If you ask a number of people what their favorite piece of clothing is, many of them will answer something random like "my mother's scarf," "my worn out jeans, or "my little black dress." I would answer: "my cashmere collection." This is because cashmere is quite unique -- it is soft, lightweight, and extremely comfortable to wear. This material does not come from sheep, but from goats.
Cashmere clothing can include anything from shawls and gloves to socks and hats. However, among those, the most renowned and well-loved products are cashmere sweaters.
When it comes to cashmere sweaters, one type stands above the rest: Scottish cashmere sweaters. They have long been considered the pioneers in luxury and stylishness. Scottish cashmere is said to have been produced in the 1830s and since then, has become a mark of excellence in clothing.
Although there are other types of sweaters on the market, nothing can beat a sweater that is made of Scottish cashmere for the following reasons:
Only the Best Fiber is Used
Cashmere is known as the rarest natural fiber in the world and therefore is very expensive. There are some manufacturers that sell cashmere cheap, but only Scottish cashmere sweaters have the best quality. Pieces of clothing are finely produced by companies with the right skills and experience in crafting the high quality finished products.
Herds of goats are nourished and well taken care of to ensure quality hair. These goats survive for about seven years only and their hairs are combed once they reach their second year. Unlike wool, cashmere is not sheared but it is hand-combed as the manufacturers gather the materials that they need from the animals.
A Painstaking Journey
Cashmere can be of different colors: it can be brown, gray, and pure white, which is the most precious of them all. Once the fibers have been gathered, they will be hand sorted according to their color. Most manufacturers will even categorize them based on the grade. These people are eagle-eyed due to their years of experience in selecting quality.
Raw cashmeres are matted and greasy once they arrive in Scotland. Thus, they have to be treated to remove the dust and grime using clean water that is neither hot nor cold to avoid damaging the delicate cashmere fibers. Once again, the raw materials are meticulously hand sorted, which often results in losing half the original package.
A Luxury Feel
Cashmere sweaters, when produced, cannot be rivaled by other sweaters made of man-made fiber. They are very luxurious and soft to the touch in addition to being warm and light in weight. The finished product is all thanks to around 30 different processes right from its raw state to completion of the fine quality clothing. The Scottish weavers have skills that are unmatched and the results are hard to replicate. Cashmere sweaters are ideal during winters and cold months. They actually provide more warmth than wool without being too weighty, giving you the comfort you deserve.
For hundreds of years now, cashmere clothing has become an important part in the rich cultural heritage of Scotland. With Scottish cashmere sweaters, their expertise and proficiency allow them to produce comfortable and stylish finished products that other weavers cannot reproduce.
This was written by Tory Steward, a cashmere industry expert.