A few years back I was invited on a girls’ trip — massages, pedicures, shopping and cocktail bars. Wrong! We were hiking.
What to pack for a long walk on the Camino de Santiago? The resounding answer was a cashmere sweater. The group was headed to walk a section of the Camino Frances starting at the French-Spanish border and over a six-day period we would cover about 120 kilometres.
As our departure date loomed the email volume escalated (the group was not exactly “What’s App” savvy at the time). Well past our youth hostel days, we chose a self-guided, partially supported pilgrim tour. In other words, we had engaged a service to move our bags from one destination to the next, and to book our accommodation. Yes, I admit we were doing a bit of a “princess” tour and thrilled we had picked that option when our first three days were rain-filled downpours that would have made Noah proud.
Here, are five (of many) reasons you should own a cashmere sweater:
It is a natural fibre – Cashmere comes from the soft undercoat of Cashmere goats that have been bred to produce the hair in greater quantities. Think of this filament as the fleece layer that you put on when the weather gets cooler. The cashmere belly-layer is “harvested” when the animals begin shedding, typically in the spring (May-June). The cashmere is combed or sheared (less desirable) and sent to a de-hairing facility to remove the coarse hairs. Only then, is the fibre ready to be spun into yarn.
It is not itchy – Unlike sheep wool, the cashmere fibres are separated by hand from the coarse outer hairs leaving a soft, downy textile. This time-consuming process is manual, but the result is well worth the effort for the wearer. Did you know that it takes, four-six goats to produce enough fibre for one sweater?
A perfect travel companion – Honestly, who doesn’t like linen, but for backpack travel talk about wrinkles! Cashmere, it can be folded, rolled, stuffed and it still looks perfect.
Lightweight – Have you ever put on a wool sweater to get rid of a chill, only to feel weighed down? Cashmere is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, yet significantly lighter.
You deserve it. Is there is a favourite sweater (or two) in your closet, the one with threadbare elbows? It’s time to buy a new one. A high-quality cashmere garment made with longer hairs that have only been combed (not sheared) should never have the annoying tiny pills on your sweater.
Handmade in Canada from 100% Cashmere, nothing less.