The Mypashmina guide to choosing a cashmere scarf will contain some unexpected nuggets of information that we have gathered since we started back in 2002.
This cashmere scarf guide has been split in to four sections, so you can easily skip to the part which is most useful for you.
- Different types of cashmere scarves. A look at six types of cashmere scarf from Mypashmina and other shops.
- How to assess quality. A closer look at the details to look for when trying to work out if a cashmere scarf is good value or not.
- Advantages and disadvantages of a cashmere scarf when compare to a scarf made from wool or other materials.
- Why buy a cashmere scarf from Mypashmina, when you could buy it from somewhere else ? You are not going to believe that this section is unbiased, but we will try!
Let’s start with some definitions. The definition of a scarf is quite subjective, and there is plenty of overlap between what people classify as a scarf, a shawl, a stole or a wrap. I think most people would agree that a scarf is for wearing around your neck rather than around your shoulders or body. This means a scarf is usually not as wide as a stole or shawl. I would say a typical scarf can be up to about 45cm (18″) wide. I prefer a longer scarf and most of our scarves are at 170cm. If they are too short, they would be classified as a throatwarmer. So I would say at least 120cm for an adult size scarf.
As for materials, as scarf can be knitted or woven from almost any material. Some examples include wool scarves, cashmere scarves, polyester scarves. Each type has advantages and disadvantages over the others. The winner is cashmere of course.
Six Types Of Cashmere Scarf
- Seeing as this is Mypashmina, we have to start with our classic pashmina scarf. This comes in either pure cashmere or a mix of 70% Cashmere and 30% Silk. They measure 30x150cm. The ones we have in stock have hand twisted tassels at the ends, but you can also order a bespoke one with either an open fringe or a hemmed edge for no extra charge. Our prices start at under £30. This type of cashmere scarf is quite thin and lightweight. It is the ideal type of scarf to carry anywhere just in case you need it.
- I am always amazed by how much the big brands can charge for items. For a mere £495, you can buy this woven cashmere scarf made from 65% cashmere and 35% silk. It is quite wide, measuring 188x66cm, and meant to be worn folded in half. It is made in Italy. The label is Ralph Lauren.
- This cashmere scarf from The White Company is a double layer scarf, with grey on one side and black on the other. It is made from 47% wool, 45% cashmere, 6% viscose, 2% metallic. It was £85, and now it is half price. This was written at the start of march, so a lot of cashmere scarves are on sale at this time of year. It measures 30x180cm which is a nice size.
A double layer scarf is a good idea. The single layer ones tend to curl up and don’t have much substance if they are knitted in a standard way.
- This cashmere scarf is one of my favourite things that we have ever made. It is 100% Cashmere. It is double layer. The reason we make it double layer is so that it doesn’t roll over and it feels substantial. It is 100% cashmere, so it feels much softer than a scarf that is mixed with sheeps wool. It is available in 10 colour combinations. The price is £94.80. The tassels are little knitted tubes. It is very nicely finished.
- Here is a very nice cable knit cashmere scarf. It is 3ply and 100% cashmere. The 3ply coupled with the cable knit makes it feel thicker. I would like to see it at least 4ply and 6ply would be ideal. The more ply it is the heavier it is and each gram of cashmere is quite expensive. The scarf come from cashmere.com, which is one of the top US based cashmere online retailers. 170x22cm and the price is £129, which includes shipping to the UK. They have some very nice colours in stock as well.
- This is the Mypashmina version of a cable knit cashmere scarf. It is 6ply, so it is thick and warm. It is 35x180cm. The price is only £82.80. Given the decline of the GBP, i think we will have to increase this price very soon. Buy Bitcoin. Twice as good and about 40% cheaper, than the cashmere scarf above,
How To Tell If A Cashmere Scarf Good Quality Before You Buy It ?
- A quick look around the web of how to tell whether cashmere is good quality or not seems to suggest that you should mainly base it on the country it was made in. Chinese bad, Scottish and Italian good. I can’t think of any stage in the process where the nationality makes any physical difference to the quality. This might be a personal preference only.
- You could send a cashmere scarf to a laboratory to have the yarn tested. For about £200, they will tell you the thickness and length of the cashmere fibres and if there are any impurities. They use a microscope to individually examine 600 fibres. We use SGS laboratories. Here is an example from a recent test.
Mean Fibre Diameter (μm) 16.3
Coarse Hair Content (%) NIL
Number of Snippetts 600
Coefficient of Variation (%) 20.1
Of course you are not going to send your new cashmere scarf to have a hole cut in it for testing, but you can ask any supplier for their testing results. If it is a secret, then that is probably a clue.
- You can look at how long a retailer has been in business. You can only stay in business if you get repeat customers and you can only get repeat customers for cashmere scarves if the quality is good.
- Check the shops returns policy. Do you have a chance to try out your new cashmere scarf to see if it pills or gets holes. A woven cashmere scarf will actually improve with use. You can buy ready brushed woven cashmere scarves, but this weakens the fibres, so you would be buying it half worn out. An unbrushed scarf will last a lot longer.
- Read reviews. Customers tend to write reviews if they are either really happy or really unhappy. There are a few people who write reviews for almost everything. 10 days after every order ,we ask customers for feedback and we explicitly ask for criticism. I wish we got more.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Cashmere Scarf Compared To A Wool Scarf
- More comfortable – a cashmere scarf will not feel itchy against the skin. Once you try cashmere, you can’t go back to wool. I guess that’s the disadvantage of any upgrade.
- Warmer – cashmere is so efficient at keeping the warmth in. I was trying to look for U-values to compare scientifically, but I guess not many people use cashmere to insulate their houses!
- Lighter weight – You forget you are wearing it. Light weight and smooth touch means that is is comfortable. I have forgotten I was wearing a cashmere hat and jumped in the shower a few times! It’s also good for travel, especially flights.
- More expensive – a cashmere scarf costs more than a woolen one. So if you lose your it, or ruin it in the washing machine, it is more of a problem. This risk can be mitigated by buying your cashmere from a source that has no middlemen and tiny overheads with a focus only on the product.
- Reaction of others
- Packing size – You can squash a cashmere scarf smaller than a wool scarf, which is also good for travelling by air where space and weight are at a premium.
Why Buy From Mypashmina Compared To Other Online Stores ?
- If you like quality. What is the point of buying cashmere if you end up with low quality cashmere. We send randomised samples for testing regularly where the fibre lengths and widths are measured.
- If you like reliability of your supplier. Since 2002 we have been operating Mypashmina.co.uk. online (someone kept a snapshot of the website here ). We have been around for 16 years and counting, so are not going to disappear tomorrow.
- If you like to buy your cashmere scarf in a way that helps support Nepalese people directly who suffer under an awful Maoist regime.
- If you want bespoke options without any extra costs. You can order anything you like customised to your taste and we will deliver in a few weeks.
- If you want a cashmere scarf that is not mass produced, something rare. Most of what we sell is unique to Mypashmina. We do supply a few top cashmere brands and stores, but we make their own designs for them.
- If you want to buy with Bitcoin with a discount. We offer a big discount because there are so many positive externalities in bitcoin adoption. You can start stacking satoshis with Lolli, which gives you a rebate of 2-9% in Bitcoin, every time you spend money online.
We hope you found this guide helpful. Any comments you can add below might be useful for other people, so please don’t hesitate to say something. Or you can contact us.