Cashmere Wool vs. Wool: Understanding the Distinction
Hello Rug Love community! Today, we'll take a deep dive into the world of wool, more specifically, cashmere wool and 'regular' wool. The differences may surprise you and give you a new appreciation for the intricacies of these natural materials.
What is Wool?
Wool is a natural fibre that is sheared from sheep. There are numerous breeds of sheep around the world, and their wool can vary widely in quality, texture, and durability. The properties of the wool depend on several factors, including the breed of sheep, their diet, the climate in which they live, and how their wool is processed.
Wool is known for its excellent insulation properties, durability, and natural resistance to water and fire. It is commonly used in clothing, carpets, and, of course, our beloved rugs.
What is Cashmere Wool?
Cashmere is a type of wool, but it doesn't come from sheep. Instead, it's harvested from the soft undercoat of cashmere goats, which are found in regions with extreme weather conditions, like Mongolia and Inner Mongolia in China.
Cashmere is characterized by its supreme softness, lightness, and exceptional warmth. It's a luxury material that is often used in high-end clothing and home textiles. It's also significantly rarer and more labour-intensive to produce than sheep's wool, which is why cashmere items tend to be more expensive.
Differences Between Cashmere and Wool
As mentioned above, while wool generally refers to the fibres sourced from sheep, cashmere is derived from cashmere goats. This difference in source animals contributes to the variation in texture, warmth, and price between the two materials.
Cashmere is famous for its extraordinary softness. The fibers are fine and have a silky feel to the touch. On the other hand, sheep's wool can range from very soft (like Merino wool) to quite coarse, depending on the breed of the sheep.
Cashmere wool is considerably warmer than regular wool. The undercoat of the cashmere goat is designed to keep the animal warm during harsh winters, making it one of the warmest wools available.
While cashmere is softer and warmer, regular wool is generally more durable and resilient. This makes wool an excellent choice for items that need to withstand wear and tear, like carpets and rugs.
Due to the labour-intensive process of harvesting and the lower yield per goat compared to a sheep, cashmere is more expensive than regular wool.
Which One to Choose?
Choosing between cashmere and regular wool depends on your personal preference and the purpose of the item. For a luxury throw or scarf, cashmere's softness and warmth might be worth the higher price tag. However, for a rug that needs to withstand foot traffic, regular wool would be a more durable and cost-effective choice.
Both cashmere and wool have their unique qualities and benefits. The choice between the two depends on what characteristics are most important to you: the exquisite softness and warmth of cashmere, or the resilience and practicality of regular wool.
We hope this blog post has helped clarify the differences between cashmere and wool. Stay tuned for more insightful content about the world of rugs and textiles here at Rug Love!