For many, cashmere socks are a little piece of happiness. Hardly any other material is more noble and promises such comfortably warm feet as the fibers of a noble goat native to the Asian highlands. Who are cashmere socks suitable for and what should be considered when caring for them? This article provides the answers.
What is cashmere
Cashmere, often referred to as cashmere, is a noble wool. The name comes from a species of goat that is native to the high mountain steppes of Asia in the Kashmir region. Textiles have been made from this high-quality material for over 1000 years. The former principality of Kashmir lies on the border between Pakistan, India and China.
The cashmere goat has a small head, floppy ears, and rounded horns. The domestic goat species has a total of around 20 sub-breeds in black, brown, gray and white. Since the goats are exposed to extreme weather conditions in their habitat, they are covered with thick wool up to their foreheads. In the meantime, the suppliers of the fine wool have also found a new home in many other countries around the world. Today there are farms with cashmere goats not only in the region of origin as well as in Mongolia, China and Iran. The goats are also kept in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
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This is how the cashmere wool is obtained
Cashmere is one of the finest and most expensive fibers in the world. Obtaining the wool is significantly more time-consuming than with other high-quality types of wool such as llama, alpaca, yak and camel. When spring slowly approaches the high mountains, it is time to comb out the undercoat of the cashmere goats. Cashmere is still processed by hand using traditional techniques, just like in the old days.
Machine processing would damage the fine fibers. In addition, devices are not able to differentiate between the significantly coarser upper hair and the luxurious, fine under hair. The wool yield is just 100 to 150 grams per year and goat. Cashmere thus only accounts for 0.5% of the animal hair produced worldwide. A fiber is between 15 and 19 microns thin. This guarantees a noble, fine fall of the cashmere textiles. The difference to virgin wool becomes immediately clear due to the elegant look and the pleasant wearing comfort.
In addition to products made from 100% cashmere wool, textiles – and especially socks – are also available in which cashmere has been mixed with virgin or merino wool. White cashmere wool is particularly popular with textile processing companies in Europe, as it can be easily dyed in any desired color.
How to recognize real cashmere
Cashmere wool is basically very easy to identify, but there are also many counterfeits on the market. An extensive test procedure is carried out to guarantee the purity of the product. The first criterion is the fine fibers, which are measured in microns. 1000 microns correspond to one millimeter. At most, cashmere fibers with a maximum thickness of 19 microns are processed. This is the only way to guarantee that the material feels wonderfully soft on the skin. In contrast to other types of wool, cashmere does not scratch.
According to EU guidelines, the “100%” cashmere seal is only awarded to pure cashmere fibers. Textiles may only be labeled with the “cashmere” label if the proportion of precious wool is at least 85%. “With cashmere content” means that the fibers used come from at least 14.5% cashmere wool.
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Five unbeatable benefits of cashmere wool
In addition to the pleasant wearing comfort and the exclusive, noble material there are more Benefits of cashmere wool :
- Excellent thermal insulation
- Strongly moisture repellent
- Dimensionally stable
- Excellent repels dirt and odors
- Very strong, tear-resistant fibers
Products like cashmere socks are the ideal companion, especially in winter. Because the fibers are six times as warm as sheep’s wool. This is due to the small spaces between the fibers, in which the heat is optimally stored. Those who sweat quickly will also enjoy cashmere socks. The material absorbs the moisture directly and immediately dissipates it to the outside. Cashmere is also water-repellent. Cashmere is also particularly resistant to dirt and odors.
This makes the socks very easy to care for and taking off your shoes when you visit is also not a problem. The fibers are very delicate, but the structure in itself is very strong. This guarantees high resilience and tear resistance. Anyone who opts for cashmere socks can, with the right care, enjoy the good pieces for many years.
Which types of socks go best with cashmere wool?
White cashmere wool in particular can be dyed in any fiber – the quality of the fibers does not suffer. Classic black cashmere socks can be worn with a business suit, but are also a real eye-catcher in your free time. Anyone who travels a lot on foot will appreciate it when the comfort of a shoe subtly underlines the comfort of a shoe. Cashmere does not allow the cold to penetrate, which is why socks and knee socks made from this fine wool are the ideal companion through the cold season.
However, the socks are not limited to one season. Cashmere socks are the ideal companion, especially in the transition period in spring and autumn, when the weather suddenly changes. Socks and booties made of cashmere are also popular with women. Baby socks are also available in cashmere or a cashmere mix. In short, socks made of cashmere are always in demand when pure, cozy luxury for the feet and at the same time a hard-wearing, long-lasting material is required.
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Wash cashmere socks properly
To ensure that the cashmere socks remain pleasantly soft and can be worn with pleasure for a long time, a few things must be observed during care and cleaning. The exclusive yarn is quite delicate. This means that the socks are only washed when absolutely necessary. It is advisable to wear the socks for a day and then let them air out in the fresh air.
If the feet have not sweated too much, the socks are fresh again afterwards and can be worn for another day. It is ideal for ventilation when the ambient air is cool and slightly humid. However, if the wool is dirty or has a strong smell, there is no avoiding washing. Modern washing machines have programs in which the socks can be cleaned without being damaged. In a special wool program, the slightly soiled socks are only swung through a little. If you then select a gentle spin with a maximum of 600 revolutions, this will shorten the drying process.
It is preferable to machine wash it by hand. To do this, put some wool detergent in a bowl with washing water at a maximum of 30 ° C. A mild shampoo can be used as a substitute. The socks soak in the lye a little and are then rinsed out with clear water. In order not to damage the fibers, rubbing should be avoided – otherwise there will be unsightly matting. Alternatively, fine cashmere socks could also be sent to the dry cleaner. But those who practice hand washing and are accordingly careful to work can look forward to a long service life for their socks.
Stains and fluff on cashmere socks – what to do?
Stains happen quickly – even on socks. In this case, it is not recommended to brush cashmere or try to rub off the stains. It is usually sufficient to put liquid mild detergent on the stain and let it take effect. If the stain has not yet disappeared, the machine’s wool wash program can be selected. Small pods that cashmere wool forms over time are normal and not a cause for concern.
This is known as pilling. To make the fibers smooth again, the nodules can be carefully removed with a comb or razor blade. If cashmere is very fluffy or even shrinks during washing, it is possible that the wool quality is not quite as high-quality or that other materials have been added to the socks. However, if the instructions for care are observed and followed consistently, the cashmere socks can be enjoyed for a long time.
Dry and store cashmere socks properly
Machine wash shortens the drying time compared to hand wash. It is advisable to gently squeeze out residual moisture with a soft towel in which the sock is placed. Cashmere socks should be dried lying on a towel, not hanging. This ensures that the socks do not warp. Some households also put the socks in a dryer. The cold air program should be selected, otherwise cashmere will shrink.
Before putting the cashmere socks in the tumble dryer, the manufacturer’s instructions should be observed. When in doubt, the good pieces dry better in the air. In the drawer or in the closet, the socks are ideally at the top. In this way the noble fibers are not crushed.