What is luxury? Most people would understand luxury as a form of comfort or elegance, something that is rare to get and often expensive to buy. There is no material that embodies the conceptual qualities of luxury better than a great cashmere garment. The incredible softness and warmth, the rarity of the material and the durability all portray the feeling of real luxury.
Unfortunately, the luxury of cashmere is often abused by low-quality production, resulting in short durability and faked softness.
To protect our clients from wanna-be luxury we travelled across all regions of Italy to select the most experienced artisans. Artisans who have mastered the art of craftsmanship over the course of decades, making unprecedented quality garments using only the most exceptional cashmere available. We ended up in the surroundings of Biella, the heart of Italian cashmere production - a place, where real luxury is born.
What is Cashmere?
Cashmere is one of the world's finest and rarest fibres. It's a fibre that is obtained from cashmere goats and other goat types. It is generally much finer than wool and has a much higher insulation capacity, making it perfect for cold winter months. As with other natural fibres, there are many qualitative differences between different cashmere wools and yarns.
What is the difference between low-quality and high-quality cashmere?
1. From which goat does the cashmere come from?
The most luxurious cashmere-wool comes exclusively from the under fleece of Hircus goats, extraordinary animals that live in the mountains of China and Mongolia in extreme climatic conditions. In spring, when the weather gets milder, the shepherds pick up the under fleece, the finest and softest part of the mantle, utilising a fine combing procedure.
Each animal produces only 250 grams of Cashmere each year, which makes the fibre incredibly rare and precious. Obviously, there are also other great cashmere wools available, but the most precious is considered an will always be the cashmere coming from Hircus Goats from Inner Mongolia.
2. Which cashmere yarn is used?
Most often when you know which cashmere yarn is used you'll also know where the cashmere wool comes from. Traditionally the most luxurious cashmere yarn is made in Italy by renowned Yarn makers like Loro Piana and Cariaggi. There are also other great yarn makers, but the most prestigious are the ones mentioned previously. While Loro Piana Yarn is known for its softness, Cariaggi is thought of as more durable, while still being incredibly soft. Both Yarn makers are unmatched in quality and experience.
In our factories, we entirely use the fine yarn collection from Cariaggi, where it is safe to say that all our garments will be a long-standing companion in anybody's wardrobe.
3. How is the cashmere manufactured?
The luxury cashmere industry was born in Biella, the prestigious cashmere heart of Italy and the World. Great companies like Loro Piana, Ermenegildo Zegna or Piacenza became famous all over the world and defined that region for its unmatched quality and craftsmanship.
Italian production itself is justly renowned all over the world, but the Region of Biella manages to set itself apart, despite the incredibly competitive environment.
We are proud that we as many great companies before us produce in exclusively in Biella, joining the list of cashmere's greatest.
Don't be fooled
A piece of final advice from your Pantera Bianca Team; don't be fooled. Softness alone is no testimony of quality, especially when it comes to cashmere garments. Cashmere should always feel soft, but many companies try to fool their customers by making cheap cashmere garments incredibly soft. They achieve that by plastifying the fibres in intensive chemical washing processes. This makes the cashmere garments often a lot softer than luxurious, well-made cashmere garments, but don't last a fraction of the time and will incur massive pilling.
Luxurious cashmere garments get softer over time with each wash, just like a good wine. This process can't be accelerated by intensive washing processes without significantly reducing the overall quality of the garment.
Thank you for reading our advice,
Your Pantera Bianca Team