Nine things you should know about cashmere
What makes cashmere so special? Your favourite pullover is not just beautiful, soft, warm, comfortable and long-lasting. It also holds nine secrets you may not have even imagined.
Cashmere is finer than human hair, but much stronger
Do you know why cashmere is so incredibly soft? Even softer than the softest baby hair? It’s because its fibres are six times finer than the finest hair (yes, that’s very, very fine). And better yet, as well as being fine, they are also very, very tough. If you take good care of it, your cashmere will last a very long time.
Cashmere loves water
As surprising as it may seem (as accustomed as we are to not washing wool too often), cashmere loves water. Its natural origins mean that it is in great need of water, and not just to stay clean. When the fibre gets wet, it contracts, and as it dries, it goes back into place, a little bit of a renewal that restores it. This mechanism even helps to eliminate pilling, and keeps the garment supple and even softer, especially when it is regularly cared for with the specific and perfectly adapted products from the Eric Bompard range, which can be discovered here.
Four goats for one pullover
A single goat produces only about 100 grams of usable cashmere per year. Hence, it takes two to six goats to make a cashmere pullover. Worldwide cashmere production represents about 0.5% of wool production. In addition, like all agricultural raw materials, the price of cashmere varies from one year to another depending on the quality and quantity of the harvest. An “exceptional” fabric, you say…?
Cashmere loves the spring... but can withstand the harshest winters
Beneath its fine, lightweight exterior, cashmere is a kind of textile superhero. It is created from the long and silky underlayer that goats grow in winter as an “undercoat” beneath their outer coat (and which is harvested in the spring). It is like an ultra-warm lining for small goats when temperatures fall to around −40°C. It is said that cashmere is three times warmer and more insulating than sheep’s wool. It’s easier to understand why now.
Cashmere is perfect for babies’ (skins)
What is one of the main differences between wool and cashmere? Cashmere contains no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. As it isn’t scratchy, it can be worn – deliciously – next to the skin. And that means that you can not only wrap babies in it with confidence, but also… adults with baby-soft skin.
Cashmere only comes in three colours
Yes, that’s right, just three colours. Fibres come in grey, brown and white. We use dyes that do not pose any health risks and that will not damage the quality of the fibres. That’s why you can happily wrap yourself in all the colours you like – there have been over a thousand since the Maison was founded.
Cashmere should not be called cashmere anymore
The goats that are the source for cashmere are found in the Himalayan highlands of Ladakh and Tibet, primarily in Inner Mongolia. The name “cashmere” comes from Kashmir, as this was originally the Indian region where it was woven. The name of the region has become the generic name for the fabric, but these days it is not really accurate anymore… It’s just that its name is so beautiful and evocative that, of course, it is timeless.
Cashmere was created from a king's socks
Question: what was the first garment made of cashmere? A pair of socks. They were probably very cosy and luxurious in the Middle Ages, especially during the Himalayan winters. This innovation was not created by or for just anyone: it was a precious gift from a Persian Sufi to the King of Kashmir. Even in the 14th century, it was already a byword for luxury and elegance. And today, as a nod to this history, you too can wrap your baby’s feet in Bompard cashmere bootees. Perfect for your own little kings.
Cashmere was brought to Europe by a Frenchman
This is where we can allow ourselves to crow a little. We need to thank Jean-Baptiste Decrétot, a Norman cloth manufacturer, for giving us cashmere on a platter and bringing it back to our land in the early 19th century.