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Skarfe is Australia's premier scarf boutique. We source & select the finest scarves from around the world, and ship to your door for free. Skarfe also offers custom digital printing services, & works with talented local artists on limited edition scarf collaborations.

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CASHMERE

Brad McGlashan

Image: Loro Piana

Image: Loro Piana

A Basic Overview of Cashmere

Cashmere is one of the world’s finest materials. It’s the staple of quality and style in countless genres of fashion—including scarves. Soft to the touch and extremely delicate, cashmere is mysterious while also highly desirable. Cashmere is fine in texture, strong, light, and soft. Garments made from it provide excellent insulation, approximately three times that of sheep wool. Cashmere is also softer than regular wool.

Let’s take a closer look into the world of cashmere and what makes this fiber so highly prized.

Cashmere Origins

The name cashmere originates from Kashmir, a region in northern India that eventually became widely known in Europe for gorgeous shawls. Cashmere has been manufactured in Mongolia, Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years. Later on, European manufacturers developed better technology for processing cashmere fibers which led to a major boom in cashmere popularity during the twentieth century. Today, cashmere is used in pillows, blankets, shawls, slippers and of course, scarves.

Cashmere wool fiber for clothing and other textile articles is obtained from the neck region of Cashmere goats. Cashmere goats produce a double fleece that consists of a fine, soft undercoat or underdown of hair mingled with a straighter and much coarser outer coating of hair called guard hair. For the fine underdown to be sold and processed further, it must be de-haired. De-hairing is a mechanical process that separates the coarse hairs from the fine hair. After de-hairing, the resulting "cashmere" is ready to be dyed and converted into textile yarn, fabrics and garments.

Cashmere Blends

Not all cashmere is created equal. Many are referred to as cashmere blends.

Silk and modal both blend particularly well with cashmere, and giving it a sheen and handle that is quite different than cashmere alone. Cashmere may also be blended with cotton to produce a less expensive, cooler item with similar characteristics and softness of a more expensive 100% cashmere garment. 

Why Cashmere is Best

Real cashmere is luxurious and feels incredible against the skin. It is also durable and makes for an excellent investment. Wrinkle resistant and easy to take with you on the go, it’s the perfect travel garment. Cashmere is also ideal for cooler climates as it insulates heat perfectly.

For nearly two hundred years, cashmere has been the quintessential fiber used in only the finest garments. Investing in cashmere offers years of enjoyment as a return. You can never go wrong choosing cashmere.

What to Look for When Buying a Cashmere Scarf?

The best advice is to buy from a reputable, knowledgeable, and long-term supplier of quality scarves. While shopping, analyze the item by rubbing the palm of your hand along the surface of your garment to see if fiber rolls off into small tuffs. If it does, that’s a sign of a poor quality item.

High quality, luxurious, and perfectly processed cashmere is a gift that scarf lovers can’t overlook. Its origins are rich and diverse stretching back thousands of years, and today it continues to bring joy to those of us who appreciate the finer details of our scarves.