Do you need the confirmation that we live in the material world? For sure you don’t. The right question to ask is – Do you really understand the materials it is made of. I am speaking about Fashion World, of course. And of course, about fabrics. All our wardrobe – dresses, sweatshirts, skirts and tops, shoes and bags – absolutely everything has a material composition. Fabrics, threads, yarns, embroideries, leather type are the DNA of the dress. And the quality of the fabrics will affect a lot your appearance. Materials that have artificial nature look cheap and most of the cases they will serve you short… Meanwhile natural fabrics have a long life. Considering their elevated cost, it will be like investing, because you will have the garment for years. Let it be an expensive bag in high-quality leather, let it be a cashmere piece, a wool blend coat or dress, a silk foulard. You know this proverb “I am not reach enough to buy cheap things”, right? It is absolutely true. Ok, let us go to Zara and buy some stylish dress or sweater. They are actually very good at producing hot-season things. How long will you wear those pieces? One season maximum. Then you will have to buy another one the next season, because of low and cheap quality. At the end you spend more.
And now let’s go and buy some cashmere piece. You will immediately ask me – why does it cost so much or why do I have to pay so much for it? And I will answer – BECAUSE. Because you have to know the materials and their origin. Cashmere is the most refind and luxury fiber, the downy undercoat grown by goats in extreme cold. The great majority of the world’s cashmere comes from Mongolia, where goats contend with temperatures below -30°C. In the spring, as they start to moult, the goats are combed to remove their fine underhair while leaving the outercoat (guard hair) intact. The combings are then washed and “dehaired” of any stray guard hair, so that what is left is pure cashmereCashmere is collected only during the spring moulting season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat. The process of combing goats takes up to two weeks. One goat gives around 150 g of pure cashmere a year. For only one cashmere sweater one needs to comb 3 or 4 goats. That is why it is not surprising that it costs a lot. But cashmere garments at the end are worth of it. They are extremely soft and pleasant on touch, they do not sting, do not tend to be worn out, are not allergic and last long.
Italian producers of cashmere garments are considered to be the best in the world. Famous brands like Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli have the price range of cashmere pieces from 700 Euros to 2500 Euros… The price here is not the only problem – these brands are usually very limited in color palette and styles – grey, black, dark blue, beige… But the fashion market nowadays gives you the possibility to find 100% cashmere sets at lower prices in more interesting styles and colors. You do not have to pay for a label, you have to pay for the quality.
Some hints for you to check the quality. Look for tension in the knitting: stretch a section and it should ping back into shape. Hold it up to the light and it should not be too transparent. Paradoxically, the best cashmere, though made from the finest hair, has a density to it. Examine its surface: fluffiness suggests the yarn was spun from shorter, weaker fibres and will pill.
And some cashmere care advice. Do not tear out the pills by hand, use special sweater comb. Cashmere may absorb smells, then leave it to take an airing. Do not hang it on a rack, it should be accurately piled up on your shelf. Let me say the last thing – these pieces are not to be worn every single day. Follow these simple hints and cashmere sweaters will last many many years in your wardrobe keeping you warm, cosy, beautiful and stylish.
Make right choices when it comes not only to the material things but also to the matter of style, beauty and elegance.
NEXT ARTICLE TO COME – Material Thing 2. Bags