If pure, Cashmere feels smooth, warm, and is feathery light. Cashmere is a natural fibre and hence its feel is the same too.
Cashmere is a natural fibre. It has insulating properties, due to which it is believed to keep a person warm in cold seasons and pleasant in warm temperatures. It has enjoyed a world-class reputation since its conception, and even now it is cherished by celebrities alike. But what is cherished is pure Cashmere, which is certified by the associated government.
When the fibre got popular and royalties and the affluent began to purchase the same, some traders’ greed got the better of them, and they introduced mechanization in this handcraft. And hence Cashmere became a part of the fast fashion trend whereas it was designed to be a patron of slow fashion. Machines produced large quantities, but the worst qualities of Cashmere and hence brought a bad name to the entire trade. Also, it was a blow to the artisans whose families depended only on their skills.
How do we know our Cashmere is pure?
To know how it feels, it is important to differentiate between pure and fake Cashmere. Here is a guide to know so.
Pure Cashmere is soft
The most basic method to identify the purity of your precious wrap is softness. So, in case your wrap doesn’t feel scratchy once you wrap it, your hands might have picked a fake one! Cashmere is a hypoallergenic fibre, which does not cause any allergic reaction. It is generally smooth and soft, as it is made in the finest of fibres.
Pure Cashmere won’t be see through
The best way to check for this is by holding your wrap against a light source. If you can clearly see through, chances are that the piece is fake. Pashmina is a natural insulating fibre. Even if the ply is less, the wrap is still thick, even if lightweight
Pure Cashmere has an uneven weave
If the wrap you own has a regular weave with straight lines on it, you might have been cheated by your seller. A natural fibre that has been handcrafted by human hands won't have regular weaves. It will have the human deficiency of an irregular weave. So if you were feeling bad about the weaves which would seem consistent, be happy now. You Cashmere is genuine
Pure Cashmere won't generate sparks
When rubbed, a fake piece generates static electricity because of the mixtures of synthetic fibres in it. Pure Cashmere is a natural fibre, and hence does not generate small sparks when rubbed against the body or its own surface.
Pure Cashmere will Pill!
Surprisingly, pure Cashmere will pill. And if it doesn't pill, it is fake. Natural fibres tend to pile a little, which has its own remedies to get rid of. But it's only artificial Cashmere that won't pill and stay smooth as silk.
Pure Cashmere will give out a burnt smell
This test is a bit crucial. Take out a fringe from your wrap and burn it. If the fringe gives out a burnt smell, then the piece is pure. This is again because Cashmere is a natural fibre and will give out a burnt hair smell. Also, there will be some powdery residue behind
If all the tests above prove that your Cashmere is pure, then it will feel soft, fine, airy light, and exceptionally warm. However, you need to identify fake pieces as well. Here’s how!
Identification of a fake piece
The ring test hoax
The most deceptive test of all is the ring test. Firstly it wasn't Cashmere that could pass through a ring. It was Shatoosh (which is banned now) which was called the ring shawl. But nowadays it is even easy to pass a common sheep wool shawl through a ring, by treating it with chemicals and smootheners. Hence, if your Cashmere wrap is passing through a ring, relax, it may still be fake.
Too much shine
If you have been flaunting the shine of your wrap to everyone, stop. Too much shine, which seems artificial, indicates the presence of artificial fibre, maybe silk or nylon in your wrap.
As discussed earlier in this blog, if your wrap has a straight weave, chances are that it has been woven by a machine. Pure Cashmere will have uneven weaves, which prove the fact that it has been crafted by human hands.
Cashmere is 8 times warmer than regular sheep wool. This will be the greatest test of all. Moreover, it will be a bit high in price. Fake copies are usually cheap, and that is what lures customers toward them. Buying an impure piece wastes your efforts and your basic reason to buy a Cashmere. It has to be pure. Don't compromise on those qualities for which Cashmere is considered one of the most sought after luxuries.