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The best cashmere brands to invest in now

cashmere
The cashmere brands to invest in nowChristian Vierig

Most of us will agree that, when it comes to luxurious fabrics, cashmere reigns supreme. This incredibly soft, wearable warmth is all we want to snuggle up in once the colder months arrive, with jumpers, scarfs and even dresses making their way to the top of our wish-lists.

But when investing in something as luxe as cashmere, it pays to know exactly what to look for - you’ll often be spending a serious amount, after all. Here, we explain everything you should look for when shopping for your cosiest pieces, and the very best cashmere brands to turn to now.

“Cashmere is the under-fleece of cashmere goats, which keeps them warm in very cold winters in places like Mongolia and northern China, but is moulted each spring,” says Chris Gaffney, chief executive at Johnstons of Elgin. “The fibre is collected in March to May each year and sent to be de-haired, a process that separates any longer ‘guard hairs’ from the very fine cashmere.”

It’s this laborious sourcing and the fibre’s scarcity that largely accounts for cashmere’s premium price tags. As Gaffney explains, “a very small amount of cashmere can be harvested from each goat in the spring: as little as 120-250g of clean, dehaired fibre. This makes it relatively rare, and therefore precious.”

Of course, it’s not just the laborious sourcing that makes cashmere an investment-level fabric – it’s also supremely soft on skin. “The most important characteristics of cashmere are its fineness and softness,” agrees Gaffney. However, it’s less commonly known that cashmere also wins points in the practicality realm: “It has good elasticity, meaning that if stretched it can recover its shape, and doesn’t crease as much as cotton or linen, making it great for travel pieces.” What’s more, cashmere is hygroscopic, which means “it absorbs and releases water readily, so helps to regulate body temperature and, when spun in finer counts, works as a trans-seasonal fibre too.”

And finally, perhaps the biggest benefit today: cashmere is a natural, renewable fibre that, at the end of its life, will simply biodegrade.

Ready to invest? Before you shop, consider these expert tips to ensure you’re adding pisces with true longevity to your wardrobe.

“The best quality cashmere garments and accessories stand on the quality of the fibre,” says Gaffney. He advises steering clear of cashmere that feels slick or ‘soapy’ - “this can mean that chemical softeners have been used that can, on first touch, mask inferior material – but in the long term your piece won’t last as well.”

Generally, price is the most obvious indicator of cashmere quality. “Higher priced garments will have longer, finer fibres and cheaper pieces shorter, coarser, fibres, which are more likely to pill and create bobbles on the surface” If in doubt? You can rarely go wrong with anything made in Scotland - the home of fine cashmere manufacturing.

Here, see the cashmere brands with the Bazaar seal of approval…

Most of us will agree that, when it comes fabrics that feel as good as they look, cashmere cannot be beaten. This incredibly soft, wearable warmth is all we want to snuggle up in once the colder months arrive, with jumpers, coats and even chic tracksuits making their way to the top of our wish-lists.

But when investing in something as luxe as cashmere, it pays to know exactly what to look for – you’ll likely be spending a serious amount, after all. Here, we explain everything you should look for when shopping for your cosiest pieces, and the very best cashmere brands to turn to now.

“Cashmere is the under-fleece of cashmere goats, which keeps them warm in very cold winters in places like Mongolia and northern China, but is moulted each spring,” says Chris Gaffney, chief executive at Johnstons of Elgin. “The fibre is collected in March to May each year and sent to be de-haired, a process that separates any longer ‘guard hairs’ from the very fine cashmere.”

It’s this laborious sourcing and the fibre’s scarcity that largely accounts for cashmere’s premium price tags. As Gaffney explains, “a very small amount of cashmere can be harvested from each goat in the spring: as little as 120-250g of clean, dehaired fibre. This makes it relatively rare, and therefore precious.”

Of course, it’s not just the production that makes cashmere a coveted fabric – it’s also supremely soft on skin. “The most important characteristics of cashmere are its fineness and softness,” agrees Gaffney. However, it’s less commonly known that cashmere also wins points in the practicality realm: “It has good elasticity, meaning that if stretched it can recover its shape, and doesn’t crease as much as cotton or linen, making it great for travelling with.”

What’s more, cashmere is hygroscopic, which means “it absorbs and releases water readily, so helps to regulate body temperature and, when spun in finer counts, works as a trans-seasonal fibre too.”

And finally, perhaps the biggest benefit: cashmere is a natural, renewable fibre that, at the end of its life, will simply biodegrade.

Before you shop, consider these expert tips to ensure you’re adding pieces with true longevity to your wardrobe. “The best quality cashmere garments and accessories stand on the quality of the fibre,” says Gaffney. He advises steering clear of cashmere that feels slick or ‘soapy’, as “this can mean that chemical softeners have been used that can, on first touch, mask inferior material – but in the long term your piece won’t last as well.”

Generally, price is the most obvious indicator of cashmere quality. “Higher priced garments will have longer, finer fibres and cheaper pieces shorter, coarser, fibres, which are more likely to pill and create bobbles on the surface.” If in doubt? You can rarely go wrong with anything made in Scotland: the home of fine cashmere manufacturing.

Ready to invest? Here, see the cashmere brands with the Bazaar seal of approval…

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