Cashmere 101: Everything You Need to Know About Cashmere

"Investing in quality cashmere is investing in longevity and luxury. Let us introduce you to one of the finest materials you need to make room for in your wardrobe."

01. Cashmere, wool, what’s the difference?

First things first, let’s sort out the difference between cashmere and wool. 

Cashmere is the fine, soft fiber combed from the undercoats of certain goats. This undercoat is extremely soft and downy, and it’s protected by the goat’s outer layer, AKA the wool. Cashmere gets its name from an old spelling of Kashmir, the region where its production and trade originated.

While wool and cashmere are both natural materials and renewable fibers, cashmere is the finest, softest, and most durable yarn, making it much more sought after than wool for its special properties. More on that later.

02. The best cashmere comes from Inner Mongolia

The best cashmere goats typically live in places like Inner Mongolia, a region that is known for its cold and harsh climates. Adapting to these harsh climates has allowed the goats to grow the longest and finest fibers that shepherds then collect every spring when these warmer coats begin to shed. 

And these fibers are important because…

03. …the longer the fiber, the softer the cashmere

Cold climates mean longer undercoats, and longer undercoats mean softer cashmere. And not to mention, better quality cashmere. At State Cashmere, we source only the finest yarns from expert shepherds in Inner Mongolia and it’s thanks to these long fibers that you end up with maximum softness. (Score!)

But you wouldn’t believe how many goats it takes to make one single sweater..,

04. It takes how many goats?...

The process of combing and collecting the underlayer is pretty labor-intensive, as the undercoat has to be separated from the outer layer by hand. Thankfully, we’ve got some excellent shepherds who are up to the task. Each goat typically produces just 150 g of fibers, and it takes approximately 4 adult-sized goats to make one sweater!

05. Durability, softness, warmth and shape resilience = our fav properties of cashmere

Let’s talk about what makes cashmere so great.

For starters, cashmere offers incredible durability, keeping you looking fantastic for years and years. One sweater can easily last 10 years or over 200 years when taken care of properly.

Cashmere also offers extreme softness and warmth. Because the diameter of cashmere fibers is very small (cashmere is 6 times finer than human hair!), it creates a very fine texture. This fine texture, along with the longer fibers we mentioned earlier, contributes to maximum softness. Cashmere also has an insulation capacity 3x higher than wool helping to regulate your body temperature while keeping you warm instead of hot.

Finally, cashmere offers better shape resilience in comparison to wool when taken care of properly. It doesn’t shrink when washed and will maintain its shape longer than wool.

But these luxurious properties only hold true for 100% cashmere.

06. No blends, please

Many cashmere sweaters are blended with some other wool that compromises the quality and soft feeling of the garment. At State Cashmere, all of our pieces are guaranteed to be 100% cashmere. No blends here, only the finest, most high-quality pieces. Once you've tried our cashmere, you may find you won’t want to wear anything else.