How to Shop for Cashmere Scarves
The market for men scarves has been growing in the last several years. A lot has to do with the emergence of linen scarves for the summer in street wear. So what about the dapper scene? What about the guys that want to look sharp in the fall and winter time? Of course there are beautiful scarves out there for men that want to be fashionable. Burberry and Alexander McQueen offers an average price of $500 USD for 100% cashmere scarf that no doubt is stunning in its own right but certainly puts a nice dent in the wallet. Most people who don't want to spend so much on a nice scarf really only have 2 options.
1. They purchase a wool scarf that is generally of decent quality but can be thicker and heavier and isn't as soft as cashmere.
2. They purchase a cashmere scarf that is blended with synthetic material so it lowers the cost of the product but also performance.
Other retail brands such as Club Monaco and Banana Republic offer cashmere scarves as well, but they are also expensive as well, but namely limited in design.
Cashmere has been around for centuries and is prevalent in countries like India, China and Mongolia. The material comes from goats that are resides in high range mountains. The coat on the goat is what we called in simple terms "unprocessed cashmere". In late spring and summer is when cashmere farmers are to shave the goats of their coat to process the material to be used for sweaters, scarves and other forms of clothing. The supply of the raw cashmere has it's limits based on the number of goats in the region. Major fashion house generally buy up a large supply of the material for their own brands. This is why Howard Matthews Co. selection of scarves are at a limited quantity.
Caring For Your Cashmere Scarf
How to Hand Wash Your Scarf (DIY Instructions)
1. Washing your scarf at home requires a small bucket of cold water
2. Dunk your scarf in the water and gently rub area that require cleaning (DO NOT OVER SOAK YOUR SCARF)
3. You can also add some cashmere shampoo and rub the area that require attention and then rinse with cold water
4. Lay your scarf on top of another towel on a flat area and use another towel on top and gently pat down to soak up the water.
5. Continue to air dry the scarf by laying it flat in a cool and dry space. (DO NOT HANG DRY, this will stretch the fiber of the cashmere and ruin the scarf)
Your Guide To Shopping For Cashmere
1. Label - As simple as it may sound, not everyone checks the care label to make sure that the item they buy is indeed what they are getting. There are a lot of products that claim they are cashmere when in fact they are a blend of cashmere and other materials. Be cautious of what exactly is stated on the label to ensure the product you are buying is in fact what they say it is.
2. Weight - Just like paper, there is certain weight and thickness to the material of cashmere. Generally speaking, the higher the weight count, the more expensive it is for cashmere.
3. Knit - This may be hard for first time cashmere buyers to determine, but how closely knit the product is becomes extremely important. The closer the knit, the less likely that the material will lose its shape. Thus it will last longer.
4. Source - As mentioned previously, the source of fine cashmere is mainly from 3 countries. The product may say that it is made elsewhere. This means that the raw cashmere was sent to that country to be processed and made to other products.
Pilling happens when small fibres of cashmere comes in contact with other materials that create friction. This has nothing to do with the quality of the material, this happens regardless of how nice or expensive your cashmere scarf is. Sweater combs and de-pilling stones can be used to remedy the situation. Lint rollers can be used as well to roll over the scarf several times to remove all the smaller fibres so that it doesn't pill or stick on your other garments. Over a short period of time the pilling will stop.