Both durable and practical cashmere is one of the most luxurious cold weather materials. In order to keep it in excelent condition and enjoy its durability cashmere needs to be taken care of properly. We piled together a bunch of useful tips that will come in handy when properly cleaning and storing your cashmere garments.
There are few more happy-making things than seeing new lambs frolicking in their fields. As Spring approaches we take a celebratory look at why wool is everywhere this season, from lambs to lagom.
Fluffy white lambs are one of the traditional Eastertime symbols, adorning cards and merchandising everywhere. We love their carefree tumbling and their gangly legs, and they represent rebirth and renewal as the seasons turn. While these new additions won’t be shorn in their first year, their fleeces will be perfect for shearing next year. This will produce the supersoft lambswool so beloved by fashion and home textile makers. The older sheep will be shorn shortly after the lambing season is over, ready for the warmer weather. This wool will then be sorted, washed, picked and combed in preparation for dyeing. The lifecycle of your wool throw or cosy sweater begins with these little bundles of fun gambolling around the countryside.
Replacing ‘hygge‘ as the new Scandi-inspired trend, ‘lagom’ offers more than a moment of comfort or happiness. The concept of lagom comes from Sweden and is a longer-term idea of finding balance and peace by just having enough. Translated it means ‘just the right amount’. To live with lagom means to avoid excessive consumerism, to create a balance between work and personal time, to be moderate and frugal. It has inspired people to live more sustainably, choosing clothes and homewares that have a reduced impact on the environment. Like natural wool. Living more sustainably means buying good quality items that will have a long lifetime, things that are produced with are as free from harm as possible. Wool is a durable, long-lasting material, and means that those investment pieces, like wool picnic blankets or baby throws, will keep on looking beautiful for years. There’s a simplicity to wool that chimes perfectly with the idea of lagom. Just right.
As the weather warms up you may not need your really chunky knitwear but there is still a place for woollies. Spring can bring sudden changes in temperature, with snowfall and frosts still a possibility. The answer here is to wear layers and to include lightweight wool garments made from merino wool. This is less bulky whilst retaining all the benefits of wool: temperature regulation, moisture wicking, durable, dirt-repellant. You can get highly sophisticated sportswear ‘skins’ made from merino wool to wear as a base layer, or opt for a simple transitional piece like a merino sweater paired with a linen shirt or bigger cardigan if it’s chilly.
Despite the fact that the evenings are lighter for longer, there is still something delicious about curling up indoors under a warm, soft wool throw after a long day. Whether you love to read or catch up with the latest Instagram stories, creating a moment of stillness and cosiness in the evening is great for your wellbeing. It’s not quite warm enough to sit outside in the evenings where we are, but it won’t be long. And you can be sure we’ll have blankets, hot drinks and food at the ready.
With the end of summer in sight (sorry!) our thoughts are turning to cozying up for autumn. We can almost smell the woodsmoke and hot chocolate already. If you are thinking of investing in a new wool throw for your home but need some help choosing the right one, here’s a handy guide. Whether you are looking for an extra-special luxe blanket, or a hardwearing wool throw for the family to snuggle up under, we can help.
For a luxe, exquisite wool throw
Cashmere is what you are after. Long renowned for its ultra-softness and incredible warmth, cashmere is the ultimate in luxury wool. Our cashmere throws are crafted from top quality cashmere wool, and spun into meltingly soft throws that are perfect for the bedroom or for lounging on the sofa (you might want to keep it all to yourself though). A cheaper option is one of our cashmere/ merino throws, made from a combination that blends the best qualities of the two types of wool into one gorgeous, superfine blanket.
For a great all-rounder
If you are looking for a versatile, hard-wearing throw that can withstand family life without stinting on style, go for a pure wool throw. These are perfect for cuddling up in front of the TV, or throwing on the grass for a picnic, or draping over a bed on a chilly evening. Wool will keep you warm without being stuffy, and has inherent anti-bacterial properties, so you can keep cleaning to a minimum. A good wool throw will last for years, meaning you could be investing in a family heirloom, with all the memories of family picnics, holiday film-watching and being tucked into bed woven into every fibre.
