How to Choose a Cashmere Sweater
A carefully chosen cashmere sweater can be an affordable luxury. Here’s how to choose the best cashmere sweater for your money.
A warm and stylish cashmere sweater is the ultimate in winter luxury. Cashmere fabric is not only beautiful, but temperature adaptable, meaning it keeps you warm in the winter and can keep you cool when the mercury climbs a bit. Cashmere fabric is considered one of the finest of all natural fabrics, so you know you’re getting the best when you choose a cashmere sweater. Since a cashmere sweater can be expensive, it’s important to know how to choose cashmere of the best quality for your money. Here’s how to choose cashmere:
Understand Why Cashmere is so Expensive
Cashmere material comes from the long-haired goat and it takes a few goats to produce enough material to make a single sweater. It can actually take the wool from three to eight long haired goats to make a single cashmere sweater depending on the style and size. There’s also the time consuming process by which cashmere is manufactured from the goat’s wool that makes it more expensive than other types of wool. You can now see why you’re paying a premium when you choose cashmere.
Make Sure Your Sweater is Pure Cashmere
Before you choose a cashmere sweater, you’ll want to verify that the label states the sweater is made of 100% cashmere. Cashmere sweaters are often blended with other fabrics. To verify that your 100% cashmere sweater is actually cashmere, gently rub the fabric with your hand. It should feel soft to the touch. If the fiber feels course, don’t buy it. After feeling a few genuine cashmere sweaters, it will be easy to detect a sweater of inferior quality. Spend some time feeling a variety of cashmere sweater fabrics before buying your cashmere sweater.
Choose a Two-ply Yarn Over a One-ply Yarn
A two ply yarn yields a sweater that is stronger and more durable than a sweater made of a single ply yarn. A one ply yarn will usually be less expensive since its lighter weight requires less production time. If you want a durable cashmere sweater, choose cashmere made of two ply yarn.
Check the Fabric Quality with the “Pull” Test.
Before buying a cashmere sweater, grasp each side of the sweater and pull the sides in opposite directions. When you let go does the sweater return to its original shape? This is a sign of a well made cashmere sweater. A sweater that doesn’t snap back has a loser weave making it of inferior quality.
Understand the Role of Color as it Relates to Cashmere Quality
Dyes reduce the quality of the cashmere fabric by causing damage. Sweaters that are darker in color required more dye to achieve that shade meaning they will feel less soft than lighter colored cashmere that’s been subjected to less dye.
Choose a Longer Fiber Length
Choose cashmere fabric with a longer fiber length to prevent excessive fabric pilling. Cashmere sweaters with shorter fiber lengths may have persistent pilling that ruins the look of your sweater.
You may find quite a bit of variation in pricing of cashmere sweaters. Those that carry a designer name will usually cost more. Ask yourself if you really need to pay extra for a designer label. Be particularly careful if you choose a cashmere sweater online since you don’t have the opportunity to feel the fabric. If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can expect to pay in the $180.00 to $220.00 range for a standard 100% cashmere sweater that’s not discounted or on sale. Select a reputable online retailer and ask lots of questions about the fabric quality before purchasing.
A carefully selected cashmere sweater can be a staple in your wardrobe for many years to come and will be a joy to wear. When you choose cashmere, you’ve given yourself the ultimate gift of luxury.