Why Is Wool Cashmere So Itchy Without Undergarments?

2 min read

Knits are supposed to be the epitome of comfort and coziness when it comes to clothing and accessories. However, nothing ruins that feeling like itchiness. Wearing an itchy knit all day long is annoying and anything but comfortable. It has the capability of turning you off that particular knit for good. Of course, you could always wear a base layer but sometimes it might not be cold enough. Plus, if you’re wearing a cashmere scarf or pashmina scarf, it would limit your top choice to only turtlenecks. So why is wool/cashmere so itchy without undergarments?

There is actually a scientific reason behind why certain knitwear is so itchy. The hand feel and therefore itchiness of a fabric all depends on its fibers. For example, sheep’s wool fibers are much rougher and larger than the fibers of other materials commonly used for knitwear such as alpaca and cashmere, whereas silk fibers are completely smooth. When you examine each material under a microscope, you can see the difference. The coarser the fibers are, the more they end up sticking out and causing itchiness. It’s a bit like split ends on hair - they also end up sticking out and aren’t the softest to touch, whereas soft, healthy hair is thanks to smooth strands. That’s why sheep’s wool is pretty much the itchiest fabric out there.

Cashmere, on the other hand, has smoother fibers that are less likely to stick out. It also comes from the smoothest and softest downy undercoat of cashmere goats, whereas sheep’s coats are rougher in general. If your cashmere scarf or sweater feels itchy, unfortunately it’s because it’s of low quality, is not pure cashmere, or has been chemically treated to alter its naturally soft texture. Good quality cashmere, like ours, should never feel itchy. It is specially processed to ensure maximum softness and comfort, so you don’t have to worry about wearing base layers for protection.

First, high quality cashmere is tested to ensure that there are no outer coat fibers mixed in with the downy undercoat as those are the roughest. Then the width of the undercoat fibers are measured, since the softest cashmere fibers are the thinnest. The average width of cashmere is about 14 microns, whereas sheep’s wool is usually 26 microns! As you can see, this majorly reduces the amount of fibers that can start sticking out and itching your skin. But that’s not it - the last step is to thoroughly wash and card the cashmere to make sure the fibers are as clean as can be and all face in the same direction for smoothness. Now the cashmere can be spun into a beautiful, fine yarn.

At Pashmirs we make sure to use the highest quality cashmere that feels incredibly soft and amazing against your skin. We promise that our cashmere scarves and pashmina won’t make you feel itchy, even if you have sensitive skin. And you definitely won’t have to worry about undergarments so you can be free to wear whatever you want with your cashmere scarf. This means you can wear your scarf all year round, whether you are all bundled up on a cold winter’s day or as a light layer to block out the breeze on a summer night. It’ll be the cashmere scarf you reach for again and again for its luxurious, soft, and cozy feel.

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