How to Choose a Cashmere Sweater

While cashmere sweaters with prices surging in shops at the approach of winter, Lucille Léorat, director of collections at Bompard, answers questions and gives advice to make the right choice.

What is cashmere?

Cashmere is a wool from the fleece of a small goat called Capra Hisca. 90% of world production comes from Chinese Mongolia and Mongolia, on either side of the Gobi Desert. The remaining 10% come mostly from the Kashmir region (the Indian subcontinent) and Afghanistan.

What are the stages of its manufacture?

First, the goat is combed. Approximately fee wool kilo per head per year, to ultimately keep only 250 grams -the weight of a sweater.

On site in Mongolia, the hair is then sorted into seven quality grades. At Bompard, we use only grades 1 and 2, the more selective, which correspond to the longer bristles (36 to 40 mm), the finer (15 microns) and clearer.

Once sorted, the wool is washed. This is the stage of the fulling: matter is brewed with soap in large bins to take a cotton wool appearance.

Then comes the time of dyeing and spinning to the distaff. Then obtained a fragile thread, which erodes easily, which will twist – “twister” – to make it more solid. This twist is two son two son. Here’s how we arrive at a cashmere 2, 4, 6 or 24 … son. The more of son, the more pull will be warm and solid.

What are your tips for identifying a quality cashmere store?

– First unfold the sweater and watch it. A beautiful cashmere is recognizable to the naked eye: the fabric must be flat, smooth, dense, sweet but not too much (this will soften the As washes).

– Try it in different sizes. Check fallen neck, bending, comfort handles.A quality pull leaves no such details to chance.

– Watch also finishes fully fashion. This term means that the edges of each panel have been reduced or increased, not cut. On a sweater, is the benchmark for stylish dots lining the neckline and armholes.

– Re-meshing is another sign of quality: flip the pull at the neck and wrists, and check that there is no seam on the back. You will be assured that your sweater will not vrillera.

– Be aware that the dark stains are the most aggressive. If you want a really soft sweater, so better choose is the off-white: this is the natural color of cashmere, free of any stain.

– Be attentive to the overall supply of a brand. In a store, the more choice of shapes, colors and mesh types (jacquard, perforated, printed, twisted, ribbed …), the more you are assured of dealing with a specialist.

– Finally, keep in mind that in general the price you pay is related to quality. A good cashmere starts at 90 euros.

What to do when a sweater pilling?

Many believe that this means the wool is of poor quality, then it is a mechanical phenomenon: a knit is made ​​of interwoven mesh, which, moving, causing friction. Initially, the surplus material is rejected: the sweater pilling, we can not do otherwise! This is the case of all wool, with the exception of Merino, a worsted. If there is a fine wool (2 son), ten washes normally come with the problem. If it is a thicker wool, better arm themselves with anti-pilling electric razor. They are found in all good haberdashery. It is a safe tool with its guard.

Neps may also create other types of friction: a shoulder bag, a coat lining, a wallet in a pocket … Even the beard can have a glass paper effect. In other words, the pill is often personal.

How to maintain a cashmere sweater?

Unless otherwise indicated on the label, the more you will wash your cashmere, it will be more beautiful. At Bompard, we recommend washing a sweater when it was increased two or three times. Machine, cold, wool program, 500 laps maximum drying, with some laundry. The cycle is completed, pull out the drum immediately, and lay it flat. Then iron it hot iron, with steam, taking care not to crush the ribs. Well maintained, it will last you 20 years!

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