pesky shrinkage that plagues woollen jumpers, retains its shape over the years and won’t pill after a few washes, ensuring you look polished with every wear.
How to identify quality cashmere
To the untrained eye, all cashmere may look alike but after a few washes you’ll be able to tell the difference between a luxury jumper made to last and cheaper alternatives. The length and thickness of the fibres themselves play a role in the quality of the product. Long, fine fibres make for warmer and long-lasting jumpers while low thickness also yields a softer yarn. The best cashmere yarn requires great quality knitting as well. Tighter knits employ two-ply cashmere where two threads of yarn are twisted together for a more resistant knit.
To test the quality, rely more on the feel of the garment than anything else. It should feel soft and light without being scratchy. Try stretching the jumper to see if it goes back to shape easily. It is also safer to opt for cashmere products crafted in Italy or Scotland, both of which have long cashmere traditions.
Taking care of your cashmere
As with all quality fabrics, cashmere requires careful handling and storage. Making your knits last longer means folding (not hanging) them carefully to avoid losing shape and protecting them from moths. Wash your cashmere jumpers with cold water by hand or on a short machine cycle and make sure to use a delicate washing detergent (specialist cashmere soaps are also available). Avoid wringing or hanging your garment up when wet and let it dry flat at room temperature. Iron cashmere on a low temperature using a pressing cloth as a divider to protect the fabric from direct heat.
Luca Faloni cashmere
Now that you have all the information you need to discern the quality of a cashmere garment, why not indulge in a few choice pieces from Luca Faloni’s autumn-winter cashmere collection that we guarantee pass the test? With butter-soft cashmere in timeless silhouettes, the only problem you’ll face with these pieces is that you’ll never want to take them off.