First of all, what exactly is cashmere?
It's a collection of fibers shed by Cashmere goats living in the plateaus surrounding the Gobi Desert, which stretches from Northern China into Mongolia. Due to extremely cold winters, these goats have developed a coarse hair that protects them.
Underneath that hair lies a lofty undercoat of thousands of super-fine fibers concentrated in a small area under the neck. Shepherds remove that undercoat using a gentle combing procedure. Those luxuriously soft, strong, and supple fibers are cashmere.
Cashmere comes from a small area of a goat’s neck? That sounds like a lot of work for one sweater.
Why do people love Cashmere? What’s so special about it?
Without getting too technical, there’s no other fabric that is as fine in texture while also being incredibly strong, extremely light, and unbelievably soft. There's nothing warmer or more insulating.
Isn’t it just kind of like a fancier wool?
Nope. Wool is made from the sheared-off woolen fleece of a sheep. Cashmere is over 8 times warmer than wool and much softer.
How come some cashmere sweaters cost $99 while others cost over $1,000?
Three basic reasons: quality, origin, and color.
Quality is based on the fiber length and thickness. A longer, stronger fiber is easier to spin and more durable. Sweaters made out of superior cashmere are less likely to pill and lose their shape when worn.
Originally cashmere was produced in China or Mongolia, and finished in Europe. Now, low-end cashmere comes from all over the place (from Australia to India to Afghanistan.) Often, these are not true cashmere goats.
In its natural state, cashmere fiber can range in color. The purer “whiter” color is generally considered the most desirable and requires less processing to color (if it is colored at all). Fiber that has to be heavily dyed loses some of its softness.
That $99 cashmere sweater that you’re buying at the local mall? It’s most likely made out of thick hairs from regular mountain goats and over-processed in a sub-par facility. It’s going to pill and lose shape very quickly.
So what’s the deal with Ivory Row?
Conceived as the world’s first direct-to-consumer cashmere brand, Ivory Row offers an array of sweaters, knits and accessories made from the finest yarns, available exclusively on our own website.
By circumventing traditional retail channels and engaging with you directly, we're able to provide truly luxurious cashmere at democratic price points. Sourcing the highest-quality yans from the world’s best suppliers --- some of whom have been in business for more than a century—and produced at the very best factories in the industry, we deliver effortlessly elegant designs that are impeccable in quality yet unburdened by the costs associated with traditional brick-and-mortar brands.
By keeping costs to a bare minimum, we’re able to eliminate many expenses and pass these savings on to you while still providing unrivaled cashmere in quality and price.