Wool vs Cashmere. What’s the Difference? | Signature Cashmere

Wool vs Cashmere. What’s the Difference? | Signature Cashmere

In the world of luxury fabrics, there are two main contenders: wool vs cashmere. These fabrics have long been revered for their exceptional softness, insulating properties, and timeless elegance. Both are natural fibres; both are seen as luxurious materials used by the top fashion houses of the world. But which to choose, wool or cashmere?

In this article we explore the differences of wool vs cashmere and which one should be your next investment piece.

What is Wool?

Wool is a natural fibre from the fleece of sheep, goats, and alpacas. It has been a staple fabric for centuries, prized for its durability, versatility, and natural warmth. Wool fibres are naturally absorbent and renowned for their ability to retain heat even when wet, making wool garments especially ideal for cold and damp climates. Wool fibres are also naturally absorbent, allowing the skin to breathe and keeping the body warm in cold weather. 

What is Cashmere?

Cashmere is also a natural fibre, renowned for its unparalleled warmth to weight ratio and softness. Unlike wool which can come from a variety of animals, cashmere is 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.

Wool vs Cashmere: The Main Differences


One of the main differences between wool and cashmere is the warmth factor. While both natural fibres are warm and used to create sweaters and other cold weather items, one has an incredible warmth to weight ratio.

Cashmere fibres are much finer than wool fibres making them better at trapping heat while not being bulky. Cashmere is in fact eight times warmer than wool! Meaning cashmere garments are great for layering and for accessories such as hats, scarves, and gloves. Due to the weightless warmth, cashmere makes the perfect fabric for travel which you can read more about here.

Our range of Classic Ponchos are the perfect garment for offering warmth, while being lightweight and ideal for layering on chillier evenings.

Wool fibres are much thicker than cashmere. While they do not offer a weightless warmth and can be considered quite bulky, they are ideal for outerwear garments or keeping warm in wet weather.


The price of wool varies on the type of wool; merino wool is often much more expensive as it is considered a premium wool. Wool can be found at more affordable prices depending on the quality of fibre, brand, and the source of the wool.

Cashmere is more expensive than wool as it is considered a luxury fibre due to its scarcity and the production of cashmere products are much more labour intensive, often crafted by hand. 

The cashmere wools are harvested from the Capra Hircus goats during the spring when they shed their soft undercoat. 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. The wool itself is also scarce which contributes to its cost. 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. 

You can read more about the production process and history of cashmere and the pashmina here.


Cashmere fibres are much finer than wool, which means they are softer and smoother on the skin. Cashmere garments are more comfortable to wear, especially for those who have sensitive skin. 

Wool fibres contain lanolin which can cause itchiness in some people. Wool garments are often blended with other materials such as silk to make them less itchy or subject to a process called ‘super-washing’ to make the fibres softer.

Due to the unparalleled softness of cashmere fibres, they make the perfect baby blankets suitable for their soft, sensitive skin. You can read more about our range of cashmere baby blankets in our article here.


Cashmere is a more delicate fibre when compared to wool, but with proper care, your cashmere garments will stand the test of time. Cashmere needs to be hand washed or dry-cleaned to preserve its softness and shape. It’s also important to remove any piling and store your cashmere garments away correctly when you’re not wearing or using them. You can read our guide on how to properly hand wash and care for your cashmere garments here

Wool items can be machine washed however it is recommended to hand wash them to avoid shrinkage or piling.

For both cashmere and wool garments it’s recommend to hand wash with cool water ad mild detergent and to lay flat to dry. Wringing or being hung out to dry can cause the garments to lose their shape.

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. 

Our Antique Gold Pashmina is ideal for layering and adding a pop of colour to an outfit. You can pair it with a denim jacket for spring or as a shawl around the shoulders over a maxi dress.

Wool vs Cashmere: Which is Best?

Ultimately, the choice between wool and cashmere comes down to personal preference and priorities. Both fabrics are natural, warm, and seen as luxurious in their own way. If you’re looking for a light warm poncho or scarf to layer over a dress or jeans, or to add that element of luxury to an outfit, then maybe cashmere is your answer. However, if you’re looking for something to keep you warm in garden on the wet English winters, then a wool jumper might be just what you’re looking for.