The Winter season is finally here and it’s time to add those warm layers to your wardrobe.
While we are ready to welcome those cosy winter essentials, we want to know which wool we want to hang in there and if there are more variants that we can explore. Here we are talking about Cashmere – the finer, lighter, softer, and offers three times more insulating properties than sheep’s wool.
Talking about the difference between Wool & Cashmere, a good way to put it is “All cashmere is wool but not all wool is cashmere”. Now, what does that mean?
Wool and Cashmere are both natural fibres, cashmere is still classed as a kind of wool, much like sheep’s wool, alpaca and merino, but its fibres are beyond compare in terms of strength, softness, and sheer luxury. The difference is that Wool is made from the hair of sheep while Cashmere is made from the soft undercoat of the cashmere goat. Another difference is the way the fibres of Cashmere are processed. Wool is typically spun into yarn and then woven or knit into fabric, while cashmere is combed to remove impurities and then spun into yarn. This results in a smoother, finer yarn.
Overall, the main difference between wool and cashmere is the softness and fineness of the fibers. Wool is a coarser, stronger fiber that is more durable and less expensive, while cashmere is a finer, softer fiber that is more delicate and luxurious.
- Origin of Wool and Cashmere.
Wool and Cashmere are both natural fibres that are renewable and sustainable and have been used for centuries to make clothing, accessories, and home products.
Wool is made from the hair of sheep, and it is believed to have been one of the first fibres used by humans for clothing and other purposes. The use of wool dates back to at least 8000 BC, and it has been an important part of human culture and history ever since. Wool is produced in many parts of the world, including Europe, South America, and Australia.
What is Cashmere made of? Cashmere is made from the soft undercoat of the cashmere goat, which is native to the Himalayan region of India, Nepal, and China. Fibre has been used to make clothing and other products for centuries, and it has long been prized for its softness, warmth, and luxurious feel. The production of cashmere has traditionally been an important industry in the Himalayan region, and it is still an important source of income for many people in these areas.
- Which fabric among them keeps you warmer?
Both wool and cashmere are known for their ability to keep you warm, but cashmere is generally considered to be the warmer of the two fibers. This is because cashmere fibers are finer and softer than wool fibres, and they have a higher insulating power, which means they are able to trap more air and provide better insulation.
Cashmere fibre is also able to absorb moisture, which helps to keep you dry and warm in cold, wet conditions. Wool, on the other hand, is less absorbent and may feel wet and clammy against the skin when it is wet.
That being said, wool is still a very good insulator and can keep you warm in cold weather. It is also more durable and less prone to pilling and shedding than cashmere, which can make it a good choice for certain types of clothing and accessories.
- What is the difference in the texture of the two?
Wool is made from the hair of sheep, and it is generally coarser and thicker than cashmere. The fibres of wool are stronger and more elastic than cashmere fibres, which gives wool fabrics a sturdy, durable feel. Wool fabrics are also less prone to pilling and shedding than cashmere fabrics.
Cashmere, on the other hand, is made from the soft undercoat of the Cashmere goat, and it is finer, softer, and lighter in weight than wool. Cashmere fibres are much finer and smoother than wool fibres, which gives cashmere fabrics a soft, luxurious feel. Cashmere fabrics generally are more delicate and also more prone to pilling, snagging and shedding than wool fabrics if not handled carefully.
In terms of appearance, wool fabrics tend to have a matte finish, while cashmere fabrics have a more lustrous, shiny finish. Wool fabrics also tend to be more textured and have a more visible weave, while cashmere fabrics have a more subtle, refined appearance.
- What is the difference in the microns of the two?
The micron count of a fibre refers to the diameter of the individual fibres, and it is a measure of the fineness of the fibre. In general, fibres with a lower micron count are finer and softer than fibres with a higher micron count.
Cashmere fibres typically have a micron count of around 14-19 microns, which is much finer than the fibres of most breeds of sheep, which have a micron count of around 25-40 microns. This is one of the reasons why cashmere is softer and smoother than wool, and it is also one of the reasons why cashmere is generally more expensive than wool.
There is one more classification of cashmere that we call “Baby cashmere” which is around 12.5-14 microns and is rarer to find than regular cashmere. They are less likely to pill, making them ideal for producing high-end, luxury cashmere products. However, the production process of baby cashmere fibres is more labour-intensive and time-consuming and this is because the fibres are shorter and more delicate, which makes them harder to spin into yarn.
- How to take care of them?
Wool and Cashmere both come from animals but they have different properties and require different care.
Wool is a protein fibre that is strong, durable, and naturally resistant to wrinkles and stains. However, it can shrink if not washed or dried properly, so it is recommended to dry clean or hand wash wool using a mild detergent and lukewarm water. It’s also important to avoid wringing or twisting the wool when it is wet, as this can cause it to shrink or become misshapen.
Cashmere, on the other hand, is a soft, lightweight, and luxurious fibre that comes from the undercoat of cashmere goats. It is much finer and softer than wool, and it is also more delicate and prone to pilling. It should be hand washed or dry-cleaned using a mild detergent and cool water, and it should be laid flat to dry. Avoid wringing or twisting cashmere when it is wet and avoid using harsh detergent or bleach.
In general, cashmere is more delicate than wool, but with proper care, both fibres can last for many years.
- Which among the two is costlier?
Cashmere is generally considered to be more expensive than wool because they are finer and softer. They come from a specific breed of goat that is found in specific regions across the globe, Inner Mongolia and Tibet being the highest cashmere producers with a micron range of 15-18 making the cashmere relatively less expensive than the cashmere produced in India where the cashmere is produced on a smaller scale with microns as low as 12.5. The process of harvesting and processing cashmere is also more labour-intensive and time-consuming than that of wool.
The cost of cashmere products can vary widely depending on factors such as the quality of the fibres, the manufacturing process, and the brand. High-quality cashmere products tend to be more expensive than those made by more affordable brands.
Wool, on the other hand, is relatively abundant and less labour-intensive to produce than cashmere, so wool products tend to be less expensive than cashmere products. However, the cost of wool products can also vary widely depending on factors such as the quality of the fibres, the manufacturing process, and the brand.
In summary, cashmere is considered to be more expensive than wool because of the rarity of the fibers and the labor-intensive process to produce it. However, the cost of the products made from both fibers can vary widely depending on several factors.