For some subtle pattern
If you want to bring some pattern into your interior, without going for all-out bold, statement pieces, one of our alpaca throws might be just what you need. Crafted from a blend of wool and supersoft alpaca yarn, these throws have a subtle plaid pattern and come in three delightful muted colour ways. Ideal for complementing the minimalist/ Scandi-chic look with a gentle swathe of colour.
For sustainable, long-lasting softness
Merino wool is used worldwide as an insulating material – from thermal undergarments to bedsocks – and with good reason. It is incredibly warm yet very soft and lightweight, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skins or who find pure wool a bit itchy. Our merino throws are produced from sustainably sourced wool and will last a lifetime if properly looked after, making them an ideal addition to an environmentally-friendly home in need of a pop of colour or some extra softness.
For something bright and cosy, with a hint of luxury
Our mohair throws come in a delightful red and blue colourway, and are crafted from a blend of superfine merino wool and luxurious mohair. The design is bold yet charming, inviting you to curl up with a book under its warmth, or stand outside on a winter’s evening staring at the stars with it draped around your shoulders. Charming, unusual yet ultimately homely and cozy. What else could you need?
And the fantastic thing about all these wool throws is that even if the sun shines on well into September, you can use them for wild camping nights sleeping outdoors, or impromptu picnics on the beach, or building the best sofa forts the summer vacation ever saw. Season upon season, a wool throw will bring you joy and comfort.
For many of us cashmere wool has become synonymous with status and luxury. From classic wardrobe staples like a cashmere cardigan to wackier incarnations like Narciso Rodriguez’s 1990’s cashmere-covered Birkenstocks and Toast’s cashmere espadrilles, this versatile wool has kept us in style, and cosy, for years. In this post we unpick the story of this fabulous fibre.
History of cashmere
Cashmere originated in the mountains of Inner Mongolia, China, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan, where the Capra Hircus goats have roamed for centuries. As early as the 14th Century people were using the fleece of these goats to make warm blankets and garments to help them through the punishing Himalayan winters. In the 18th Century, with the growth of the British Empire and the expansion of world trade routes, cashmere was exported across Europe and the Americas. It became very popular with aristocratic women, who loved its softness and warmth and wore cashmere shoulder shawls as the height of fashion and good taste. The Industrial Revolution saw a great expansion in the production of cashmere, with centres of production growing in France, Italy and Scotland. Cashmere’s popularity then dipped until the 1980s when designers began using the wool in exclusive, luxury garments. It became a symbol of wealth and high fashion, but has now found its way onto the high street with stores mixing it with lower quality fibres to keep prices down. The proliferation of cheaper cashmere has meant more people have access to its super soft cosiness, but has also meant quality is not always maintained.
How is cashmere produced?
Domestic goats are shorn or combed to collect the fine fibres, but wild goats are also a valuable source of this wool, leaving clumps to be collected during the moulting season when they rub themselves on trees and rocks to shed their coats for summer. Once the wool has been gathered it is scoured or washed to remove any dirt, dried and then de-haired (separating the main coat from the cashmere hair). Usually only about 20% of what is gathered can be classed as true cashmere. This is then dyed, spun, knitted or woven.
Why is cashmere so expensive?
It’s a simple matter of supply and demand: it can take up to four years for a goat to produce enough cashmere wool to make one sweater. The fact that it is so time-consuming to produce means its value is increased. But it’s not just this that makes cashmere such a pricey fabric. The fibres are longer, finer, stronger and more isothermal than sheep wool, making it an ideal choice for clothes and blankets. Its melting softness adds to its appeal, with people willing to pay more for a garment that will offer them greater comfort.
