Cashmere, a pretty fancy fibre!
If you own a garment knitted with cashmere, you certainly know how wonderfully soft and luxurious it is. If you haven´t knitted with cashmere yet, you should. Cashmere is quite special because the wool is finer, stronger, and lighter than sheep wool. The average thickness of the cashmere goat´s undercoat is no more than 19 microns! There are only a handful of other animals – the vicuña, musk ox and alpaca royal for instance – that have such fine hair. Because cashmere is such a fine fibre, it also has an amazing drape. It's a perfect choice for wraps, scarves and shawls.
Cashmere is soft and as you knit with it, the yarn blooms. Sweaters, cardigans and handwarmers are perfect projects to knit with this fancy yarn. It is so soft and lightweight in fact, that even those with the most sensitive skin can wear it as it doesn't itch or scratch. What is more, it is highly adaptable to temperature. In the winter it will keep you warm and insulated, yet it will ensure you stay cool in the summer.
Cashmere, when authentic and of high quality, is quite pricey because the fibres are collected through a very laborious and time consuming process. Furthermore, cashmere is scarce. Only about 150 to 200g of pure cashmere wool can be combed from of the coat of one cashmere goat per year. This is the average amount needed for a scarf! In total, only 6000 tons of cashmere are produced per year, a very small fraction compared to 1.3 million tons of sheep wool.
The cashmere goat
China and Mongolia dominate the market for this luxury yarn. Cashmere goats are rather small and stocky. Their undercoat is downy and very soft and is covered by long guard hair which can be grey, white, black or brown. The white goats are particularly popular because the yarn produced from their hair is more suitable for dyeing than the yarn produced from darker goats.
Due mostly to the rapid rise in global demand for cashmere wool, the fastest growing herds are goats. Goats love to eat lots of grass! They are voracious grazers and even eat the roots, pulling them with their teeth and destroying the plants. Also, they have sharp hooves with which they pierce the ground around them. Where nomads have wondered through the steppes with their herds of goats, there is literally no grass growing anymore. As a result, the grasslands are disappearing.
Discover the unparalleled elegance of our cashmere wool in three qualities – Lace, Sport, and Worsted – adding a luxurious touch to your knitting project.
All three qualities are showcased in a cohesive colour palette featuring 30 colors, ranging from subtle wool white to striking fuchsia.
Cashmere, essential luxury in fashion design
It´s not by chance that famous fashion labels like Brunello Cucinelli, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Loro Piana, and Michael Kors among others have chosen cashmere for their designs. Known for its long lasting comfort, incredibly soft appearance and light weight, cashmere has become synonymous with luxury. Designers all around the globe have been captivated by the versatility of this fibre which allows them to create anything from light summer jackets, cardigans and sweaters to shawls and any number of accessories coveted by shoppers in lavish shops in Paris, London, Milan and New York.
Pascuali cashmere organically certified
Pascuali Cashmere offers one of the best cashmere qualities in the market today. Because high quality, species-appropriate keeping of animals, fair-trade and ecologically manufactured products are at the heart of what we do, we have made sure that our cashmere is organically certified by the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce.
This certification guarantees that the wool comes exclusively from wild animals and that it is also processed directly in Mongolia. With this certification we help preserve the independence and lifestyle of nomadic herders in the area while being able to offer a high quality product with fair remuneration for breeders.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of cheating in the cashmere industry. An estimated 25 percent of cashmere textiles traded worldwide are not genuine. They are mixed with other animal hair, and then chemically processed to give the impression that it is a piece of clothing made from 100 percent cashmere.
It´s not all bad news! Governments in these areas are actively trying to improve things. For example, by having herdsmen raise their goats in farms where the goats are still free to move and eat the grass that is grown for that purpose. In Mongolia, some nomads fence off areas for goats to graze thus contributing to the preservation of the grasslands. The Mongolian government also has put in place measures to limit the number of animals per herdsman so that it is easier for them to manage and care for the herd.
We are aware of the issues surrounding the cashmere industry. Choosing to get involved by supporting governmental efforts to regulate and promote raising goats in an environmentally sustainable fashion while respecting the people´s culture and way of life which has been in place for centuries is our way of being part of the solution.
Recycled cashmere is not necessarily organic Cashmere!
So why not simply switch to eco-recycled cashmere yarns, which are now available everywhere? Because in our eyes this is a sham! Recycled cashmere yarn is usually made from waste materials of cashmere production and the fibres that are then used are too short to produce quality cashmere wool. These short fibres can only be used as filling for pillows or blankets where the length of the fibre is irrelevant and has no influence on the quality. Due to the fibre shortness, recycled cashmere wool usually fluffs and pills very strongly. After wearing it a few times, the knitted garment is worn out and has to be disposed of. This is the exact opposite of a sustainable and "eco" concept!
We take animal welfare to heart!
In Mongolia, where we source our cashmere from, the goats move freely about the grassland and they are carefully combed. This method of keeping goats is very appealing to us because we care so passionately about the environment and the welfare of animals. Herdsmen in Mongolia love their goats as much as they love their children. After all, their livelihood depends almost entirely on them.
Where is our Cashmere produced?
We source the raw wool from outer Mongolia because the goats live freely in their natural habitat and are treated fairly respecting the lifestyle and culture of the people who raise them. Furthermore, the goats in this region have longer hair resulting in a cashmere far more superior and a higher quality finished garment which will be less likely to pill and you will be able to enjoy for many years! The fibre is handled with the strictest Swiss quality control guaranteeing the best stability, fineness and sustainability.
We are able to monitor production step by step, from cleaning the fibers to the finished product.
Organ Cashmere Lace
- Yardage: 25 g ~ 170 m | 0.88 oz ~ 185 yds
- Needle: 2,5 mm | 1-2 US | 12-13 UK
- Gauge: 30 stitches, 42 rows to 4" (10 cm)
- Usage: Sweater in size small ~ 275g (11 balls)
- Yarn Weight: 25 g | 0.88 oz ~ Ball
Organic Cashmere 6/28
- Yarn Length: 25 g ~ 112 m | 0.88 oz ~ 122 yds
- Needle: 3 mm | 2-3 US | 11 UK
- Gauge: 24 stitches, 40 rows to 4" (10 cm)
- Usage: Sweater in size small ~ 350g (14 balls)
- Yarn Weight: 25 g | 0.88 oz ~ Ball
Organic Cashmere Worsted
- Yardage: 25 g ~ 56 m | 0.88 oz ~ 61 yds
- Needle: 5-5,5 mm | 8-9 US | 5-6 UK
- Gauge: 16 stitches, 26 rows to 4" (10 cm)
- Usage: Sweater in size small ~ 500 g (20 Balls)
- Yarn Weight: 25 g | 0.88 oz ~ Ball
One advantage of cashmere is that it can be worn several times and simply airing it out will do. Cashmere is very delicate and needs to be washed by hand. Do so in the tub, soaking it with your fingers using a baby shampoo or special mild detergent. Unfortunately, wet cashmere takes days to dry, so you need to be patient. Most importantly, do not ring it! Simply place it on a terry towel and carefully roll it up. Once the towel has absorbed most of the moisture, lay the garment flat in a shady place and set it to shape. Never hang the item as this will stretch the fibres or place it directly in the sun or under a heat source.
Cashmere is extremely long lasting. When cared for correctly, a cashmere item will last a lifetime!