Cashmere sweater is the perfect last-minute option in w […]
Cashmere sweater is the perfect last-minute option in winter to throw over jeans when you want some style, and also want to feel super warm and cosy but not too over-layered. They look just as good tucked in to a pencil skirt for business chic as they do casually over a T-shirt and denim jeans for the weekend. They also make a cheap pair of jeans instantly look more expensive and look on trend with a large statement necklace for this season. Once you've owned cashmere, you’ll really have a tough time going back to anything else.
For all of cashmere’s allure, it possesses two drawbacks: It pills and it’s expensive. Often there’s a correlation. Pricier cashmere is less likely to pill because it’s made with the best fibers. These come from breeds in inner Mongolia that produce the finest hair. This hair is light and long enough so that fewer strands stick out of the yarn once it has been spun – thus the finished sweater doesn’t pill as easily.
A simple test will yield clues about fiber quality. Bunch the sweater in your fist and then let it go. Avoid scratchy sweaters with fibers sticking out, which may foreshadow excessive pilling due to the short and lower-quality fibers.
Another factor is ply: the number of yarn strands twisted together. Overall, two-ply cashmere (two entwined yarn strands) is more durable than single, and therefore less likely to pill or lose its shape. But single-ply is softer and lighter; it’s ideal for cool summer evenings. Plies greater than two aren’t necessarily more durable; they’re heavier and warmer.
Although blends — cashmere twisted with wool, silk, and so on — can be a sneaky way to sell consumers a watered-down version of the prized wool, don’t reject them out of hand. A blend of silk and cashmere is shiny and smooth yet soft.
Because cashmere will inevitably pill regardless of quality, buy a sweater comb to safely remove the rolled fibers. When it comes time to clean the sweater, dry-clean or hand wash it. To do the latter, agitate the sweater gently in lukewarm, sudsy water and rinse it thoroughly. Lay it flat on a towel, roll them up together and then squeeze gently to remove water. Let the garment dry on a flat surface for 24 hours. Before storing your cashmere for a long period, be sure to clean it and place cedar blocks in the drawer to protect the sweater from moths.