Buying a Pullover? All about Cashmere, Mohair and Shetland wool Read before buy it.
Following the wish of their customers, almost all high-street fashion brands offer pullovers in natural fabrics such as Mohair, Cashmere and Shetland. A few years ago, you would only find those natural yarns in luxury brands because high-end clients were willing to pay for more quality. But nowadays, all customers are putting quality and fair trade over quantity.
No doubts that the price for a quality natural yarn pullover in the fast fashion road is much higher than the normal polyester option. But it’s still affordable and less expensive than we expect.
So, before you decide what to buy, have a look at how those fabrics are made and where it comes from. To know all about cashmere, mohair and shetland wool is to adopt a more fashion-conscious attitude. How these materials are made, where they come from, and how nature and animal life are impacted by the process are all information that should weigh on your buying decision.
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The difference between wool and hair
First of all, did you know that Cashmere and Mohair are not wool? Wait, what? Well, yes, by definition, wool is a fibre that comes from sheep, like Shetland. Strands coming from any other animal, like goats and alpacas, are technically not wool but hair.
Cashmere – how the most desired material is made
The luxurious fabric comes from the fine undercoat of the Kashmir goats, mainly found in China and Mongolia. In spring, the goats naturally shed their “winter coat”. That’s when the fine Cashmere is collected by hand with the use of a comb. It is a long and natural process that can take up to two weeks. Only 25% of the goat’s fleece is used, and you need the hair generated by two to four goats in one year to make just one cashmere pullover. This explains its high price, right?
But in some countries like Australia, Afghanistan, New Zealand and parts of China and Mongolia, they shear the goats instead, cutting both the down coat, which is pure Cashmere and the long coarse hair, resulting in a lower quality yarn. So, the price of Cashmere lies in the way it’s collected; by hand with a comb or trimmed.
The Undyed Cashmere collection from COS offers a high-quality material with conscious manufacturing. It is designed to embrace the material’s characteristics and reduce its impact on the environment. Each piece is made using the raw fibres of cashmere goat hair and twisting them to create new yarns. No bleach, whitening or chemical dyes are applied – as a result, the finished styles feature a rich blend of browns and beiges.
The eclectic and soft Mohair
Mohair also comes from the undercoat of a goat, more specifically, the Angora goat. It’s not the same as Angora wool, which comes from the Angora rabbit. Mohair is an incredible natural yarn. Among its properties, Mohair is an excellent insulator, is moisture-wicking which allows it to remain cool in summer, and is durable and naturally elastic. Most of this soft and fluffy yarn comes from South Africa and Texas, USA. The goats are shorn twice a year.
The strong and traditional Shetland
Shetland comes from the Shetland sheep of the Shetland Islands in Scotland. The hardy and warm wool is perfect for the harsh weather conditions on the Scottish island. Since the sheep cannot shed their winter coat, the farmers shear them once a year so that the animals are cooler in the summer. This breed is very docile and easy to work with. Since 2010 the world’s major wool-producing countries have signed the Dumfries House Wool Declaration to ensure the industry follows strict animal welfare standards.
Why support natural yarns and sustainable fabrics
Notorious Mag is all for natural yarns and sustainable fabrics that are environmentally friendly. But also economically sustainable, where groups of artisans and farmers can live in a fair trade industry.
It is essential to know what you are buying; you should always research where and how garments are made. It is better to buy higher quality articles, even if that means you will have to buy less. Those items will last longer, and you will promote and foster brands that work with fair production.
Any small thing that we do to change some habits will have an enormous impact on saving our planet. Conscious consumption is one of them. And here is what you also can do to make a difference in the environment.