Cashmere Silk - Fibre that Melts in Your Hand

What is Cashmere Silk

Cashmere silk is the blend of cashmere and silk fibres in a garment. The two fibres are known as some of the world’s most precious and rare, owing to their supreme softness, temperature regulating qualities and durability. The successful cultivation of these fibres is also fraught with challenges, so each year, only a small amount is reared and the highest quality of these is understandably, regarded as the rarest of the rare, often ferociously competed for by the world’s pre-eminent textile producers.

The blend of these two fibres together combines the best of both worlds - the softness and insulating qualities of cashmere with the extreme refinement and luxury hand feel of silk, creating a knitted fabric that can only be described as having a “melt in your hand” texture.

Cashmere silk tennis polo in cream

The Cashmere Component (Capra Hircus Laniger)

The cashmere component of the cashmere silk yarn we use is obtained by combing the coat of hairs on the underbelly of the Capra Hircus Laniger goat. This goat lives in areas in Northern China and Mongolia where the animal experiences wild changes in temperature between night and day, leading to the development of a fleece that has exceptional temperature regulating abilities - adapting the body it envelopes to ensure an optimal temperature, so that it will keep you cool when it is hot and keep you warm when it is cold without over-heating you.

The cashmere fibres are 15.7mm in diameter and 45 – 46mm in length; making these the world’s finest and longest cashmere fibres, thus the most luxuriously soft, and robust in equal measure.

Cashmere silk tennis polo in dark brown

The Silk Component (Bombyx Mori)

The silk used in our cashmere silk yarn is Mulberry Silk - recognised in the textile industry as the world’s finest silk. But why is Mulberry Silk better? Mulberry Silk is a special type of silk produced by silkworms that have fed only on leaves from the mulberry tree. The leaves of the mulberry tree are packed full of nutrients, allowing silkworms who feed on them to produce cocoons of the finest silk that are the world’s longest and strongest - it is said that a strand of mulberry silk when unravelled can stretch out to a mile long. The long, unbroken thread allows any yarn produced to have the strongest qualities and the smoothest and softest hand feel.

The silk fibres used are 11 micron class aa1 in diameter and 58 – 60mm in length - which is industry speak for the very finest (i.e. softest hand feel and quality as well as the most durable, due to its length).

You can see from the above close-up just how fine the texture is on the knitted cashmere silk fabric. The buttery soft texture moves freely with any body movement and follows the contours of your body.

Why Cashmere Silk - The Perfect Warm Weather Fabric

At Colhay’s we pride ourselves in not only creating garments made in the world’s most luxurious and unique fibres, but we also like to take what is best in nature and apply it to garment creation that suits the needs of the person the most.

When we were on the hunt to find the cashmere equivalent fibre for warmer weather garments (such as during the spring and summer), we thought that the cashmere silk blend would be perfect. The cashmere has incredible softness and natural temperature regulating abilities, but it can be quite dense and thick, especially if it is knitted by heritage knitwear producers in Scotland who are renowned for creating a substantial, dense knit using up to 40% cashmere - this is great for longevity and ensures your knitwear will last a lifetime, but can be a bit heavy for warm weather.

Cashmere silk tennis polo in navy

The Best of Both Worlds

In comes Mulberry Silk - the perfect fibre to balance out the heftiness of cashmere. The cashmere silk yarn we use for our garments contains 70% cashmere and 30% silk - the silk allows the knitted material to feel more airy and breathable as well as lighter. The silk is laced in with the cashmere in the fine thread of the yarn itself, so that the qualities of both balance out each other perfectly and complement each other in a consistent way throughout the garment. Although the yarn itself is extraordinarily soft and lightweight, it is knitted in Scotland who use the same tight tension technique to make the knit, so that whilst the knit feels drapey and comfortable, it still has a wonderful, substantial hand feel, rather than anything too flimsy. This makes it the perfect blend to use for warmer weather garments, such as our cashmere silk tennis polo shirt.

Our cashmere silk tennis polo is soft and breathable, yet has a substantial hand feel that denotes heritage Scottish knit quality, ensuring it is a garment that lasts a long time.

The cashmere silk blend ensures that you get the luscious spongey softness of cashmere but at the same time, lightweightness and breathability of silk - the best of both worlds. It’s also worth noting that silk is a popular fabric in many parts of Asia precisely because the climate is very warm (China and India being two countries with a long history of silk production and usage).


Cashmere Silk by Cariaggi Lanificio

Cariaggi is a historic Italian yarn spinner, who are known in the industry as the preeminent experts in producing the finest cashmere blend yarns, including cashmere silk. It was a mill that was started by Aurelio Cariaggi in 1958 in Cagli and over the course of 60 years, they have risen in prominence through decades of relentless pursuit of excellence in fine yarn production and their commitment to producing the very finest quality. Nestled in the greenery of the Marche Apennines, they are regarded as being among the select group of elite yarn producers that luxury powerhouses flock to time and again. With Cariaggi, you can rest assured that the cashmere silk used to create our garments will have no compare when it comes to quality.

View our cashmere silk collection here.