Where does cashmere originate?
The name "cashmere" comes from the wild, mountainous regions of India and Pakistan, Kashmir. The fibre actually came from Tibet and was then woven in Kashmir. We know that in 15th Century India, more than 50,000 people were employed in the processing of cashmere.
Cashmere's use as a luxury fiber can be dated as far back as Roman times. More recently, it was popularized by the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, who had the fibre woven in France into her famous "ring shawl" - so called because it could be drawn through her wedding ring.
Late in the 19th Century, a Scottish manufacturer, Joseph Dawson, developed the first mechanical method of separating the fine down fibres in the goat's fleece from the coarser outer hairs. This breakthrough shifted the cashmere manufacturing to Scotland and the modern era of fine cashmere knitwear began. Recently this business has shifted back to Mongolia and China, the origin of the fibre. Importing the latest technology and quality control from Japan, Mongolia and China have become the major sources of high quality cashmere knitwear.
How do Denner Cashmere produce their garments?
The best cashmere garments are, to a great extent, made by hand. This starts with the combing of the goats. Each goat is combed by hand in the spring when they are shedding the fine underdown that protected them during the winter. These fleeces are then washed and de-haired, dyed and spun mechanically. The hand work returns in the knitting.
Each of our knitting frames is operated by hand. The knitter pays careful attention to the specifications of the garment being knitted. Critical factors like yarn tension and garment shape are monitored continuously.
The finished garments are then individually inspected to insure perfection. All this hand work is what separates a Mongolian made garment from garments from other sources, which use computer operated machines to replace the traditional methods.
The quality and feel of cashmere will leave you longing for more. Owning a garment made of cashmere is a fashion treat to be truly treasured--after all, it takes one little goat four years to produce enough wool to make just one cashmere sweater.
What is the quality of our cashmere?
We use the finest yarn from herded cashmere goats in Mongolia. Our garments are made in the traditional way, using hand knitting machines in our own family run Mongolian factory. We care about our garments and the environment the cashmere comes from.
Cashmere underdown is twisted into either relatively longer, or shorter fibres. The quality, and price, of cashmere depends on what types of fibres were used in the manufacture of each particular garment. Longer fibres are higher quality because they are sturdier, longer wearing, and, usually, provide a better drape on your body. Shorter fibres tend to rub together more which causes breaks and pilling, and a shorter life span.
Cashmere is the perfect natural fibre for Spring into Summer. It is luxurious, soft, light, easy to wear and will give just enough warmth on a cooler day or evening. It is also very easy to pack with you on holiday, just in case there is a cool breeze when you least expect it.
How should I care for my cashmere garments?
The best way to wash cashmere is by hand.
When hand washing turn the garment inside out and use lukewarm water and a very mild soap or shampoo (such as Denner Cashmere non-rinse shampoo). Gently work the suds through the fabric and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Never wring or twist the material as it will lose its original shape.
When drying cashmere, gently squeeze excess water. Lay the item out on a clean towel, adjusting it to its original shape, and roll the towel up with the cashmere item in the middle. Apply pressure to the towel, and unroll, laying the item flat again on another clean dry towel to finish air-drying.
When your cashmere garment is dry it can be gently pressed with a cool iron, using a damp cloth between the cashmere and the iron, to remove any creases.
Turn your garment inside-out in a laundry bag. Select a delicate cycle with a temperature of 30°C maximum. Use a very mild soap or shampoo such as Denner Cashmere non-rinse shampoo. If you spin dry your cashmere, opt for the shortest/most delicate spin.
Clean your garment before storage. Fold it neatly and keep it in a storage bag in a closet away from light, dust and dampness.
Never hang your cashmere item on a hanger as it will lose its shape.
It is likely that any item of cashmere will pill. This is not symptomatic of inferior quality, but rather an inevitable consequence of the careful processing of this fine fibre.
To avoid pilling, it is important not to allow the cashmere garment to rub against rough clothing, metal accessories, bags, belts, jewellery or seat belts.
Pilling can easily be removed using de-bobbling comb.
If you are storing your cashmere clothing for a long period we recommend that you periodically shake the clothing and air in bright light to deter any potential moth larvae settling. An alternative approach is to freeze the garments overnight in a sealed bag. Then de-frost them slowly and this should kill anything including moths, and moth larvae.
Finally, we strongly recommend that you include a natural anti-moth repellent in the bag with the clothing, which will add fragrance as well as deter moths from laying eggs.