|Cashmere’s softness, featherweight and warmth sets it apart from all other fibers. Our fine cashmere sweaters feel luxurious indoors or out, but their extraordinary insulating qualities make them a hot new fiber for mountaineering and skiing. It’s hard to believe that one of the world’s softest natural fibers would come from one of it’s toughest climates, but most of the world’s cashmere actually comes from the harsh windy steppes of northern China.|
We first discovered Cashmere on a long train-ride to Inner Mongolia in 1992. It was the dead of winter, with temperatures dipping to ten below zero and a wicked wind that blew thick coal smoke through the region’s factory-town capital of Huhhot. With no contacts and only a smattering of Chinese, we set out to find a company that could provide us with the legendary fiber of that region. With that trip began our education about one of the world’s most expensive fibers.
Cashmere comes from the fine underhair of the Cashmere Goat. These super-fine fibers are a tiny percentage of the animal’s coat, and it takes two to three animals a year to produce the fiber for one sweater.
Quantities of fiber are low: only about 6500 tons per year, as opposed to 1.3 million tons of sheep’s wool. While wool may sell as low as $3/kilo, and alpaca for $45/kilo, cashmere’s price currently fluctuates from $110-$170/kilo, depending on the quality of the yarn.
The high cost of the raw material, combined with the extensive handwork to make a sweater, result in cashmere’s high price.
Today, 60% of the world’s cashmere fiber comes from China, though it may be knitted in Scotland, Italy or other countries.
Cashmere fiber can be spun in all different qualities.
While it’s true that cheap cashmere occasionally comes onto the market at low prices, this material is the lowest quality fiber and is often adulterated with synthetics or wool. Invisible World cashmere is 100% cashmere spun to the highest specifications.
|Cashmere can be hand-washed gently and laid flat to dry, as well as dry-cleaned.||Store the sweater in a closed plastic bag with a piece of cedar or moth repellent to protect it against our hungry flying friends...|
|All cashmere pills at first, but a few minutes with a safety razor will make the sweater look like new again.||With this care, your cashmere sweater should stand up to years of everyday usage with few signs of wear.|
|Wool is elastic and durable, as long it is treated in a manner appropriate to the garment. Rustic wool and alpaca are tough and resilient. Cashmere is more delicate. If you take care of it, your Invisible World sweater will last you many years.||Never hang a wet sweater up to dry. This is called “torturing your sweater for information it cannot reveal.”||A wool sweater or knit jacket should never be hung on a hanger or crucified on the back of a chair. This is called “punishing your sweater for something it didn’t do.”|
|To hand-wash a sweater you should wash it in cold water with a mild detergent like Woolite or a good shampoo, gently kneading and squeezing the garment without twisting or wringing it. Adding hair conditioner or fabric softener will make your sweater silkier. After rinsing, you should gently squeeze out the water and lay the sweater flat on a towel to dry.||A wool garment should never be washed in warm or hot water, or in the washing machine. Unless you have been accidentally exposed to nuclear radiation and find yourself getting smaller every hour like The Incredible Shrinking Man, you will truly regret the irreversible felting process that you have unleashed on your garment. Shrinking of things is better left to the Jivaro Indians of the northwest Amazon.||Although it is virtually impossible to systematically shrink a sweater to fit, it is possible to stretch out a sweater a little bit to just the right size. This is called blocking the sweater. To do this the sweater should be washed or at least well soaked. Then, after squeezing out the water, and laying it on a towel, the sweater is gently and evenly pulled out to the dimensions desired. The sweater should then be weighted with clean heavy objects until it is dry. It will then retain its new shape.|