Cashmere Conscious

Cashmere Conscious

Here’s how to find quality cashmere and take care of it.

By Artesia Peluso

Love cashmere? It’s luxurious, chic and timeless. But there’s plenty of low-quality goods out there. It takes one Kashmir goat four to five years to shed enough fur to make just one garment. So while the initial price might make you wince, if well kept, cashmere more than compensates in quality and durability. Here’s how to spot the real deal – and the best deal – and care for your purchase.

The Real Deal

Some fabric designers use a pinch of this, a pinch of that and just a stitch of actual cashmere. Check your labels. Blended garments are usually thicker, itchier and less durable.

Two Ply

Much like toilet paper, the more ply cashmere has, the better the quality and durability of the garment. If you want more strength and warmth, try a lush 4- or 6-ply cashmere sweater.

Look for Trusted Brands

Department stores often test several different labels for quality control. Whenever you discover a brand that makes your heart skip a beat, stick with it. Designers Kier and J, TSE, White + Warren, and Autumn Cashmere specialize in quality cashmere.

Make it Last

Want your cashmere to last a lifetime? Pamper it. Take cashmere garments to a credible dry cleaner for care. Careful hand-washing with a gentle detergent, like The Laundress Wool or Cashmere Shampoo, will also do the trick. Afterwards, gently press the garment with a white towel and place on a flat surface to dry. At season’s end, store in a dry place to avoid moisture.

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