What Makes Cashmere Special?
Cashmere’s unmatched warmth and softness have made it a global favourite for scarves, blankets, cloth and more. Yet, as high street retailers offer this sought-after fabric at lower prices, you might question whether all cashmere garments share the same standard and what sets products produced by our group, apart? The answer lies within the Group’s meticulous processes and commitment to quality, extending from raw fibre to the finished piece.
Read on to discover what makes our Group’s Cashmere truly special.
Any brand within the SIL Group, use only the finest Cashmere fibres sourced directly from Mongolian and Chinese flocks in their products. These goats are renowned for their exceptionally soft and luxurious fleeces. As part of our company values, ensuring traceability is of high importance to us so we always consider this when sourcing fibres.
Brands within the Group work closely with the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) to select local herders who have perfected the art of sustainable and ethical farming over generations. The herders handle the goats with great care, ensuring their well-being and the preservation of their precious cashmere fleece, extracting the noble fibres from the goats’ soft under hair with a gentle touch.
The raw cashmere then undergoes a meticulous sorting and grading process to separate the finest fibres from the rest. The quality of the cashmere is graded on its fineness and length, a high-quality single hair can be as thin as 14 micrometres. This rigorous selection ensures that only the softest, longest, and most luxurious cashmere fibres are used in end products.
Low-cost cashmere garments are typically mass-produced and use coarse, dark, or short fibres that are subjected to harsh bleaching for cost-cutting purposes which, unfortunately, damages the fibres.
These differences may not be obvious on the shelf, but excessive bleaching and post-processing softeners might make the product feel soft initially, but this process significantly reduces the products lifespan.
Companies across the Group, work with the natural properties of the cashmere, closest in colour to finished products, to avoid bleaching the delicate fibres, ensuring that the end product can last for years.
Removing impurities is key to quality cashmere. Each cashmere fibre must be meticulously washed, followed by gentle air drying to prevent clumping. Subsequently, the Group uses a process called carding which detangles the fibres and prepares them for dyeing and spinning.
It is then, that the yarn can be transported to our Yorkshire mills. Here it’s expertly crafted into the brands exquisite cashmere cloth and accessories. Throughout this entire journey, we handle the fibres with the utmost care, minimising damage and preserving their unique feel and quality.