How to wash cashmere
Always follow the care instructions on your garment, but most good quality cashmere can be washed in cold water (below 30 degrees) on a delicate cycle or by hand. Use a mesh bag to protect the wool if washing in a machine. Lay the item flat on a towel to dry to keep its shape and prevent stretching. Never tumble dry (unless you want your precious cashmere sweater to end up as a tiny doll’s dress!).
With such a prestigious heritage, and being so hard-to-come-by it’s no wonder that cashmere remains a luxury fabric. Our cashmere throws will bring this simple opulence into your home in an understated way, keeping you and your loved ones warm and cosy as well as looking exquisite.
If you are not in love with wool yet, here are 7 reasons why you should be (and none of them are to do with cute lambs frolicking in the fields, though we do also love these). Whether you are curling up under a merino throw or picnicking on an alpaca blanket, wool has endless uses around the home. And it’s beneficial in so many ways. Here’s why we are head over heels for wool:
Unlike synthetic fibres which can leave you hot and sweaty, wool allows your body to breath. This means you stay comfortable, and not shiny-of-face. Which is always a bonus. A heavenly cashmere throw draped over your bed will keep you cosy but not stuffy, whilst pure merino wool clothing provides insulation as well as feeling pleasant against your skin.
Wool can absorb up to 33% of its weight in moisture, which it then releases during the day. Which means that any sweat you produce during the night will be absorbed and dissipated by a wool throw. Alpaca socks are brilliant for this – they need surprisingly little washing as the sweat they absorb is simply released back into the air. No smelly feet or sweat-drenched nights, just simple, luxurious comfort.
No need for nasty chemical retardants, wool has inbuilt fire-repelling qualities. Which makes it kind of like a super hero, don’t you think?
Well sourced wool, from happy sheep, is biodegradable and its production has minimal impact on the environment. So you can snuggle up safe in the knowledge that you are not harming the planet, and you are providing an income for hardworking farmers.
From wool throws to knitted scarves, wool is amazingly versatile. There are many different types of wool, so you can pick products or yarns with just the right qualities you need – from super softness to durability.
6.Holds bright colours
Wool is able to hold bright colours, meaning you don’t have to plump for earthy natural tones if you’d rather something bolder. Colours stay bright and wear brilliantly, making it a great choice for modern interiors.
Some synthetic fibres can cause itchiness or rashes, but not wool. It is gentle on even the most sensitive skins and doesn’t aggravate conditions like asthma because dust mites hate it. This makes it perfect for pillows and bedding if you are an allergy-sufferer. No more waking up with sore eyes, sniffles or unpleasant congestion.
Convinced? Great! Why not hop over to our store and enjoy the benefits of wool for yourself and your family?
Cashmere wool is often called the soft gold and it surely deserves that name. Cashmere is widely accepted as the most elegant and luxurious wool in the history of the mankind. Cashmere throws and garments are warm, soft, and beautiful. The name of the wool derives from the word Kashmiri as it is collected from the goats of Kashmir in the Himalaya. These goats are also found in the higher plateau of Mongolia. The best of the best cashmere wool is considered the one that comes from the underbelly of the Kashmiri goat and this illustrates the fact that the quality of the wool depends on the area of the skin from which it is taken. Accordingly, the price varies as well.
Any cashmere throw, blanket or garment will be soft and snug. Cashmere wool products are approximately 8 times warmer than the wool of the sheep, so cashmere is perfect for winter. Cashmere comes in many colors and designs so it’s easy to choose a throw or a piece of clothing that suits your style and personality. Cashmere clothes make statement as they are not only cozy and warm, they look brilliant and elegant, and they are expensive.
Having one or some cashmere throws is a wish by many who seek for true luxury and comfort at home. The feeling one wraps him/herself in a cashmere throw is incomparable. Although there are lots of quality types of wool that allow a throw be really soft and warm, cashmere yarn is certainly a king among them.
Soft, warm, comforting – the amazing lure of cashmere throw is undeniable. There is simply hardly anything more exquisite next to our skin than a feather-light touch of cashmere.