Cashmere is known to be one of the softest fibers in the world. The thin hair allows it to be woven into incredibly soft, luxurious garments. At Ayo Oslo, you can be sure that you get 100% cashmere wool from Mongolia.
Where does cashmere come from?
The cashmere wool does not come from sheep, but from goats. These goats come from the Himalayas where temperatures can drop to -40 ° C. The cold temperatures mean that they have an incredibly warm coat. The Kashmir goat has two layers of fur - an outer layer of thick, robust hair and a very insulating and warm undercoat. It is this undercoat that is the soft and exclusive cashmere wool we know. Unlike sheep that can be shaved up to several times a year, you only have access to cashmere once a year. After a long and cold winter, the undercoat sheds, and the goats must be combed by hand. While a sheep can produce at least 3 kilos of wool each year, a cashmere goat only gives you around 200 grams. And even this amount must be sorted out according to the difference of the fibers. They are divided into categories based on thickness, length and color. The quality of the fibers is mainly determined on the basis of length. Longer fiber leads to a more durable garment, which will pill less.
What are the benefits of cashmere?
The thin and long fibers are what make cashmere unique and are the reason for all the good properties of cashmere wool.
- Heat: The fibers in the cashmere wool are hollow, which leads to very good insulation. It helps to regulate body temperature. If it is warm, the garment will have a cooling effect. When it is cold cashmere has between three and eight times as good heat properties as ordinary wool. Nevertheless, the garments are light and comfortable to wear.
- Softness: Cashmere garments do not itch and can be worn directly on the body. This is because the diameter of cashmere fibers is very small, and creates a very fine texture, the softest of all yarns. For the same reason, the density of fibers is much higher than wool, and the texture is therefore not scratchy. This gives a good feeling when you wear cashmere directly on the skin or when you touch a sweater.
- Duration: If cashmere garments are washed and treated correctly, they will keep their shape better than other wool garments. A cashmere sweater can last for well over 10 years when properly maintained.
Why do your clothes pill?
Pilling occurs due to short, loose fibers accumulating in small balls on the clothes. This is something that is difficult to avoid on garments made from natural materials. Although cashmere has long fibers, pilling will still occur. When you buy a new garment made of cashmere, you will often experience the most pilling before the first wash. It is important that you do not use an electric pill remover when this happens. It breaks the fibers and only leads to more pilling. The most gentle way to remove pilling is by picking them off by hand. If you want to read more about how to take care of your cashmere garments, click here.
The knitting tension of cashmere is measured in gague, which is the number of stitches per inch (2.5 cm). At Ayo Oslo you will find garments in either 7 gauge or 12 gauge. With higher gauge, the stitches are smaller and sit tighter. You will find that these garments knot less. With a lower gauge, the meshes will be looser and larger. The garments feel thicker, but they can pill a little more. Whichever you choose, you will end up with incredibly soft and good garments.