About Cashmere

To say we love cashmere would be an understatement.

Beautifully soft. Endlessly luxurious. It’s a natural material that weaved its way into our hearts; inspiring us to make premium cashmere garments to share with the world.

While ‘love at first touch’ often describes the discovery of cashmere, the origin and benefits of the fibre are equally captivating. To help you understand exactly what goes into your favourite Elle + Riley pieces, here’s an essential overview of why cashmere should be your go-to choice for luxury closet staples that feel just as good as they look.

What is Cashmere?
Cashmere is one of the world’s most precious and sought-after natural materials.

Ethically-sourced from the hair of the Cashmere Goat, it’s a fibre grown by mother nature herself to provide them with supreme warmth and insulation in cold climates. This growth occurs around the June - December period, and the hair is naturally shed as the temperature warms around April - May. This allows for the cashmere to be combed delicately from the goat, for use as a highly-prized, versatile fabric.

But what makes cashmere so luxurious? A single goat produces around 1-200 grams a year, meaning it can take around four goats to produce enough cashmere for a single womens sweater. This relative scarcity, along with the refinement process involving up to 26 steps, makes it incredibly valuable.

Today, cashmere is used in the creation of premium garments around the world.

Why Cashmere?
But why use cashmere? There are abundant reasons, from it’s soft, lustrous feel, to it’s lightweight nature and versatility.

Cashmere is beautifully soft. At just 16-18 micrometres in diameter, the goat’s hair is incredibly fine and possesses a unique property that causes the fibres to adhere, eliminating any catching or ‘sticking-out’ of the individual fibres. This provides a silk-like feel against skin that is unmatched by alternatives like wool. There’s simply no comparison.

Elegant and luxurious, cashmere is a premium natural fibre that is costly to produce. Collected by hand before going through a refinement process, the time and investment it takes to produce even a single garment adds to its inherent value. But as they say, good things take time and a well-made cashmere garment is worth the wait. Draping effortlessly on the body, it feels just as good as it looks and adds style to any look.

Cashmere is timeless in every sense of the word. A well-made cashmere sweater or cashmere knitwear piece has been a staple for the fashion-conscious throughout the history of classic and contemporary fashion and provides incredible versatility.

A cashmere garment can be dressed up or down, and is both light and warm, meaning it can be worn cleverly in warmer months in the form of a lighter garment like a cardigan or layered during winter for ultimate comfort.
This versatility also exists in the quality of the fibres, and not all cashmere is created equal. Everything from the region and goat the hair is sourced from, to the care taken in the production process means that the quality of garments can vary.

At Elle + Riley we proudly source our cashmere from Himalayan goats who naturally inhabit this area and produce the most prized cashmere in the world. From the skilled artisan clippers to our sustainable and ethical sourcing practices, we go to great lengths to ensure each Elle + Riley piece is crafted with love and care, for unmatched quality.

Cashmere exists as a natural insulator and warmer. It is one of mother nature’s greatest gifts and is up to eight times warmer than wool, making it a supreme fibre for a garment that has comfort and cold-resistance as a desired function.

Cashmere fibres are hollow and fine, making them lighter and softer than wool. A well made cashmere garment will regulate your temperature, keeping you warm in the winter months but cool and confident during warmer weather. This is just one of the reasons why we proudly sell our cashmere knitwear nz wide, from chunky knitted garments and knitted jumpers to our more lightweight items. Cashmere also lacks lanolin found in wool, making it hypoallergenic, safe and comfortable to wear.

Like a fine wine, a well cared for cashmere sweater will get better with age. In a world of fast-fashion, we are passionate about crafting pieces that can be treasured for life, passed on to the next generation and last season to season. Our care products and guide are essential and will help you get the most out of your Elle + Riley garments for years to come.
These are just some of the incredible things about the beautiful, natural fibre that inspires us daily. Today, we’re proud to produce the finest cashmere sweater NZ has to offer and premium cashmere garments for both men and women. To learn more about cashmere and the Elle + Riley products it inspires, explore our website or head to one of our stores or stockists.



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