The CASHMERE STORY

 

The name "CASHMERE" comes from Kashmir, the wild and mountainous area of India and Pakistan.

Actually the fiber came from Tibet and was woven in Kashmir. It is known that in the XV century in India more than 50,000 people were employed in the processing of cashmere.

The use of cashmere as precious fiber dates back to the Romans. It was then disclosed by the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, who had it woven in France her famous "ring shawl" : it was so called because it could be pass through her wedding ring.
Later, in the XIX century, a Scottish manufacturer, Joseph Dawson, invented the mechanical method to separate the fine fibers of goat hairs from the rough outer hairs. This led the processing of cashmere in Scotland and began the modern era of cashmere knitwear.

The best cashmere garments are mostly made by hand and this manual process starts with the combing of the goats. Each goat is combed in the spring, when it loses the thin inner hair that protected her from the harsh winter.
This "flake" is then washed, combed, dyed and spun mechanically, while the manual work returns to the knitting of pullovers.
Each knitting machine is operated manually, and the worker pays utmost attention to the specifications of the garment that he is making : factors such as the tension of the yarn and shape of the garment are continuously controlled.
The panels thus obtained are then assembled by hand by linking point by point and not with simple machine stitching as in a low quality garment. The garment is then washed to reach the right handfeel, and also this process is controlled by an expert in this highly specialized work.
The finished garments are then re-checked one by one to ensure their perfection.
A cashmere goat produces about 50-80 grams of cashmere fiber per year, and the yarn is so thin that it takes 7 miles of yarn to make a pullover. Therefore a sweater requires an average annual contribution of 5 goats cashmere!
Consumers tend to have a wrong idea that the "pilling" is a quality problem: it is impossible to have a cashmere sweater that does no pilling.
The characteristic of a cashmere pullover is its very fine and soft fiber. To increase this feature at most, the pullover is treated so as to bring the finest fibers to the surface, in order to have a soft and smooth handfeel (if there were not enough fiber on the surface you would have a rough and dry handfeel); therefore any kind of friction on the surface creates the pilling. Whether created the pills can easily be removed with the fingers, and this still does not affect the handfeel of the garment.

CARE IN WEARING YOUR CASHMERE GARMENT :
What is worn over a cashmere sweater should have a smooth and not rough surface, such as tweed jackets; you should not keep pens or hard objects in the pockets so as to avoid friction that can cause "Pilling". You should also avoid to wear the same garment for long periods of time: a pause of several days avoids the "fatigue" of the fibers.

WASHING CARE:
1. It is preferable to have dry cleaning or hand washing.
2. Dissolve very little cleaning fluid in water at 35 and squeeze the garment gently.
3. Multicolored or jacquard pullovers should not be soaked and garments of different colors must be washed separately to avoid that get stained with each other by colour bleeding.
4. Rinse in fresh water at 30 .
5. Squeeze out excess water and then eliminate the rest of the water in the centrifuge. The pullovers should be put in an net envelope before spinning.
6. After the centrifuge lay the garment on a table (which should be covered by a towel). "Pull" the garment slightly to reach the initial measures and let it dry. NEVER hang your garment nor expose it to direct sunlight.
7. When the garment is completely dry, iron it at medium heat. Never place the iron directly on the garment. If necessary, cover it with a cloth.

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