Autumn is our favourite time of year. It might be getting colder but the silver lining is that it’s also the time to get out your cosy knitwear. There’s nothing we love more than wrapping ourselves up when we go out, and then later snuggling up on the sofa with a hot drink (or something a little stronger).
When it comes to woollens there’s something for everyone, but for us, nothing can beat cashmere and fine wool - pure luxury for your skin. The fine fibres are so super soft that you relax at first touch, making you feel as good on the inside as you look on the outside. These luxury wools are particularly great if you have sensitive or irritable skin, thanks to their softness and hypoallergenic properties.
All cashmere is not made equal
One watch out is that with so many pieces being classified as cashmere and/or fine wool, it can be hard to know what makes certain pieces more special than others.
With poorer quality, cheaper cashmere, the cashmere goat is shaved all over, leaving impurities in the wool, as well as not being kind on the animal. With quality, pricier cashmere, the goat is combed and impurities are removed by hand, resulting in a better quality wool and a much kinder process.
Cashmere is also graded, with the best being Grade A – a fibre that is the longest, the thinnest and lasts the longest. Grade B is good but not as thin, and Grade C is almost twice as thick as Grade C.
How can you be sure you are getting the best quality pieces?
Well, price will be an indicator, but there are other things to look for:
- Obviously touch can tell you how good it is. The best place to test it is by putting it on your chin as this is the most sensitive skin area.
- Another tip is to hold the garment up to the light – it should be radiant in colour, not shiny, and light in weight. If you can easily see straight through the material, it isn’t great quality.
- Finally, pull the product gently for a short period of time – if it remains the same and doesn’t look slightly deformed, it is high-quality.
Of course, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t wear poorer quality cashmere. You might prefer it for certain uses, and it may be best for your budget. But it can be confusing when pieces are priced so differently, and we hope the above will help you understand what to expect.
Join the fine wool fan club
Our other favourite fibre to snuggle up in is fine wool. Merino wool is one of the finest and highest quality wools other than cashmere. It can be more affordable than cashmere, but is still is incredibly soft to wear. Plus it has great breathability, and results in less pilling (those horrible little balls that gather on your sweater).
There are lots of other fine wools out there with different textures and quality. But if you’re looking for that extra snuggle factor, you can safely know a fine wool will offer it. Or, alternatively, if you want that extra bit of luxe, you can try a wool/cashmere blend.
Now we’re off to relax in our luxurious knits, with a nice glass of red in hand. Total bliss.
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Named as one of the UK’s leading “ageism-fighting trailblazers”, Jacynth Bassett is the founder of the-Bias-Cut.com - Shopping With Attitude - Where Ageism Is Never In Style. After growing saddened at seeing women, like her mum, being treated as invisible by the Fashion Industry - largely because of their age - Jacynth became determined to cut through ageism in the Industry once and for all.
Everything is modelled by real women of different shapes, ages, heights and sizes, whilst you can shop by your body shape, and be inspired by its blog and online global forum. Because beauty doesn’t come in just one form, and style doesn’t fade, and the-Bias-Cut.com is for the woman who knows that.