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01-11-2005
  31
scenester
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Gender: femme
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Thanks for the interesting posts. To someday: tks for the info. You are right about Cariaggi, I tried it, I had two good nice sweaters made for me in their cashmere. I knit (quite slowly) so I make myself two sweaters each year, in Cardiff cashmere. The problem when I have someone making a sweater for me with the machine is that they just copy an old one I have and like, which is less exciting than having one with a newer design.

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01-11-2005
  32
front row
 
ShoeLady's Avatar
 
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Location: NYC
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The best cashmere, I've found, has been at Bloomingdale's. It's this section called Cashmericals. I'm not sure if they have it in other Bloomingdale's or just the one in New York, but you can check it out. Their cashmere is the best and is reasonablly priced too. Ralph Lauren also makes some nice cashmere sweaters every so often.

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02-11-2005
  33
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faust's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoeLady
The best cashmere, I've found, has been at Bloomingdale's. It's this section called Cashmericals. I'm not sure if they have it in other Bloomingdale's or just the one in New York, but you can check it out. Their cashmere is the best and is reasonablly priced too. Ralph Lauren also makes some nice cashmere sweaters every so often.
Interesting. I thought the Bloomingdales cashmere was probably the worst I've ever seen in my life. That was more than a few years ago though...

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13-11-2005
  34
trendsetter
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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for me
J Crew cashmere is fantastic - the best for the money I think.

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13-11-2005
  35
Diamond
 
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I've always liked Polo's Black Label cashmere

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13-11-2005
  36
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New York, NY
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Posts: 10
So you guys are saying that "#-ply" is a good measure of the quality of the cashmere. J. Crew claims that their cashmere sweaters are 12-14 gauge. Whats the difference?

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14-11-2005
  37
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OK, here's a thorough explanation:

Gauge refers to the thickness of the thread. #-ply to the number of threads that are used, as in the number of threads used in every single stitch: 4-ply means it's knitted with quadruple threads instead of a single thread.

Neither thickness nor number of threads is a measure of quality in itself, but it's a good guide. It would be great if you had both gauge/threadcount.

It's like this with cashmere and other wools: the fibers in lower quality wool are shorter, thicker, coarser and less flexible than in good quality wool. High quality wool fibers are therefore longer, thinner, softer and more flexible (elasic, if you will). This means you can produce thinner yarns from good quality raw material than you can from lesser qualities. And it's better to use several thinner threads compared to a thick one because you get a softer, more flexible knit.

4-ply cashmere made of 4 thinner, higher quality threads will be softer, more flexible and finer* than cashmere made from a thicker single ply thread. Even if they are made from the same raw material; we can compare it to paper. Say you had two stacks of 10 thin sheets of paper, one with loose papers (10-ply) and one where the papers are glued to each other (single thread). Which stack is easier to fold and manipulate?

So anyhow, what kind of threadcount and gauge you use is - of course - also a matter of design: you really can't make a thicker, bulkier sweater using multiple ply, superthin yarn. It would take an awful lot of yarn to make it thick which would make it very heavy, and it would be too soft to get bulky.

*Also more expensive because you get a tighter knit which takes more material (and time) to produce.


Last edited by tott; 14-11-2005 at 02:04 AM.
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14-11-2005
  38
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^ The reason why people put so much emphasis on threadcount is for an obvious reason, I suppose: You need super quality wool to produce those really fine yarns, you'll never see a 12-ply cashmere sweater at H&M because it can't be faked.

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14-11-2005
  39
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tott's Avatar
 
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I hope you don't find me annoying here...

Definition of ply from www.woolworks.org:

Most yarn is made of plied material. A ply is a twisted strand. If the twist is a firm one, the yarn will be fine; if is too firm, the yarn "kinks." If the twist is loose, the yarn is soft, thick and a bit less hardy.
The number of plies in yarn has nothing to do with thickness. A yarn made of four firm plies may be thinner than one made of two loose ones. That having been said, yarn strength and evenness depends on the number of plies. Yarn is usually plied (the act of twisting the twisted strand together) in the opposite direction of the individual strands. This corrects the tendency of the yarn to slant as it is worked. A sweater made from a firm, multi-ply yarn knit with a small gauge might survive generations of wearers.

Unplied yarn is a hunk of wool that has been stretched out a little. Roving, a fluffy bulky yarn with no twist, is an example of this. Sweaters made of roving are fragile and tend to pill.

And here's a 4-ply relatively coarse alpaca yarn to illustrate:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC00011.JPG (37.6 KB, 1 views)

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14-11-2005
  40
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Thanks Tott Handy stuff to know!

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14-11-2005
  41
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Great info, Tott, thanks! Karma for you! ...er...after spreading it a bit more I guess...


Last edited by Melisande; 14-11-2005 at 08:53 PM.
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15-11-2005
  42
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tott's Avatar
 
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Thanks girls!

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25-11-2005
  43
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Is TSE cashmere that good? I tried a couple of cashmere sweaters today and the most comfortable one was the Theory cardi. the TSE sweaters even caused static electricity when they were hanging there. They were also slightly itchy......Now I really wonder if it is one of those "over priced" brands with the same quality as others but marked up...Anybody had good experience with them?

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29-11-2005
  44
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I've bought two $500+ cashmere sweaters recently, and they both started to pill within a few wearings. I'm considering taking them back and complaining.

By contrast, my ~$100 Ann Taylor cashmere sweaters have held up for years without the first pill.

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29-11-2005
  45
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What is pilling?

I was considering investing in some good cashmere, but after hearing these stories, I think I'm going to go with cheaper brands

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