What is Cashmere?

What is Cashmere?

Cashmere is one of the most sought-after fabrics in the world. It’s an investment that stands the test of time and is effortlessly chic – but what is cashmere? This question is one we often get from the Imperial Cashmere community.

Part of our mission is to educate our community on the benefits of cashmere and what makes this natural fiberso luxurious. The beauty of this fabric is that it gets more magical with time. Cashmere becomes softer with each wear and is hypoallergenic as a natural fiber.

At Imperial Cashmere, we create our cashmere scarves and shawls using rare fibers of the Albas white mountain goats. Our classic designs are brought to life by talented artisans using traditional methods handed down through the generations.

We’re sharing everything you need to know about cashmere and why it’s the ultimate investment for any closet.

Meet Cashmere

We believe that elegance never goes out of style. The classic nature of cashmere is part of our DNA. Cashmere is a soft natural fabric that has become a signature piece that will last you a lifetime. Caring for your cashmere garments means that will stay looking new for years to come.

What is unique about cashmere is that it feels almost like silk against your skin. Its traditional production and limited harvesting time make it a luxurious fabric that comes with a high price tag.

Cashmere was originally known as ‘Kashmir’ and was first produced in Northern India, where it’s still being produced today. You can find cashmere goats across the world with China, Iran, and Mongolia being the most popular regions. The ‘Gobi Desert’ that reaches from Mongolia to China is the home of most of the world’s cashmere-producing goats.

Although often compared to wool, cashmere is the hair that comes from the undercoat of goats. While we use 100% cashmere at Imperial Cashmere, other brands choose to blend their cashmere with other fibers. Merino wool is a popular choice for blending with cashmere.

How Cashmere is Harvested

The harvesting process of cashmere is what gives it a high price tag. Every spring, mountain goats naturally start to shed their coats. Cashmere comes from the under-fleece coat and is gently combed to keep every fiber. It’s cruelty-free and doesn’t involve shearing the animal - making cashmere harvesting unique.

Once the undercoat is gathered, the fibers are separatedby hand using combing. These harvesting methods have been handed down through the generations and are part of the magic of the cashmere tradition.

After the cashmere is gathered, the fibers are separated and then spun into yarn. It is then dyed to the chosen color of the garment before being knitted or woven.

The price tag of cashmere comes not only from its quality and tradition but its limited quantity. Unlike other fibers, cashmere is only harvested during the spring. These goats produce less than 7% of what asheep produces in wool each year.

The Timeless Nature of Cashmere

Cashmere looks both contemporary and classic. No closet is complete without a cashmere sweater or a chic shawl. These fashion staples work for any season and can take you from the beaches of Santorini to the slopes of the Alps.

You can find cashmere in a rainbow of colors, from chic neutrals to on-trend pastels. Cashmere isn’t only beautiful to wear, but it’s also gentle for your skin. As a natural fiber, cashmere is hypoallergic and won’t irritate your skin. If you hate itchy fabrics, cashmere is the perfect choice for you.

Cashmere is often compared to wool. While wool is more affordable, cashmere is more sustainable with a longer lifespan and is suitable to wear all year long. This luxurious fabric has a lower cost per wear than any woolen garment. Cashmere also maintains its shape and feel for a little regular maintenance.

It’s no surprise that cashmere is used in fashion garments, accessories, and home décor. While cashmere is delicate, it’s guaranteed to last you a lifetime with a little love and care.

A Sustainable Classic

We work closely with artisans to continue to support the tradition behind cashmere garments. As our cashmere is gathered and manufactured in the same region, it has a low carbon footprint.

Cashmere is unique as a breathable fabric that also acts as an insulator. A cashmere stole will keep you cool in the spring and help you layer up in the colder months. If you’re adopting slow fashion or want to be more eco-friendly, cashmere ticks all the boxes. This luxurious fiber works for every season and is a capsule closet essential. 

What to Look for When Buying Cashmere

Not all cashmere is made equal. It’s not uncommon to see cashmere sweaters popping up in mainstream stores. While these are often sold as ‘cashmere sweaters’, they’re usually blended with polyester and contain only a small percentage of cashmere.

Whether you’re buying online or in-store, there are a few things to look for when shopping for cashmere. You want to start by looking at the weight or knitting of the cashmere. 

Heavier cashmere will be warmer for winter and is ideal for colder climates. Tightly woven cashmere is the most durable and will help the garment maintain its shape.

Pilling is something that occurs naturally with cashmere. You can easily take care of this with a cashmere comb. It’s a worthwhile investment when you start buying cashmere garments and accessories.

While cashmere is a classic, you can also find it in trending colors. One thing to consider is that cashmere that is heavily dyed into bright colors can lose its softness. Neutral shades will require less dye and offer the softest texture. Start your cashmere collection by investing in classic colors you can wear every season.

There’s nothing more luxurious than slipping into a cashmere sweater or elevating an outfit with a cashmere shawl. These everyday luxuries are timeless classics that will become your signature pieces.

Explore our range of cashmere garments and discover the softness of this sustainable natural fiber.

Pure cashmere gloves

View all