Separating Popular Myths From Cashmere Facts | TCG London
Ever since Empress Josephine picked up her first of as many as 400 Kashmir shawls, cashmere clothing has taken on an exceptional reputation for providing a luxurious comfort that borders on the mythic.
However, whilst it is important to highlight the beauty and incredible craftwork of a material that manages to be both light and exceptionally warm, it is also important to avoid getting carried away by beliefs about cashmere that turn out to be the work of fiction.
With that in mind, here are some popularly touted statements about cashmere that are either made of whole cloth or are at least full of holes.
Cashmere Is Not Only Found In Kashmir
Whilst historically the region of Kashmir, the northernmost part of the Indian Subcontinent, is so associated with the material and the goats which are combed for it that cashmere is named after it, it is not the only place where cashmere is harvested, not even close.
The instability of the Kashmir region means that other nearby areas such as Mongolia, Iran and China have become the primary producers of cashmere, with other producers found in Afghanistan, Turkey and Kyrgyzstan.
Cashmere Is Not As Fragile As Is Commonly Thought
There are a lot of advice articles about how to properly take care of cashmere sweaters, coats and shawls that can give people the wrong impression about its versatility and robustness.
Whilst it is unfortunately the case that cashmere will not spring back the way a lot of man-made fibres would, which can be a problem for some fits, it is far stronger and longer lasting than one might expect.
If cared for properly, folded instead of hung and protected from hungry moths that enjoy the natural fibres, cashmere can last years if not decades. After all, in the distant past, Kashmir shawls were treated as heirlooms on a par with rings or tiaras.
Cashmere Can Be Worn In Summer
Have you ever seen someone wear a scarf on a warm summer day and wonder how on earth they can bear the warm weather in a garment that looks more suited to a snowy day? The answer is probably cashmere.
Cashmere is naturally breathable and wicks moisture away from the body, which means it can be worn in the summer without causing unbearable heat the way thicker wools can.
Whilst few will wear a woolly jumper in summer, this also means that cashmere will help keep you at the right temperature in winter, when indoor and outdoor temperatures can fluctuate wildly.
Cashmere Is Not Difficult To Take Care Of
There is a belief that cashmere is really hard to take care of, and whilst it is the case that you cannot machine wash it, hang it and need to take special care when cleaning your cashmere clothes, it is far less complex than one might believe.
If you follow a few golden rules, such as only hand washing cashmere, laying it flat to dry instead of hanging, folding instead of hanging and ensuring mothballs or other protections are nearby, your cashmere will look its best for years to come.