Scottish Cashmere

9 Nov

It has to be said that I Love cashmere and I find that Scottish produced cashmere is the softest and strongest of all. I consciously decided that we would only stock Scottish cashmere in the Boutique.  I then decided that I needed to find out exactly why Scottish is best.

Cashmere is a fiber that comes from cashmere goats, the best quality of which live on the high windy pleataux of China and Mongolia. These goats produce a double fleece of fine undercoat mixed with a straighter coarser outer coating. The soft undercoat is combed out every spring by nomadic herdsmen. This raw form of cashmere has been shipped to Scotland since the 18th Century.    Craftsmen whose skills have been developed over generations produce it into yarn, dye and knit it into top quality garments.  Many believe that it is the soft Scottish water used during the scouring process that gives Scottish cashmere its extra soft texture. The water in Scotland gives the soap the perfect lather to draw out the natural oils.

Cashmere has long been considered the epitome of luxury that when looked after properly can improve with age, much like a fine wine or whisky. According to legend the fashion for cashmere began with Napoleon who gave princess Euegene 17 scarves of wool so fine she could pass each one through her wedding ring.  Mass production in the far east has driven the cost price and quality  of much cashmere down. Scotland’s mills and factories are standing strong on their traditions and producing high quality cashmere. Today the industry has 4000 workers and contributes 200 million (pounds sterling) to the countries GDP.

Johnstons of Elgin has just celebrated its 215th Birthday…

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Scarf

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Scarf

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Snood

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Snood

The great news is that that alongside these traditional mills, new  brands are emerging, offering contemporary styles with traditional values.  The Travelwrap company was launched in 2007 and has won awards for its fabulous company.

“Ethical trading and high quality manufacturing are essential to us. Our mill in Scotland is one of the longest established in the UK and renowned internationally for the quality of their cashmere knitting. Our mill actively participates in programmes to help prevent over-intensive grazing of pastures by cashmere goats, and has worked with the same group of herdsmen for over 200 years.”  Niamh Barker Founder and Creative Director.

Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie

Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie

Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie

Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie

 

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One Response to “Scottish Cashmere”

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  1. Fabrics under construction | Gilraensblog - September 11, 2014

    […] Scottish Cashmere […]

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