Cashmere (derived from the original spelling of Kashmir) comes from the undercoat that goats grow in very cold weather. The majority of the world’s cashmere originates in Inner and Outer Mongolia. It was once primarily exported as raw materials and then spun, stained, and knit in Scotland and Italy. Now, much of the entire production is completed in China and Asia in general.
The question then is how to see the variations between high and low quality cashmere. There is a distinguishable difference which can be detected with the discerning eye. First of all, there is a density to the high quality variation of the stuff (believe it or not). Hold a high quality version up of the same thickness to a lower quality version and you will inevitably see a difference. Another way to distinguish the more expensive variety is to stretch the fabric… if it bounces back into shape, it’s what you want. And finally, holding the fabric up to the sunshine… can you see through it? If not, you may be in for a good bet.
Pure Collection is a great recommendation in terms of brands as is Brunello Cucinelli. Ralph Lauren cashmere is wonderful additionally, albeit on the pricier side. I always tell people if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, but want the best, comb the thrift and consignment racks. Many of these sweaters have age and are still in good condition because quality craftsmanship was once more plentiful.
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
Warm thanks to More Intelligent Life, Lyst