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all about cashmere 101

Warmer clothes are being put on rotation. Naturally, wool has a special place in our hearts, so we thought we would take on the subject of “Cashmere”: one the world's most expensive materials, and answer all your potential questions.

All About Cashmere

what is cashmere?

Cashmere: wool’s close cousin with a finer, softer and warmer DNA, this luxurious material is one of the most desirable in the world.

Born in Kashmir, it takes its name after this northern Indian region but with an anglicized version of the word, AKA: “Cashmere.” Produced and loved for thousands of years, it was originally worn by emperors and eventually brought to Europe in the 19th century. Cashmere doesn't just have historical relevance - it has also been taken into the 21st century gracefully and has still kept its value.

This wonderfully sought-after material is incredibly long-lasting and three times as warm as wool, with a soft-to-the-touch texture that’s larger than life.

Our Cashmere is made from Grade-A Mongolian materials, making it a luxurious, warm and soft fabric to withstand snow days and lower-than-iced coffee temperatures. Its fibers are some of the highest-quality on the market, making it the perfect clothing investment and gift for those who like a little luxury in their lives.

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Our luxurious 100% Mongolian cashmere sweaters are going to be your new go to wardrobe staple.

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          The actual material comes from the wool of cashmere goats, creatures as playful as they are precious.

          All About Cashmere

          Where does cashmere come from?

          The actual material comes from the wool of cashmere goats, creatures as playful as they are precious. Not to be confused with sheep (where other types of wool come from), cashmere undergoes a different process to become what we come to know and love.

          It goes something like this: Springtime is the time to cultivate this lovely material, as it is when the goats do not need their fur and shed their winter hair.

          The cashmere goats have a two-layered coat with two different purposes: when the hair is removed, the coarser top layer is separated from the softer under-hair. The outer-layer is coarse and used to make brushes, non-apparel items and to protect from the elements due to their nature. The undercoat is soft, fine and dense, the perfect conditions to make fabrics, and wearable items the cashmere sweaters you love so much.

          We ensure our cashmere is sourced from sustainable origins in order to secure top-quality and ethical practices.

          Shop Men's Cashmere

          Our luxurious 100% Mongolian cashmere sweaters are going to be your new go to wardrobe staple.

          SHOP CASHMERE
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          Is all cashmere the same?

          Short answer: No. Long answer: Below. The quality of cashmere is correlated to the different grades that exist. There are three grades: A, B and C.

          • Grade A: la crème de la crème. It has 15-16 microns width per hair.

          • Grade B: the medium ground, around 16-17 microns width per hair.

          • Grade C: is the lowest quality, measuring around 17-21 microns width per cashmere hair.

          So, contrary to what may be typically believed, the thinner the cashmere, the finer the construction. This ensures top quality for the final product. Geography also plays a part in how cashmere is produced, causing the quality of the cashmere practices and products to change. The finest cashmere is produced in the region of Mongolia. This is due to the harsh winter conditions of the region, causing cashmere goats to grow finer, denser hair, that produce the top raw materials for cashmere touchable, wearable pieces. For this reason, their limited quantities make them an exclusive and expensive material. And, the question of the century (well, of this section): How can you tell which is which? Use your senses. In other words: touching is believing! You’re in the presence of 100% Grade A cashmere if:

          • It stretches and goes back to its natural shape.

          • Once you run your hand, it does not shed small threads.

          • It feels like soft, melt-in-your-hands fabric.

          What makes cashmere so great?

          Breathability

          Cashmere’s lightness and breathability make it top of the clothing fabric food chain. And, its versatility means you can keep it on rotation year-round. Even though it’s a version of wool, due to its finer, stronger, softer nature it can be three times more insulating than sheep wool. Warm and breathable - the perfect all-year material.

          Softness

          Cashmere is known for its sensitive reputation, or in other words: for its deliciously soft composition. The fine fibers in Grade-A cashmere, or 100% cashmere give it that cozy and melted-butter feel, making it irresistible to the touch. It also helps that this fabric works with your body as it is flexible in nature… but more on that coming up...

          Longevity

          The higher the grade, the more durable the cashmere garment! Because of its flexibility, strength, and high quality, the fabric retains shape over the years, meaning you don’t just get to enjoy a wonderful piece for a lifetime but also feel cozy and comfortable while doing so.

          Why is cashmere typically so expensive?

          With higher quality comes a higher price tag… As we just referenced, cashmere is versatile, soft and breathable, making it a top-quality material that finds its worth with its composition and origins. The limited amount of 100% Grade-A cashmere produced by true wool-farmers in the region of Mongolia makes this fabric very desirable. Additionally, a whole process goes into the creation of this material. Prior to collecting the raw materials to create the final product, it takes time and patience to comb the goats to ensure the highest quality and the softest garments. So, the more care and brushing, the lovelier the cashmere and the higher the price! P.S. Once this de-hairing process has taken place, the cashmere is ready to be woven, dyed and spun to create the final luxurious clothing you have been reading about. In a nutshell, cashmere is not just a little pricier than its typical wool cousin because of its incredible softness, but also because of its durable nature, versatile wear and the extensive process it goes through to become the lovely clothes you wear and blankets you sleep with.

