It won’t have passed you by that we are very passionate about cashmere. But why exactly do we love this yarn so much? There are many reasons, and although we can wax lyrical about its merits, the only true way for you to understand our craving for this special, natural fibre, is for you to actually feel cashmere against your own skin. Nevertheless: a bit of background knowledge can’t hurt. So for once I’ve collected a few facts – of course, with the kind assistance of my Peter Hahn colleague Heike Hillebrecht, who is our purchasing manager and an active blogger too. She is affectionately called the “Queen of Cashmere”.

The difference between cashmere and “ordinary” wool

Cashmere is significantly finer than wool and has a smoother surface. The fibre is indeed very lightweight and soft, yet tear resistant. Cashmere consists of fine, curly fibres, between which a kind of protective layer of air is trapped. This layer keeps you cool in summer yet prevents body heat from escaping and thus keeps you warm in winter. Because cashmere is so fine, the yarn derived from spinning is very dense. As a result cashmere clothing is up to twice as warm as those made from wool and so keeps you pleasantly warm even in freezing temperatures.

The ideal cashmere care and correct storage

We’ve come up with a few tips to prolong the life of your cashmere favourites. Because, with proper care, cashmere products will last you a lifetime.

Make sure when you wear cashmere jumpers or jackets that you don’t rub them unnecessarily against rough or hard surfaces (for example, the sleeves and elbows on tabletops) and protect them from snagging or tearing. After wearing, air your cashmere products once a week if possible and carefully remove any dust with a soft brush or cloth. Before you put away your cashmere clothes for the winter (or during the summer), you should wash them – in all cases – regardless of whether you have worn them only very briefly or frequently. Completely dissolve the detergent in lukewarm water before washing the clothes with it. These delicate items prefer a light, gentle pressure. After this, rinse them several times with clean water. Now spread out the dripping wet washed items and let them air dry or use a hair dryer if necessary. Once dry, carefully fold the clean cashmere garments and put them in a plastic bag and store in your wardrobe. Since moths particularly like natural products such as cashmere, make sure you protect your precious items against them. Needless to say, you can also take your cashmere fashion to a specialist cleaner.

Where does cashmere come from?

At Peter Hahn we get our cashmere (in a raw state) mainly from the interior of Mongolia, as this is where the highest quality, raw cashmere fibres are produced. We also source it from other provinces such as the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia and the provinces of Qinghai and Liaoning where we have also found first-class raw cashmere.

Only the best will do

Raw cashmere is only obtained during a short period from late March to the end of June. We then preserve the precious natural product, until we need it for the next season. During the period of cashmere harvesting, our raw material supplier sends buyers and inspectors to the steppe where they check the quality of the fibres. Only when the inspectors have given their approval and certified the quality will the buyers begin their transaction which includes negotiating with the agent or directly with the farmers. This is the only way we can ensure that our high quality standards are met.

Later, when the raw cashmere supplier sends the cashmere to our warehouse, we test every single batch and send samples away for testing to ITS. Only when the cashmere sample has passed the testing stage (according to the internationally agreed standard) and when we have satisfied ourselves that the fibre is of the correct length and strength, do we consider the raw material as suitable for the manufacturing of our products.

So it’s a long journey from cashmere production to finished jumper. However, it is definitely worth it. See for yourself! You will never want to take off your Peter Hahn cashmere again … Guaranteed!