Cashmere yarn is made of the finest hair from the undercoat of cashmere goats. Most cashmere goats live in Mongolia, Nepal and China in a very cold climate, where winters can be down to minus 40 degrees. This forces the cashmere goats to adapt to the climate by developing a double layer of wool. The inner layer is used to make our cashmere yarn.
The cashmere quality
The quality of cashmere is defined by fineness, color, softness and length. The most important factors in the quality of cashmere are the length and fineness of the fibers. Items made with long, fine fibers will pill less and maintain their shape better than items made with short thick hair. In Nepal, we operate with 3 grades of cashmere – A, B, and C. The A grade is the best and most expensive quality. CARE BY ME uses grade A quality cashmere exclusively.
Ply is the number of strands twisted together to make the cashmere yarn. At CARE BY ME we use no less than 2 ply yarn, as one ply yarn is simply not strong enough. For our handknit items we use 2 ply yarn, but we bunch these into 3, so that our hand knit items are actually 6 ply (3x2).
Gauge is a measurement telling how tightly the item is knitted. Gauge refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch. The higher the gauge number, the tighter, or finer, the knit.
There are a number of reasons why CARE BY ME has chosen to become GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) and work with organic cotton instead of conventional cotton.
Organic cotton is better for the environment
Organic fibers are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or potentially toxic pesticides. By building soil fertility, organic farmers help lock CO2 into the soil, helping mitigate climate change.
It also avoids the use of the toxic pesticides that, in non-organic systems, are responsible for poisoning wildlife and rivers, as well as destroying the lives of an estimated 16,000 people each year.
Organic cotton is better for workers
By avoiding potentially toxic pesticides, cotton workers benefit by avoiding the associated health problems and deaths common in non-organic cotton production. Avoiding pesticides also reduces production costs and farmer debts – the burden of pesticide debt has resulted in thousands of suicides in India which is the world’s largest cotton producer.
Organic cotton is non GMO
A significant amount of all cotton grown worldwide is genetically modified, but GMO is specifically banned in organic systems. GMO cotton poses a potential risk to wildlife and human health, as well as exposing farmers to unnecessary expense.
Organic cotton has restricted use of chemicals and limited residues
GOTS ensures that the chemicals used in processing textiles meet strict requirements in toxicity and biodegradability. Final products are restricted in the amount of allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemical residues. These residues can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may cause allergies, skin rashes or respiratory problems.
In contrast, non-organic manufacture uses tens of thousands of acutely toxic chemicals, many of which are classified as hazardous by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Factory conditions are better
Poor working conditions and lack of individual rights in the garment industry are commonplace. GOTS certified organic textiles must meet social criteria based on the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions. These cover minimum wages, working hours, child labor, freedom of association, discrimination, harsh or inhumane treatment and more.
CARE BY ME has GOTS certification No: CU863102
Learn more about GOTS in the video below