          Make a cashmere comb your best friend. When pills inevitably come, just use a sweater comb to brush them away. Use a bit of pressure when combing, but don’t be rough!

          How do I care for cashmere?

          It takes a little work to take care of your Cashmere garments. But this will ensure its forever-wear and tip-top shape. Here’s some advice for the ultimate Cashmere Care or CC:

          • Lesson 1: No machines, please. This lovely fabric should only be washed by hand with cold water, as the fabric becomes fragile when wet. Using a mild soap or detergent is also recommended, and letting it air dry is vital to its shape and durability.

          • Lesson 2: Say no to fabric softener. A little known fact is that cashmere becomes softer as time goes by. Chemical softeners can damage the fabric and limit its durability, so be sure to keep it simple with the washing routine.

          • Lesson 3: Wash a little, wear a lot. Another day, the same outfit! Because of its breathable nature, cashmere can be aired out for use the next day.. and remain fresh for a little while longer.

          OK, BUT HOW DO YOU STOP CASHMERE FROM PILLING?

          The fact is that all wool and cashmere is going to pill. But a few easy tricks can make a difference: Use sweater spray instead of washing occasionally. Try to wear your pieces 5-6 times between washes. Lightly spray and leave your sweater out for a bit before putting it away.

          All About Cashmere

          What does gauge mean?

          Gauge is the number of stitches or rows of yarn per inch and describes how tightly the item is knitted.

          Cashmere garments tend to be made in 6 common gauges, from 1.5-gauge to 12-gauge. The smaller the gauge number—for example, 3-gauge cashmere—the heavier the yarn is applied, so the cashmere appears thicker and more dense. In 12-gauge cashmere, on the other hand, the yarn is applied more finely, so the cashmere has a more open look and is lighter in weight. Rule of thumb: If you are looking for lightweight cashmere, a higher gauge is best. If you want something warmer, go for a lower gauge.

          ALL YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED

          1. What's the best way to wash cashmere?

          You have a couple of options: a delicate cycle in the washer or washing by hand. We recommend a gentle hand wash with a mild soap or detergent and then an air dry. This is how to take care of cashmere to help keep its shape and make sure you’ll be loving it for years to come. 

          When it comes to how to wash cashmere, you should also avoid fabric softeners. Cashmere has this incredible knack for getting softer over time all on its own, so just do your part by not overwashing and you’ll be golden. You’ll also discover that caring for cashmere is easier than you think…it's highly breathable and you can go a number of wears before it needs a true wash. 

          2. Why is cashmere typically so expensive?

          You already know cashmere is expensive. But why is cashmere so expensive?! There are a few reasons why you see inflated price tags from our competitors—one is that they’re usually operating with less efficient business models that require big markups to cover costs. But cashmere is also a pretty rare material, since it can only be collected from goats once a year and every cashmere sweater requires a pretty substantial amount of it since the yarn is so fine. Not only that, but there’s the luxury factor—this premium fiber is incredibly soft, super warm (three times more insulating than sheep’s wool, for instance), and in demand. It’s a recipe for a cozy-but--expensive sweater, until we flipped the script with our $50 cashmere sweaters. They’re affordable, amazing quality, and available in timeless styles you’ll wear for a lifetime.

          3. How often should you wash cashmere?

          Our cashmere is Grade-A quality and made to last a lifetime with the right care. One longevity-boosting trick is to try to wear your cashmere pieces between five and six times between washes. A great sweater spray can help you pull this off—just spritz your sweater to freshen it up and let it dry before you put it away. You can buy a fabric spray at the store or DIY your own: we like a mix of 90% water and 10% vodka.

          When it is time to wash, see the question above and follow those steps.

          4. How do I keep cashmere from pilling?

          You’re not doing it wrong! Pilling is a natural byproduct of wearing (and loving!) your cashmere. We’ll recap some of the tips from questions above, because they’ll help you learn how to keep cashmere from pilling:

          Minimize washes: Try to wear a few times and refresh with a sweater spray in between. 

          Use a cashmere comb: this is your go-to tool for how to care for cashmere sweater pilling. Just brush away any developing pills with a bit of gentle pressure.

          5. How do I style cashmere sweaters?

          One of the things that makes cashmere such an amazing wardrobe essential is that it’s beyond easy to style. How to wear a cashmere sweater, you ask? It’s more of a challenge to think of how not to wear it, to be honest. Here are a few of our fave ideas for how to style a cashmere sweater, but know that no matter what, you’re going to look flawless. 

          • Add a bit of gold: Delicate earrings or a few layered necklaces play up that v-neckline or add extra polish to your cuffs. 

          • Top with a blazer or jacket: Cashmere is warm but also keeps you comfy so you won’t overheat. The fine-gauge weight is a dream to layer.

          Pair with luxe bottoms and skirts: Our favorite combination is a cashmere sweater and a silk skirt (we’re biased). But you can change the feel in a flash with a ponte pant for work and denim on your days off.