Saturday, 12 October 2013

How to...Buy Cashmere

Not all cashmere is created equal.  Before you invest in your new season knits, here are four top buying tips...    

Let your fingers, not the price tag, tell you about the quality. It should feel soft and luxe, not scratchy and "brittle" like a wool.  Generally, the sweater should have a soft and slightly spongy "top" surface, not be too fuzzy or matted, and the stitches should be defined.  

Examine the clarity of the colour.  Whatever the colour, the hue of the sweater should be bright, vibrant, clear and clean, with depth and saturation in even the darker colours, including black. It should certainly not be greyish, dull, faded or dirty looking.

Look at the seams.  Top quality sweaters are usually fully fashioned, meaning that the panels of the garment are all knit exactly to shape and size.  Seams are not cut and then sewn together - the knitted panels are linked together by hand with cashmere yarn, stitch by stitch.   All visible seams are then finished by hand for a "seamless" look. If there are buttons, each should be sewn on with cashmere yarn and not cotton thread.

Examine the yarn itself.  For quality garments the yarn is always 2-ply.  Using multiple plies of 2-ply yarns to get a 6-ply, 8-ply or 10-ply doesn't improve the quality of the garment, it just makes it heavier and more expensive. 

Look out for the second part of this post on caring for your cashmere tomorrow...

Source: The Handbook of Style - Maroukian Woodruff

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