A story is told of a man who on visiting Ladakh, discovered that goat wool is warm and fine. The basis of Hamadanis discovery, as the legend goes, is that he made a pair of socks by himself, using no machine, which he later gifted Sultan Qutubdin, a king whose nation, Kashmir, is ascribed to, not only by this story but all that point to the beginning of cashmere wool usage. Sultan, excited of the socks’ durability and their fineness too, fell for Hamadanis suggestion to introduce Cashmere womens fashion by Brochu in Kashmir.
The softness of Cashmere has been liked and led to its usage in the making of sweaters. This is the more given that we also get softer and branded yarns from young goats. These are termed as “baby cashmere”. A Cashmere sweater would be the choice of anyone not just because it is made from cashmere, but because of its comfort and warmth.
A Cashmere sweater would be upheld as such depending on the genuine materials used to come up with it. This is so given that other materials or fibers like silk and wool are mixed with cashmere either to make it elastic or shiny. The more cashmere the sweater has, the better the product, the higher the cost.
As with any good thing, some vendors have been unable to meet their customers’ desires and needs and instead, offer them sweaters labeled cashmere which only contain a little cashmere or none at all!
The long and thorough process of cashmere to the final product makes the vendors prone to cheat on the products they sell. The goats from whom the cashmere is shorn are kept until winter is over since shearing them at this time would freeze them to death! The production ratio rates of the wool per goat in a given duration, say a year, are low. Considering the purification or rather the cleaning and removal of dirt, little remains for processing.
Since laws are regulating the textile industry, and such including a compulsory provision of information on materials sold, of what materials constitute them, in your choice of a cashmere sweater, you would want to first check the label and confirm its constitution e.g 80% cashmere, 20% silk or 100% Cashmere. Mostly, a product with the 100% cashmere mark would mean that it contains 85% cashmere.
You would also get to distinguish a genuine cashmere sweater from a fake one by plucking a fiber from it and burning it! Real wool will have a burnt hair-like smell while synthetic fibers will always burn very quickly. You will, unfortunately, be unable to tell whether your sweater is cashmere or sheep wool by use of this test. It is only by feeling the fabric that you will be able to recognize whether you are buying a genuine cashmere or not. Real cashmere sweaters are warm and have a soft feeling.
To get a Cashmere yarn from a cashmere goat entails lots of steps and processes including washing and hand selection, which all lead to a fiber that is smooth and without oil. Different types of yarns are available as the different needs of men differ and their tastes as their numbers. Colors, weight, and brands define them and sweaters differ on the suitableness of the occasion e.g Christmas, winter, etc.
To get a cashmere sweater may be simple if you have the money, but the process to get to the sweater is not only interesting but assuring of its comfort, luxury, uniqueness, and worth.