Tips for Finding Great Cashmere Sweaters

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The key to finding a great cashmere piece is to understand what makes a good cashmere sweater goodCashmere is a soft, non-itchy type of wool that originated in the Kashmir region of India from, you guessed it, the cashmere goat.  It’s a strong, soft material and is non-bulky.  Good cashmere sweaters are often referred to by the “ply,” which is the thickness of the thread used to weave fabric.  For example, three-ply sweaters are made with three single threads wound together, five-ply is made from five single threads, etc.  The larger the ply, the better the sweater (although you can find quality, thin cashmere sweaters).

There are other factors that are important in determining the quality of cashmere sweaters.  I’ve listed a few below.

The Good Cashmere Test

– Check for Pillage.  One way to tell if a sweater is made of good cashmere is to rub the fabric briskly between your pointer finger and thumb.  Notice any pillage?  If so, then mostly likely it’s not “good” cashmere.

– Feel the Fabric.  Also feel the fabric.  Does it feel itchy?  Good cashmere is very low on the itchy-wool factor.

– Check the Seams.  Also check out the seams of the sweater.  In more high-quality cashmere sweaters, the seams are knitted together with yarn, not sewn together using regular needle and thread.

So now that you know how to test a cashmere sweater for quality, let’s talk about how to find a quality cashmere sweater on a budget.

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  • Town

    You can handwash most cashmere sweaters with a little bit of shampoo and dry flat.  Never had a problem with shrinkage using this method and I have 20+ cashmere sweaters.

  • jr1


    I am an avid hand knitter. When I was taking my beginning knitting class, they told us that the preferred method for cleaning cashmere or wool is hand washing with an appropriate shampoo with cool water and then lie flat and let air dry. A company called Laundress makes a good shampoo for sweaters. It’s gentler than dry cleaning.

    But machine washing is a don’t. So is washing with hot water at it will call the sweater to felt.

  • Nice choice for winter

  • Jazmine Foxx

    Most cashmere needs to be dry cleaned- remember to read the care label so you don’t end up with a Barbie doll size sweater after your first wear. In addition, pay attention to accessories you pair your favorite sweater with to avoid snags and pills.

    • Debwalston

       You can safely wash cashmere.  I have washed my cashmere sweaters by hand many times with woolite detergent and the results are fine.  There is information on how to hand wash cashmere and other sweaters online if you are not sure,  just do a search on how to safely wash cashmere. 

  • Winters are ready to come and I am ready for shopping sweaters. WOW. I also love this sweater design. I will search this one in market.