What's The Difference Between Cashmere, Merino, Mohair, and Wool?
Cashmere vs Merino Wool
What is Merino Wool and Where Does It Come From?
Merino Wool is a natural fabric which comes from a specific type of sheep called a ‘merino sheep.’ Whilst it is similar to regular sheep’s wool, it is finer and softer, making it more luxurious and a higher quality material. Merino sheep are found in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and South Africa.
There are many comparisons between these two types of yarn, including strength, softness, care, and price. Cashmere is different to merino wool because it comes from the fine undercoat of a type of goat, rather than the usual sheep. The fibres of both yarns are fine and soft; however, cashmere is more silky-smooth and gentler against the skin.
Although both will keep you warm, cashmere is up to eight times warmer than merino wool. The insulating benefit of cashmere is more advanced, keeping you warm or cool depending on the climate. Our cashmere jumpers are lightweight and breathable, yet keeps you warm at the same time. In terms of durability, merino wool is sturdier and can withstand regular wear and tear. Whereas cashmere is delicate and requires more care when washing and handling to keep its quality.
One major difference in these two fabrics, is the price. Cashmere is considered more luxurious and sought-after, as it is only collected once a year by combing, which is a slower and more gentle process, hence being more expensive. It takes 4 cashmere goats to make one Loop sweater. Merino wool is more affordable than cashmere, as the sheep can produce far more wool each year through regular sheering.
Cashmere vs Mohair
What is Mohair and Where Does It Come From?
Mohair is a natural and luxurious fibre that comes from a specific type of goat called a ‘Angora goat’. These goats are originated from the region of Ankara, Turkey. Yet today, South Africa and the United States (particularly Texas) are the largest producers of these animals. Mohair is not to be confused with Angora wool which looks similar but comes from Angora rabbits.
Cashmere and mohair are both soft, fine, breathable, moisture wicking, and have great insulating properties. Mohair’s texture is hairier looking and specifically shines when the light hits it. However, cashmere is far softer as the fibres are thinner and finer, compared to the thicker mohair fibres which make for garments that feel heavier and denser to wear. Also, when sheering mohair, the soft hairs often become entangled with the coarse hairs, damaging its texture, and sometimes making it feel itchy to wear.
Both cashmere and mohair have great insulating properties and will certainly keep you warm. Yet, once again, cashmere is warmer. Whilst cashmere is incredibly warm, it is also known for its lightweight feel. Cashmere is more delicate than mohair, but when its properly taken care of, it can last a lifetime and forever keeps its softness.
Cashmere vs Wool
What is wool and Where Does It Come From?
Sheep’s wool is a natural fibre produced heavily all year-round. The top countries for producing wool are Australia and China, however it is produced all over the world. Wool is very sustainable due to its natural origin; it is recyclable and biodegradable.
The biggest difference is between cashmere and sheep’s wool. Sheep’s wool is easily accessible and affordable. In relation to warmth, cashmere is better than wool at trapping heat, making it much warmer, especially without lots of extra bulk. One of the main benefits of wool is that it’s easier to care for and can be machine washed without worry. Cashmere does require a little more effort to keep it in top condition, but the time is worth it. Also, cashmere gets softer as it is washed and worn and can last for years, making its cost per wear just pennies over time.
Why Choose Cashmere?
The decision between cashmere, merino wool, mohair, and sheep's wool is down to preference, opinion, and budget. Although all are popular choices, cashmere is considered more luxurious out of the four. Its heavenly softness is an experience like no other. Not to mention the incredible warmth and temperature regulating properties. Cashmere is an investment, but one which is so worth it. Shop our wide collection of women's cashmere to find your new favourite piece.