When you think cashmere, you probably think of supreme softness, like the almost imperceptible lightness of clouds. Most of us own (or at least have heard of) cashmere clothing, especially sweaters, which are so popular because of that signature cloudlike feeling. So where does cashmere come from, what makes it so scarce, and why the heck do we use it in our mattresses? Here’s what you need to know about why cashmere is a luxury that you’re going to want in your next mattress topper.
So what is it about cashmere that makes it so special? Cashmere comes from the undercoat of goats specifically bred for their softness. The reason that cashmere sweaters often have a pretty price tag next to them is because of the scarcity of material. These goats traditionally only lived in the kashmir province of the Himalayas, but now are bred elsewhere. The problem comes because a lot of goats are needed to make just one piece of clothing, this is because cashmere only uses the undercoat of a goat, and not the topcoat like many other kinds of traditional wool.
“A single cashmere goat does not produce a whole lot. You only harvest the fibers once a year, and most of us do so by combing the undercoat, which sheds yearly. You can get between six and eight ounces from a really good goat initially, but once it’s processed you’re not likely to get more than four ounces back,” says PamHaendle, a cashmere goat farmer in rural New York.
This is why traditionally it’s only been cost effective to use cashmere in pieces of clothing. Larger items were cost prohibitive due to the luxury nature of the materials. We scoured the globe to get the best deal without sacrificing quality, so that we could bring you a hand tufted cover that is as soft and sweet as sleeping on a cloud. So why pick cashmere in the first place? It may surprise you to learn that it’s actually about temperature regulation.
While the softness properties of cashmere are what get a lot of play in pop culture and the media, one of the best and most unheralded qualities of this luxury item is its temperature regulation. Cashmere is three times more cooling than cotton, and it works to wick heat in a way that is super conducive to mattress construction.
The weather-flexible nature of cashmere has made it a boon to the fashion industry, where its unique mix of function and fashion meet up to create a true luxury item. It’s got people in the know wearing cashmere even in non-traditional seasons.
“As warm as it is outside, cashmere doesn’t get that hot,” says Elizabeth Kee, a recent graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in a recent New York Times article. “And anytime you go inside, they always have air-conditioning, so it’s freezing and you need a sweater. It’s the in thing this season.”
These qualities make cashmere the perfect luxury item that you definitely need more of in your life. And with breakthroughs in availability and technology, cashmere is making its way into non-traditional avenues for its unique properties — take the our luxury mattress, which uses cashmere in its hand-tufted toppers to provide a smooth and temperature regulated sleeping experience, no matter the weather. So whether in a sweater or on your new favorite mattress, give cashmere a try, you’ll be amazed at how you feel. Wondering if you’re sleeping enough on the mattress you have? Our handy guide will show you if you are sleeping enough.