Let's break down the different types of cashmere!
Have you heard of the terms: cheap, regular, baby and pashmina cashmere? But what do they really mean to you? We'll discuss about the differences and key details of these products here so that you can be better informed in making your fabric purchases.
Sometimes cashmere products can have a huge price gap between them but yet they are still labelled as 100% cashmere. Cheap cashmere refers to cashmere that may have shorter strands in comparison to others or it can even refer to cashmere that is blended with other fabrics in which case it will be referred to as a cashmere blend. Cashmere with shorter strands are prone to easier breakages and low-level durability. The strands are also likely to be less fine which will affect the overall feel of the cashmere. Whereas with cashmere blends, it is likely that the actual percentage of the cashmere may be low and instead mixed with fabrics like viscose or acrylic.
As mentioned in the earlier blog post, regular cashmere averages around 19-30 microns (diameter of the wool fibre). The lower the micron count, the finer the cashmere feels. Regular cashmere is often made from 2ply or 3ply strands whereas cheap cashmere is likely to be made of 1ply strands. With the 2ply or 3ply strands, the cashmere is much more durable and less prone to damages or breakages. It also increases the longevity of the fabric and regular cashmere can actually retain a garment life of around 20-30 years.
As obtained from the child goats of the adult goats that produce cashmere, baby cashmere is known for having an even smaller micron count of around 13 microns. It can sometimes be a favoured choice over adult cashmere due to its fineness as a result of having higher insulation properties. The fibres are actually obtained in the Spring and something interesting to note is that the child goats only yield just over 1/10 of the cashmere fibre count in comparison to the adult goats hence it is only taken once in a child goat’s lifetime.
One of the key differences that distinguishes pashmina from cashmere is that they are sourced from different goats. The pashmina is seen more as a variation of cashmere due to the fact that is obtained from a goat called Capra Hircus – found in the mountains whereas the cashmere is mainly obtained from Mongolian goats. The weaving process of both of these materials require them to be hand woven however pashmina due to it’s lower micron count requires more attention and care when spinning in comparison to that of cashmere.