Cashmere is hands down, one of the softest, most elegant fabrics that exists. I have several cashmere pieces in my wardrobe, and hold them in the highest regard, treasuring them as I do my 30-year-old scotch, my favorite Persol sunglasses, and my Hermes statement belt.
That is to say, I truly believe that cashmere is a worthy investment, however the fabric can be pricey, so there are certain things that you must keep in mind when choosing a cashmere piece for your collection.
Check the labels. The Federal Trade Commission states that all cashmere products must be accurately labeled, and thus only pure cashmere can be labeled “100 percent Cashmere”. Cashmere blends must include a percentage of fibers, thus if you don’t see a tag indicating the cashmere content, walk away.
Choose a tight knit. The looser the cashmere is woven or knitted, the more wary you should be of it’s quality.
Pill potential. Lightly rub the surface of the garment with the palm of your hand to test for fibers that shed, or roll, as this is a proper indication of excessive short fiber content.
Choose your retailer. Larger department stores are likely to test their garments more diligently with quality control, whereas smaller stores with less product may not have the same standards for cashmere as their larger counterparts.
As with anything, make sure to choose a cashmere piece that speaks to you and works with many different looks so you can enjoy the value. Above all, make sure you treat your cashmere with care, and for the love of God, please hand wash it. Follow these rules and your cashmere pieces should last for a lifetime.
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