Adding cashmere items to a wardrobe is so easy – but how much do you really know about it? Finding out more about it can help to select the right pieces, care for them and ensure that they look just as good in the years to come as they do today.
Cashmere is one of those luxury items that most of us think might be out of our reach financially.However, with more and more retailers making it that little bit more affordable, many of us are able to add it to our wardrobes. So what should we know before we head off to the shops with the credit card? Learning a little bit more about these garments and how they can be purchased, worn and cared for will help any buyer to make the most of them so here is a list of five essential points to remember.
- Benefits – It is a luxury material which has not only become very fashionable but once it is looked after it will last for a long time, making it a good investment for any wardrobe. The lack of wrinkling should put a smile on the faces of those who do not want to tackle these garments with an iron. In addition it has great insulating properties. Keeping the wearer cooler in summer and warmer in winter makes this a very versatile piece of clothing. Good quality items will also be resistant to pilling and over time it will become softer too.
- Testing quality – carrying out your own quality control tests in the store might seem a little extreme but the phrase “you get what you pay for” is particularly true with these garments. First of all you should make sure that you shop in a store that is known for quality. Experts recommended rubbing the palm of the hand over the material”s surface. If tiny balls of the fibre appear then this is a sign that the quality is not what it should be. Another test is to stretch the fabric a little to see how fast it returns to its own shape. Looser fibres will not go back into their original shape quickly and this is also a sign of poorer quality.
- Label know-how – On any item of pure cashmere clothing it is essential to read the label. First of all make sure it states “100% cashmere”, but still do your own little quality checks too.It is possible that some cheaper garments have been made using the shorter fibres which are a little tougher. Some items have been made as a blend with silk or cotton. Silk does work well in these blends as it can give that sheen to the finished garment. However it will not feel as soft as cashmere on its own.
- Fibre strength – Buying items such as men”s cashmere sweaters is also easier when you have an understanding of “ply”. Some garments may state “2-ply” on the label while others will indicate “4-ply”. Either of these is better than a single ply option, but do not make the mistake of thinking that the more plies the better the quality as this is not the case. 2 ply garments are stronger than single ply but when additional plies are added it is usually for weight and colour rather than quality.
- Cleaning and storage – When it comes to that essential cashmere cardigan women (and men!) need to be aware of how to store and clean it. Never put it away dirty as this increases the risk of an attack by moths. Always follow the cleaning instructions given but as a general rule woven items will need to be dry-cleaned. When storing them, make sure these garments are folded and placed on a shelf (preferably in a garment bag to protect it).
A cashmere item is something that has a timeless appeal and it is worth the investment. Why not give your wardrobe a boost and add that touch of quality and elegance you”ve been searching for? Heading off to the shops armed with information like this will help to make sure that you choose a good quality garment and also help you to keep it in good condition for many years. When you want a specialist item it”s recommended to visit a brand that knows its product. You can always find some helpful advice when visiting dedicated cashmere stores like TCG London – The Cashmere Gallery, that have been in the trade for decades with a wealth of knowledge ready to educate you.