Cashmere is a rare and precious fiber with exceptional properties and incomparable lightness. Nevertheless, it exists of all qualities. Depending on the methods used, it will be more or less beautiful, and therefore more or less expensive.
The quality of a cashmere sweater depends on the choice of the raw material. These are the characteristics that will determine the final appearance of your garment.
Alexandra Golovanoff uses the best cashmere in the world, from the most renowned Italian and Scottish spinning mills.
The raw material
To achieve a high quality yarn, it is essential to carefully select the raw material, to ensure its origin, its purity, its fineness and its regularity.
The two most important cashmere producing countries, both in terms of quantity and quality, are China and Mongolia.
Cashmere from China is considered the best: the fineness and length of the material are exceptional.
Our cashmere comes from the highlands of the Gobi Desert in the Alashan region of China, home to the Hircus goats, which produce the finest and most precious fiber.
These goats live in a desert environment with an extreme climate ranging from -40 to +40 degrees.
The down under the long hair of their fleece allows these animals to adapt to this particularly harsh climate. This down is harvested once a year between May and July, by hand combing according to a know-how transmitted from generation to generation. The animals are treated extremely well because of their value.
An adult goat produces about 450 to 500 grams of raw fiber, which once sorted by expert hands, will only represent about 100 grams. This ruthless selection of the hair is the basis of the high quality of the cashmere we use.
Heritage and know-how
The heritage and know-how of the spinning mill from which we source has been passed down for four generations.
It benefits from the experience of local craftsmen, who meticulously sort the fibers according to their different shades. Each batch is analyzed according to about 40 control points in its Beijing laboratory. None of these operations is delegated, which ensures traceability at each stage and therefore a scrupulous quality control.
The yarn is then sent directly to the factory, located north of Milan, in the foothills of the Italian Alps.
Manufacturing steps and technology
The hairs arrive in large burlap bales. They are then transformed into spools of yarn.
After the elimination of the last and shortest fibers, the entangled fibers are passed through the carding machine which will allow them to be parallelized and organized in the form of a mat. This operation is carried out thanks to the successive passages of the fibers arranged on a conveyor belt under large cylinders provided with fine teeth, which direct all the fibers in the same direction little by little.
The web is then divided into ribbons which are then wound up to obtain a single yarn. This single yarn is then combined with a second yarn by a combination of twists, which provide strength and stability. Throughout this process, a set of extremely sophisticated and sensitive sensors allow us to measure, analyze and control the operations in a precise and scrupulous way in order to rule out any malfunction.
The yarn is then dyed throughout its entire section in a uniform manner. The variety of colors that can be obtained is infinite.
After several hours in a dye bath, the skeins are dried, sprayed and once again transferred to a cone.
Conditioning is the last step that gives the yarn strength and all the properties required for knitting through an operation of steaming in an autoclave and then waxing.
The so-called "mottled" colors
In the elaboration of a mottled color, the fiber is dyed and dried. The fibers of different colors are then combined according to a recipe studied beforehand and mixed for many hours in order to obtain a color with rich and perfectly homogeneous shades.
Demands and traceability
For many years now, we have been doing everything possible to reduce our impact on the environment.
All the spinning and dyeing processes meet stringent environmental standards regarding water recycling and purification, CO2 emissions and energy balance.
This organization offers complete control and traceability at every stage of the manufacturing chain. It combines the know-how, expertise and experience inherent in the history of the spinning mill, while taking advantage of new technologies.
The high level of requirement concerning the selection of fibers allows us to produce an exceptional finished product, sustainable over time, eco-responsible and virtuous, at the crossroads between tradition and innovation.
The cashmere that we select offers you an unequalled elegance and comfort, pleasant in any season.
Respect for animals, people, the environment and know-how are the fundamental values.