Did you know...
A single goat produces only about 100 grams of usable cashmere per year. Hence, it takes 2 to 6 goats to make a cashmere pullover.
Cashmere is a status symbol, synonymous with luxury and comfort. It is a fine natural fibre obtained by combing the coat of the Capra Hircus Laniger, which lives in a habitat where there are significant changes in temperature between the day and night time, leading to the development of a finer, more prized undercoat known as down.
This noble fibre (down) comes from several areas in China and Mongolia, where Cariaggi selects only the best quality. In Italy it is processed using leading-edge technology, to become a precious yarn collection.
The extraordinary properties of lightness, softness and temperature adjustment - with a natural insulating (power of up to 10 higher than wool), make the cashmere yarn perfect for any season.
From the first comb of a cashmere goat to the local Mongolian communities who spin our yarn: we know that achieving full sustainability is far from simple.
Our cashmere collections are knitted with Cariaggi yarns, an early and active member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA). The SFA is a non-profit international organization that promotes global sustainability standards for cashmere in order to restore grasslands and transform the complex supply chain of cashmere, from herders to retailers.
The social and environmental impact of modern cashmere production are enormous. Most cashmere is produced in areas that are overgrazed which causes emission of CO2 from grassland soils and desertification and reduces animal welfare. Desertification also exacerbates economic hardship for nomadic herders and drives them into poverty and displacement. The SFA was established to bring together supply chain actors to address these concerns collaboratively.
Such collaboration tries to secure cashmere as an important future source of income for herders, while enabling brands and retailers to be able to continue to benefit from its luxury status.
Designed in our Paris design studio. With our timeless designs, we believe in having few, but precious knitwear in our lives, that maintain relevance and quality over time.
We are convinced that a very paramount quality of cashmere, besides its velvety softness, is its ability to last. And the concept of long duration is part of Vitos, of our way of conceiving the world; a very high concept and meaning. Cashmere garments last forever, you never throw it away, you must pass it on to your children, its ability to last is the symbol of its value.
Our cashmere collections are all knitted in Italy, in the province of Veneto, by the expert hands of knitwear factory established in 1965, artisan and family owned company.
What to look for in cashmere and what are the differences between great and poor cashmere:
First of all, always check the label. What many brands call “cashmere” is really just a poor blend between cashmere and wool. This can be much cheaper, but drastically inferior in terms of quality and feel, and more subject to pilling.
Additionally, while a 100% cashmere label can be technically accurate, it is often extremely misleading. Not all cashmere is equal. A jumper made with great cashmere is an investment, which will last a long time. Saving money on cheap options is a mistake that results in a less durable product, which will fall apart after a few washes. Inferior materials and inferior manufacturing translate to a much higher cost per wear.
To an unexperienced eye it is not always easy to differentiate between great and low quality cashmere before the first few washes. Here we analyse what you should look for to make sure you are getting the best cashmere:
Length of fibres: From a technical point of view, quality of fibres depends on their thickness and length. The longer they are, the more resistant and durable the jumper will be, and it will also generate less pilling. Cashmere fibre lengths range from 28 to 42mm. Longer fibres are usually found on the neck and underbelly and are much more expensive.
Thickness of fibres: The lower the thickness, the softer the yarn will be. Fibres’ diameter can range from 15 to 19 micron, with massive impact on softness. Watch out however for baby cashmere; while some brands use this product for great marketing, it is actually too fine, compromising the durability.
Touch the jumper to see if it is soft and light and place it on your neck to test if it is itchy or not. Be aware that some cheaper brands disguise the touch by adding resin to make jumpers softer in stores, but this effect will soon disappear. Other brands over-wash them, but this will make the jumpers wear out much faster. Also try to examine its surface. Excessive initial fluffiness might mean the yarn was spun from shorter and less resistant fibres. Similarly, move your hand on it and see if fibres begin to roll up; this could be due to a high percentage of short fibres, which will likely pill more.
Number of ply: Look for to two-ply cashmere garments, where two threads of yarn are twisted together to give a more resistant knit. Single-ply cashmere will be less durable and might develop holes more easily. Two ply also means that the sweater will be knitted more tightly, therefore being softer and warmer. Brands should say how many ply they have used in the garment, if not check how tight the knitting is and you should get a feeling.
Origin of fibres: Not all the cashmere goats are created equal. Some live in areas where temperature variation is higher, therefore their fibres are finer and more premium. Inner Mongolia is generally seen as the best origin, due to harsher winters and the better diet of the goats.
Here are some suggestions for washing cashmere garments:
- Cashmere comes from hairs and can therefore be washed in water, either by hand or washing machine
- Hand-washing with cool water (30°C) is the best method
- Always turn the garment inside out
- Use a delicate washing detergent (8+ Ph) or specialist cashmere wool wash (like Woolite), which usually also include some softener
- You can also use baby shampoo to give extra softness and maintain a soft and fluffy texture
- Do not bleach
- If you have a washing machine with a hand-wash cycle, this will also work; just make sure to set it to a cool temperature (30°C) and short cycle (no more than 30 minutes); you can spin dry as usual but do not leave the garment inside the machine afterwards
- Dry-cleaning is also fine, just ask for delicate detergent
How to dry and iron cashmere once washed:
- Do not wring the garment – remove excess water by gently pressing with a towel
- Lay the garment on a flat surface and stretch it while damp to its original shape
- Never hang cashmere garments to dry, they will stretch and lose shape
- Let it dry at room temperature over an airer, avoiding sunlight
- Iron at low temperature, using a pressing cloth as a divider; never iron directly on to the fabric
Maintenance and storage:
- Never hang cashmere garments in your wardrobe, always fold them when storing, otherwise, they might lose shape
- When not using for an extended period, place inside a dust bag or sealable garment container to protect it from moths; place lavender or moth balls inside
- In case of pilling remove it with a cashmere comb or with shaving machine, which will make the garment like new; better to remove pilling after washing and drying, never on wet or damp fabric
- Protect from contact with Nylon (for instance with seat belts or inside jackets) which can damage the fibres