Cashmere: Where It Comes From, Brands That Do It Best, and How to Keep It Looking Great

Cashmere: Where It Comes From, Brands That Do It Best, and How to Keep It Looking Great

Cashmere: Where It Comes From, Brands That Do It Best, and How to Alimony It Looking Great

Written by: Amanda Chung


Published on: November 10, 2022

Fashion editor: Caroline Griswold


Good cashmere is nonflexible to come by. Not considering it’s rare—these days, it seems as if every store offers a version of the same vital cashmere crewneck—but considering the quality can vary so much from piece to piece.

Some of the highest-quality cashmere comes from goats that live in the snowy plains of Mongolia and Inner Mongolia. When it gets bitterly unprepossessed there during the winter months, the goats grow an ultrafine, pilose fleece underneath their outer stratify for insulation. Later, when the temperatures rise and they start to shed, this underfleece is thoughtfully combed out—not sheared off!—by herders and then processed, dyed, spun, and knit into the pieces you see in stores.

For Brunello Cucinelli, founder of the eponymous cashmere brand, there’s nothing like it. “Cashmere is light and warm at the same time, it can be layered with ease, and the tautness of it makes it a unconfined sustainable option,” he says. “I like to say that cashmere is forever. I personally don’t like disposing of my cashmere sweaters…my daughters and grandchildren have some of my personal cashmere pieces, and this to me embodies the true eyeful of this material.”

Back to cashmere’s popularity (and that ubiquitous crewneck): Designer Maria McManus explains that ubiquity comes at a cost. “This increased demand has led to cashmere goats overgrazing pastures in China and Mongolia, creating deserts out of former natural grasslands,” she says. “We believe using recycled cashmere, in tandem with supporting regenerative farming practices, like executive unprepossessing grazing and increasing biodiversity, will indulge the deserts we have created in Asia to renew and wilt pastures again.” Whether you decide to buy recycled or new is up to you. Either way, her translating is clear: “Buying less, but greater-quality items is what makes a good malleate investment,” McManus says.

How do we measure quality? “I squint at where the item is manufactured,” says Cucinelli. “I moreover superintendency well-nigh the way a visitor treats the people who make it. We live in the information age, and anyone can learn well-nigh the practices overdue all our products.”

Below, five quality cashmere brands, plus tips on caring for and maintaining your cashmere knits.

Brunello Cucinelli

Elevated Neutrals:

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli, known as the king of cashmere, makes the weightier neutral knits in the game—but that wasn’t unchangingly the plan. “When we first started the company, I was inspired by the unconfined story of Benetton,” says Cucinelli. “At the time, they had been so innovative with their colored wool sweaters and memorable razzmatazz campaigns. In part, this is why I chose to create our first hodgepodge in unexceptionable orange and red hues.” (No one did colorful cashmere when then.) “As we evolved our brand, subtracting increasingly items to create a total squint for men and women, we moved yonder from brighter tones and found our stimulating was weightier captured in an variety of natural and earth tones,” he says. “This brought our brown, beige, and grey items to wilt real signatures of our brand.”

One of the first things I did when starting our visitor was visit Mongolia. I wanted to understand the origin of cashmere and to make sure that the people and goats (whose fur provides the raw material) were all living in pearly conditions and working in a well-turned environment between nature and production. I never wanted to rationalization harm while towers my company, and that needed to be a point of focus from the source to the sweaters. Mongolia is a special place, a land where farmers live in perfect synergy with their surroundings and are worldly-wise to treat nature with so much respect. —Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli
  1. Brunello Cucinelli
  2. Brunello Cucinelli

OFF MODEL: Brunello Cucinelli sweater, Brunello Cucinelli, $9,800; BRUNELLO CUCINELLI REVERSIBLE COAT, Brunello Cucinelli, $9,995

Brunello Cucinelli

Photos courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli. All items misogynist at Brunello Cucinelli boutique, SoHo.

  1. Brunello Cucinelli
  2. Brunello Cucinelli
  3. Brunello Cucinelli
G. Label

Modern Classics:

G. Label

When Gwyneth first conceived of an in-house malleate line, the idea was to create designer-quality closet staples at direct-to-consumer prices. Knitwear is unceasingly a bestselling category for G. Label—which, equal to goop’s SVP of supply uniting and production, Mari Popovics, probably has a lot to do with feel. “goop cashmere is unbelievably soft considering it’s combed,” she says. “The goats we use are combed twice a year congruent with the weather, so we’re not leaving them unprepossessed or hot in the wrong season.” And then there are the silhouettes (timeless), the colors (versatile), and those three little words everyone loves to hear: made in Italy.


  1. G. Label
  2. G. Label


Maria McManus


Maria McManus

Always mindful of her line’s environmental impact, Maria McManus uses a special tousle of recycled cashmere and GOTS-certified cotton that’s self-ruling of the harmful chemicals worldwide in textile processing. It’s a win-win. “The cotton makes the cashmere stronger and increasingly transitional, easier to wear in both spring/summer and fall/winter…” says the designer. “The hand is very similar to conventional cashmere but maybe not quite as fluffy. It has a slightly sportier look, which I personally love.”

In order to create a increasingly sustainable sourcing strategy virtually cashmere production, we need to embrace recycling, regenerating the vast amounts of cashmere we have once created over the past 20 years. —McManus

  1. Maria McManus
  2. Maria McManus


Loro Piana

Luxe Loungewear:

Loro Piana

Loro Piana’s new Cocooning Collection—an aptly named line of cozy slip dresses, flowy cardigans, matching sets, and thigh-high socks, washed-up in a calming palette of cream, taupe, and peachy-blush—makes a slow morning or a Saturday night in plane increasingly indulgent. And if you need to step out? A fuzzy bag and boots from the innovative CashFur line, which uses cashmere and silk to mimic the squint and finger of shearling.

ON MODEL: LORO PIANA TURTLENECK, Loro Piana, $2,800; LORO PIANA SKIRT, Loro Piana, $2,250

  1. Loro Piana
  2. Loro Piana
  3. Loro Piana

off model: LORO PIANA CARDIGAN, Loro Piana, $3,225; LORO PIANA DRESS, Loro Piana, $2,750; LORO PIANA BOOTS, Loro Piana, $2,400

Lisa Yang

Head-to-Toe Softness:

Lisa Yang

A wardrobe made entirely of cashmere: That’s the concept overdue Lisa Yang’s eponymous line. It encompasses everything from the nuts (sweaters and scarves) to more-surprising pieces, like structured shorts and knitted bags. Yang grew up in China (“not far from where these cashmere fibers originate,” she points out) and has spent most of her sultana life in Sweden. This dual heritage is evident in her designs: “There are influences of Scandinavian minimalism, but I really enjoy introducing patterns and rich textures that take me when to the heritage craft of Chinese communities,” she says.

  1. Lisa Yang
  2. Lisa Yang

off model: LISA YANG CARDIGAN, goop, $890; LISA YANG SWEATER, goop, $800

Caring for Cashmere

Use a sweater comb to gently remove any pilling—doing this regularly will alimony your knits looking nicer for longer. What well-nigh cleaning it? “No need to wash without every wear,” McManus says. “Hand-wash with a gentle detergent and unprepossessed water. Don’t wring it dry; instead, gently printing the water out, then lay it unappetizing on a towel.” She moreover recommends dry-cleaning once a year to help prevent moth holes. To remoter minimize the endangerment of moths, the Loro Piana team suggests storing your clean, folded cashmere items with cedar blocks.

We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We moreover like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other bounty if you purchase through the external links on this page.