Is Cashmere Worth it? The Importance of Quality
Is cashmere worth it? This is a question that we see time and time again. Investing in quality pieces is not only better for the environment as their production process often means they last longer, but can be cost efficient as they need replacing less often. Purchasing high-quality pieces such as cashmere will undoubtedly elevate your wardrobe, but they require more in-depth decision making due to the price point when compared to fast fashion items.
Here at Signature Cashmere we want to help you with that decision process, guide you through the different types of cashmere on offer and give an explanation as to what warrants the slightly higher price point.
Where does cashmere come from?
To understand the price point of cashmere, it’s important to know where this material comes from. The scarcity of a product often dictates its price point, often based on demand and supply. Cashmere is one of the most luxurious, sought-after fabrics in the world and yet, while its source is sustainable, it is not bountiful all year round.
Pashmina is a type of cashmere and the name given to the wool derived from the neck and under-belly of the ‘Capra Hircus’ goat that thrives in the Himalayas at altitudes above 12,000 feet. At this altitude, the natural cashmere fibres are extremely fine (between 10-14 microns in diameter, or 6-8 times thinner than a human hair) which gives these garments an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio and is the explanation for its softness.
How is cashmere made? The importance of quality.
Another answer to ‘is cashmere worth it?’ is how cashmere is made. The wools are harvested from these goats during the spring when they shed their soft undercoat. This wool is incredibly soft, making it feel luxurious and silky against the skin.
These hairs are collected, cleaned, sorted and then the lump of wool is spun on a wooden wheel known as a Yinder, to produce the delicate fibres.
Weavers then mount this yarn onto the heddles of a handloom which has been used to weave pashmina for many centuries. This process can take several days before the final product is finished.
Discover more about the production process and history of cashmere and the pashmina.
What makes the cashmere wool scarce?
As you can see the process of harvesting and collecting the wool is itself a mean feat. Then there is the handcrafting to get the wool ready to be spun into the cashmere garments you know and love.
Finally, the goats themself only yield between 150 – 200 grams of wool per year, this is naturally shed as the goats go into the summer season and ethically collected.
What makes the quality of cashmere at Signature Cashmere worth it?
There are many brands which claim to use Pashmina as their type of cashmere, however there are wide variations in the quality depending on the supply chain and where the wool itself is sourced.
All our pashmina at Signature Cashmere is from the Capra Hircus goat and handcrafted by skilled craftsman in a small factory in Nepal. Our supplier, Jitendra, has a small factory employing 25 local men and women in Kathmandu. Jitendra started his business in 1998 and has always produced the highest-quality pashminas and cashmere clothing for us.
Why is cashmere better than other fabrics?
Due to the weight of the goat hair, cashmere provides an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio. Although wool is also derived from animal sources; it is much coarser and bulkier, cashmere is eight-times warmer than wool.
Synthetic fibres such as polyester are affordable, but they do not offer the comfort and indulgence of cashmere, they also are not able to stand the test of time and can be itchy against your skin.
Your top three cashmere investment pieces to last you a lifetime:
Cashmere accessories are a true investment. Gloves and scarves made with synthetic fibres may look on trend, but they can quickly become worn and are disregarded. By making an investment in a quality material such as cashmere, you can be sure that you will be able to wear them time and time again.
Our cashmere cable knit gloves are buttery soft and hand crafted in Nepal with 2 ply cashmere and merino wool.
The elegant natural cream colour palette, that many of us associate with the colour of cashmere itself, fits seamlessly with any outfit, making the perfect accessory for the cold, winter months.
This ultra soft, fine 100% pashmina is hand crafted from our factory in Nepal by one of our 25 skilled craftsmen. Casual or formal, it’s the ideal wardrobe staple, mainly due to its versatility. Use as a pop of colour to a thick winter coat or as an elegant shawl in the summer months or at your best-friend’s wedding.
Pashminas are also the perfect travel accessory as by packing one item you can elevate multiple outfits.
Our Classic Poncho’s are meticulously handcrafted with 30% of 2 ply Cashmere and 70% Merino Wool. The source of our natural fibres and production process makes an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio and unparalleled softness.
Our Classic Poncho comes in five beautiful shades from Ebony Black to Ivory Cream, available in a standard size that's large enough to hang over the shoulders and upper body. The nature of the poncho means it can be easily added as an additional layer whether you’re having some evening drinks on the terrace or walking across country fields on the annual family winter walk.
The Final Word: Is Cashmere Worth It?
The source and quality of the wool, the production process, the warmth, and light-weight nature of the fabric are all testament to the quality of cashmere. Here at Signature Cashmere we go to great lengths to ensure that everything we do is of the highest standard, that we adhere to ethical guidelines and support other communities throughout our production.
By purchasing from Signature Cashmere you can be assured that you are buying high-quality cashmere that will stand the test of time.