What is cashmere?
Cashmere, also called pashmina, is the traditional name given to ultimate-quality wool of the Capra Hisca goat. It dates many centuries back to the Himalayan region, where the goats graze in the highest areas of the mountains in temperatures dropping as low as -40 degrees Celsius. In order to survive in such harsh climate, the goats have developed a very soft, fine undercoat, which is about 15-19 microns thick (human hair is 75 microns thick) and extremely warm, offering the most effective thermal insulation in the world. In the Western parts of the globe, this down hair is called cashmere. It is up to eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, but is also lighter and has unique thermo-regulatory properties.
Where does MINOU Cashmere come from?
The best varieties of cashmere come from the plateaus of Nepal, Tibet and the central plains of Mongolia. All MINOU Cashmere products are made of such top-quality wool.
What else makes MINOU Cashmere so special?
We operate within the framework of Corporate Social Responsibility, which is a set of rules designed to enhance the social dimension of industrial activity. They incorporate e.g. a ban on child labour, support for women’s development and environmental awareness. Our manufacturer works in strict compliance with these rules and has been actively engaged in many social problems of Nepal, including relief for the earthquake victims of 2015. All our scarves are packed in beautiful, stylish boxes and bags, which make them a truly unique gift. The scarves are sent to you by courier. Shipping in Poland is always free.
Why are cashmere products more expansive than other scarves?
Every year, one goat produces enough wool for 1-2 scarves, and the manufacturing process is very time-consuming (up to 200 working hours per scarf, including weaving, spinning, dyeing and finishing) – and this is reflected in the price. MINOU Cashmere products are handwoven, which clearly sets them apart from mass-produced clothing. They are highly durable and age with beauty. An authentic cashmere scarf is a gift for life. Moreover, MINOU Cashmere scarves are dyed without the use of toxic chemicals, which increases the manufacturing costs, but protects both the users and the environment.
How do I care for a MINOU Cashmere scarf?
We recommend washing your scarf only at a reputable dry cleaner’s, preferably a traditional, small-scale facility and not a member of a big laundry chain. The cost is around PLN 10-15. After washing, your scarf will become even more beautiful, soft and fluffy, and any fuzz balls or pilling will disappear. Just like all cashmere products, the scarves can also be washed by hand. However, we know from experience that washing your scarf at home is less effective than professional dry cleaning and it can damage the delicate fabric.
Storage: fold the scarf and place it on the surface in a wardrobe or a drawer so as to avoid “squashing” the fabric and allow it to breathe.
Does cashmere get fuzzy?
After some time, cashmere may show some pilling, just as any type of wool. This is a natural process. Scarves with the addition of synthetic fabric do not get fuzzy, so the pilling proves that your scarf is pure cashmere. Do not wear your scarf for many hours in a row; let it rest throughout the day. Taking proper care of cashmere products, you ensure that any signs of pilling will only appear after long period of use. They are usually removed through dry cleaning.
Are any goats harmed in the manufacturing process?
We have absolute certainty that no goats are harmed in the process of obtaining wool for MINOUS Cashmere scarves. The wool is collected manually and the goats are treated with great care and esteem, because they are very valuable. Some people confuse cashmere with shatoosh – the down hair of Tibetan antelopes which are killed to enable the manufacture of precious shatoosh shawls.
How can I tell if this is real cashmere?
Fake cashmere scarves are usually made of a mixture of cashmere and sheep or yak wool, or acryl (special type of soft, synthetic fibre). In order to test the authenticity of the wool, moisten the scarf and smell it. Real cashmere smells like a wet animal (but the smell is not unpleasant). The final test involves lighting a few threads of your scarf on fire. When cashmere wool burns, it smells like burnt human hair. The remaining ash is easily removed. In the case of a synthetic fabric, the smell is “chemical”. After you blow out the flame, a little bead is left attached to the fabric.