Cashmere has a rich history and continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts to this day. First, mostly seen in a jumper design, cashmere has become a unisex fabric by excellence, much like merino wool. Today, both men and women appreciate the luxurious and timeless appeal of this incredible fibre.
What is 100% Cashmere made of?
The story of this soft and silky fibre begins on the high altitude plateaux of the Himalayan mountains in Ladakh. The harsh sub zero temperatures enabled the cashmere goats to develop a soft downy undercoat for insulation in the colder months. The fibres with the most luxurious handle and softness come from inner Mongolia where cashmere goat breeding has its secrets. For years, Dormeuil has maintained a strong relationship with partners in Mongolia.
It is this soft undercoat that is collected from the cashmere goat’s chest. Each cashmere goat produces between 100gr and 150gr of fleece per year. This work has been carried out by the nomadic tribes of the region for centuries. At 1 ½ years old, the very young animal is combed once for its fleece, the long fibres that are subsequently produced are called “Baby Cashmere”.
From the East to the West
High-quality wool, particularly from cashmere goats, journeyed to Europe through trade routes, captivating men and women with its softness and warmth. The British East India Company played a pivotal role in introducing cashmere to Europe, fostering a market for refined high-quality wool.
In the 18th century, Queen Victoria's patronage of cashmere elevated it as a symbol of opulence before the Industrial Revolution transformed textile production, driving down cashmere prices. By the 19th century, Scottish mills produced exceptional cashmere, appealing to a broader audience, including men seeking high-quality wool suits. Finally, luxury fashion houses in the 20th century embraced cashmere, cementing it as a timeless, elegant choice for those desiring high-quality wool suits.
How does Dormeuil work with Cashmere?
Dormeuil has a longstanding history with Mongolian partners. In fact, Dominic Dormeuil himself visited the cashmere producers with whom the house is in partnership. The story of this encounter is told in the book “In Search of Precious Wool”.
Dormeuil revisits cashmere for modern men
The introduction of our latest cashmere collection this year underscores Dormeuil's commitment to enriching its luxury product range. This fresh line, a true testament to our brand's expertise, epitomises our dedication to delivering sophisticated and opulent fabrics, tailored to meet the preferences of our clientele.
Central to this collection is the incredible versatility of cashmere. We want to offer the freedom to wear it in various styles – whether as a jacket, merging warmth and comfort with elegance, as a soft cashmere overcoat exuding sophistication, or even in more casual attire, like an overshirt.
Dormeuil's commitment to providing the finest cashmere continues in this remarkable collection. Products from this more casual take on cashmere for men will be featured in a capsule collection available on the Dormeuil website.
Is cashmere sustainable?
Today, the welfare of the treasured cashmere goat and the environment are paramount. Growing demand in recent years has put a strain on resources and the animal’s welfare. Cashmere goats require meticulous care, and their overgrazing leads to desertification, impacting local communities as large corporations encroach on their regions.
Ensuring the responsible sourcing of high-quality wool is a top priority for Dormeuil, and we maintain a vigilant watch over our supply chain through our trusted partners. While we recognize that cashmere isn't entirely eco-friendly, we're committed to advancing its sustainability. In collaboration with our suppliers, we're actively exploring solutions to enhance the eco-credentials of our cashmere products.
Dormeuil advocates for land conservation practices, such as the rotation of grazing lands for the goats, to minimise their impact on the environment. As we progress in our efforts to make our cashmere more sustainable, we encourage our valued customers to be equally discerning. It's essential to be aware of the origins of the cashmere fibre when making a purchase, as responsible choices can contribute to the continued growth of high-quality wool with a focus on sustainability.
How to care for a cashmere suit
Caring for your cashmere garments is essential to ensure their longevity and maintain the fabric’s longevity and soft, luxurious feel. To keep your cashmere items in pristine condition, follow these directions:
1. Hand Washing
The gentlest way to clean cashmere is by hand. Use a mild detergent or specially formulated cashmere shampoo. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a small amount of the detergent. Gently agitate the water to create suds.
Submerge the cashmere item and let it soak for about 10-15 minutes. Avoid excessive rubbing or wringing, as this can damage the fibres and create pilling.
Drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean, lukewarm water. Gently rinse the garment until all detergent is removed.
After rinsing, carefully press out excess water, again without twisting or wringing. Lay the cashmere item flat on a clean towel and reshape it to its original form. Allow it to air dry away from direct sunlight. Avoid heat sources like radiators which can cause shrinkage and damage to the fibre.
When not in use, store your cashmere garments folded in a cool, dry place. Protect them from moths by placing cedar balls or lavender sachets in the storage area.
By following these care instructions, you can ensure that your cashmere garments remain soft and looking their best for years to come.
The history of cashmere is a tale of the evolution in textiles for fashion, from the herding of the cashmere goat in the Himalayas to a luxurious men’s suit on the runway. Cashmere is treasured by both men and women for its comfortable elegance. Dormeuil ensures that its journey continues, with a focus on innovation and responsible sourcing, ensuring that we may enjoy the cashmere goat’s many gifts for years to come.