A guide to buying cashmere knitwear online
It can be a minefield buying cashmere knitwear online in the UK when you don't know what to look out for. When buying knitwear online in the UK, we think it is important for our customers to know a little bit more about the source of our yarns, the quality, and the feel of our pieces, and the ethics behind the brand, and where our pieces are made. We hope the below gives you a bit more information on the care we take in sourcing our cashmere, and working with skilled, sustainable supply chain, to make our pieces.
A bit about our cashmere
We started the brand with a focus on producing beautiful, fashionable, sustainably sourced knitwear. To ensure we use the best yarns, we source and make all our women's knitwear pieces with a family run manufacturer in Nepal, who use only the highest quality yarns. Our pieces all use either a 100% cashmere yarns, or a cashmere and fine wool blended yarn. Cashmere raw materials are sourced from the fleece of goats. Cashmere is the fine under hair of the goat's fleece, which acts as insulation for the goats. The cashmere yarns used for our pieces are derived from combed cashmere (the goats are combed in the Spring for their fleece), which is of a much higher quality than cashmere derived from goats which are sheared. Cashmere from sheared goats contains a lot of coarse outer hair called guard hair, which is of inferior quality, and often used in cheap cashmere products. This hair is not as soft, and has the be heavily treated.
A bit about our manufacturer
Since the brand's inception in 2012, we have worked closely with our factory, based in the Kathmandu valley in Nepal. Our factory employs and supports a large number of highly skilled women and men from villages in the surrounding area, many of whom have been creating cashmere pieces for over 20 years. These skilled artisans still use a number of hand weaving techniques, with all of our sweater pieces taking a specialist weaver a number of days to complete. Our fine wool and silk scarves are also hand woven, and hand printed. The outcome are beautiful women's sweaters and scarves, made with skill and care. Jess - founder and designer of Orwell + Austen xx