All About Cashmere
Cashmere wool is the epitome of luxury when it comes to fabrics and we’re so excited to have launched our first Cashmere Collection at Pepa & Co! But the luxurious feel isn’t the only reason why we’ve included cashmere pieces in our range; there are many other amazing properties to this natural yarn that makes it perfect for children, and in particular babies and newborns.
What is Cashmere?
Cashmere is a rare yarn and the name derives from cashmere goats bred in areas such as India, Pakistan, Mongolia and China. The name ‘Cashmere’ comes from the India/Pakistan called Kashmir. These goats are built for harsh climates so they have a double fleece; an undercoat from insulation and outer layer that protects from water.
Just one average-sized adult jumper requires the cashmere wool from 3-5 goats and each cashmere goat produces around 4-6 ounces of cashmere (at this stage called “underdown”) every year. This is such a tiny amount in comparison to other types of wool and is one reason why cashmere is such a precious wool. There is a lot of care and labour that goes into each cashmere garment from start to finish, which shows in the high quality of the produce!
Cashmere is extremely fine, making it lightweight and breathable, and therefore perfect for babies and newborns. The thinner the cashmere, the softer the final product.
The Properties of Cashmere
Cashmere yarn is an extremely soft and luxurious wool but it is also long-lasting and can keep you warm in the coldest temperatures. Due to this, cashmere is an investment piece made to last years and years.
- It is lightweight and breathable - 6 x finer than human hair!
- It can keep you warm in minus temperatures, but not overheated. Even as low as - 40 ...
- It keeps its shape unlike other types of wool which can shrink during washing.
- The softness - very small fibers which also reduces itchiness significantly.
- Long lasting fabric that can be worn through family generations!
Why breathability is important for babies and young children
Not only is it so important to keep your little ones warm over the cooler months, but it’s equally important not to overheat, which is why the breathability factor of cashmere yarn is such a great property for newborns and babies. Insulation is much higher for cashmere products (three times higher than wool) which maintains your body temperature, keeping you warm but not too hot. Of course, being lightweight and so soft means ultimate comfort for Little Pepas too!
How to Care for Cashmere
We get asked this question a lot via our social channels and in store too, and the delightful truth is that it isn't as scary as you first imagine! In fact, washing cashmere wool can make the garment softer over time, which is why it lasts forever.
How to Wash Cashmere
Whilst some say you can machine-wash cashmere, we would always wash by hand to be on the safe side. Follow these easy tips to taking care of your cashmere garments:
- Turn the garment inside out
- Handwash in cool water (no hotter than 30 degrees)
- Never bleach!
- Use a delicate washing detergent, or even baby shampoo can work!
- Dry cleaning and washing machines could be a possibility but always use soft delicate detergent and do your research into this beforehand.
And that’s it. Follow the same steps as handwashing other delicate items of clothing and your cashmere will stand the test of time. Cashmere should be handwashed ideally with a delicate detergent, but beyond that, it doesn’t require any special care. Some machines do have a special wool setting specifically for delicate wools such as cashmere so this might be appropriate for you! This should be no hotter than 30 degrees on a slow spin and placed in a special netted bag built for this purpose. Don’t forget these tips for drying as well:
How to Dry Cashmere
Never wring or twist the garment to remove excess water. Similar to our other blog post on how to handwash, always remove excess water by placing the garment on fresh towels and squeezing the water out - you may need to do this a few times. If you twist the garments, this can ruin the fibres and the shape.
Do not hang your garment as cashmere can easily stretch - let it dry at room temperature, avoiding direct sunlight. You can place on a radiator to quicken up the drying process.
Cashmere doesn’t usually require ironing but if it does, iron at a low temperature with a cloth between the fabric and the iron - never iron directly on the fabric.
How to Store Cashmere
Similar to drying cashmere, you should never hang cashmere wool garments as this could stretch and distort the shape. Cashmere piling is fairly common and the nature of the fabric so for this, you can purchase special cashmere combs to be used on dry fabric.
If you’re putting your cashmere away during the warmer months, place inside special dust bags or sealable boxes to protect against moths. Lavender is always a great option to keep the moths away, and obviously helps your clothes smell beautiful too. It is too renowned to help with sleep; something every baby needs!
How to Comb Cashmere
Yes, you did here us right; cashmere requires an occasional comb.
We mentioned briefly “pilling” and this is a usual trait of cashmere, as well as other wool yarns, which is bobbles or balls that rest on top of the garment.
To remove these, you can buy special cashmere combs that can be brushed over the wool. This is more frequent when you first buy a cashmere product and is not a fault with the wool. Combing your cashmere should only be done when the garment is dry.
Where is Cashmere Made?
The most popular places are located in Europe, to be specific, Italy and even closer to home, Scotland! The oldest factory is in the north of Scotland - a beautiful town called Elgin - and was founded in 1797.
Our Cashmere Collection is produced in Portugal.
What is in your Pepa & Co Cashmere Range?
We have launched six very special products for our cashmere collection aimed at babies from newborn (0 months) to 6 months. These include two beautiful babygrows, bonnet, blanket, and two giftsets perfect for expectant parents. You can shop our Cashmere Collection along with other super soft wool garments now!