Cashmere wool is among the most luxurious knitting yarns and is highly valued for its exceptional softness. These fibers come from the fleece of a goat native to the Kashmir region in central Asia. In order to withstand the dry and cold climates, which can reach -40 C in the Gobi Desert, wool goats had to adapt. In winter, their fleece covers with an extra layer of protection; an undercoat reminiscent of down-like fineness. In spring, when the weather becomes gentler, and in preparation to the harsh summer climate, they naturally shed their winter coat. The precious fibres are collected and rid of their impurities through combing. A goat can produce somewhere between 100 to 150 g of fibres a year.
How thin is cashmere?
The fibres used to make knitting yarn are selected based on their thickness. The measurement used is the micron, which is equal to one thousandth of a millimeter. The wider the diameter, the thicker the fibre and the least pleasant it is on the skin. The undercoat of the cashmere goat, also known as tiflit, is appreciated for its exceptional thinness (between 13.5 and 20 microns) while the overcoat is much rougher (over 50 microns). Only the undercoat is used to make yarn. Classified among the softest knitting yarns, cashmere yarn possesses a unique feel, almost as if the fibres disappeared between your fingers.
What to knit with cashmere yarn?
Cashmere is ideal to knit fashion accessories, such as beanies, headbands, gloves, and snoods. This soft yarn lends itself well to the softer areas of your body. But because of its steeper price range, cashmere yarn is less often used to knit bigger pieces such as jumpers or cardigans. To make the most of cashmere yarn while keeping your expenses low, you can knit a sleeveless sweater, such as the all-cashmere Scilla sweater.
How to knit cashmere yarn?
Cashmere comes in the form of a smooth and even yarn. It creates perfectly defined stitches, which makes it the ideal yarn for simpler stitches, such as stocking stitches, but also for fantasy, openwork, or embossed stitches. The Aronia headband combines cashmere yarn and fantasy stitches, just like the Vinca beanie.
Why go to Tricotez-moi for cashmere yarn?
The limited amount of undercoat produced by a single goat every year makes cashmere yarn a luxury product with a price to match. In order to offer more affordable balls of cashmere yarn and participate in reducing textile industry wastes, Tricotez-moi turned to recycled cashmere. Our balls of cashmere yarn are made up of 70 % of combed cashmere, from the longest and finest fibres, and 30 % of carded cashmere. The Cara balls of yarn are at the top of the cashmere range and guarantee the qualities of an exceptional product. The long fibres used to make this yarn prevent pilling.
How to care for cashmere knits?
Unlike other natural fibres extracted from animal fleece, cashmere must be washed to reveal all its qualities. Aside from removing stains, washing helps tighten the yarn, makes it softer and flexible, and prevents pilling. Wash your cashmere garments by hand or in a machine with cradle wash technology. The key to a proper wash lies in mastering the water temperature: it must be below 30°C and most of all remains constant as thermal shocks can ruin the yarn. As such, the water for the wash and for the rinse must have the same temperature. Keep your wool in a cover when putting it in the washer. If you decide to handwash it, apply successive pressure on the wool to help it absorb the detergent. Do not use softeners when rinsing as they may alter the quality of the yarn. Remove excess water without wringing and leave to dry flat. You may also iron your garment or use a pressing cloth. Store flat in an unconfined space and change it location regularly to prevent creases.
How many balls required to knit with cashmere?
Cashmere yarn often comes in the form of 25 g ball. Our Cara yarn (90 cm) can be knitted with 4 mm needles. You need 1 ball to knit a headband, 2 balls for a beanie or fingerless mittens, or 7 balls for a size S or M sleeveless sweater (8 to 10 balls for sizes L or XL), and 10 to 11 balls for a size S or M women’s sweater (12 to 13 balls for sizes L or XL).