A scarf is one of the most staple winter accessories. People wear it for warmth, softness, and coziness. Wool and cashmere scarf are the two that are most commonly used because of their exceptional quality and durability. However, choosing between the two doesn’t seem easy if you are not familiar with merino wool and cashmere. Here we will share some knowledge of both wool and cashmere so you can easily choose the best winter scarf for yourself.
Similar to human hair/fur, wool fiber is the hair of various animals like goats, sheep, alpacas. It is used in different woven and textile industries by collecting the fibers during shearing of animals annually. Although breed and type of animal vary the properties of wool, they are used to make warm blankets, clothing because of their effective insulating property against cold.
Cashmere is the fiber that is originated from special Kashmir goats. The natural habitat of these goats is commonly found in several countries of Asia like Afghanistan, Iran, China, Mongolia, Iraq, and India. These places are where the temperature gets as low as -40 degrees in winter, and cashmere goats grow the underlying fleece to adapt to the coldness. The ultra-fine and insulating underlying coat are what we called cashmere. Due to the rarity and luxury of the fleece, cashmere scarves and products are considered as luxury items for a long history.
Cashmere scarf VS. Wool scarf
Warmer and softer100 percent cashmere scarf is around 8 times warmer than a scarf made of merino wool. The fact that the cashmere fiber is hollow and finer makes it lighter and softer than wool. Thus, cashmere scarves provide more insulation, they keep you warm in the winter and help you cool down in the summer.
100% cashmere scarf is light but drapes well. It is more luxurious with an elegant feeling and hence more preferred for the formal events because of its silky feel. Unlike the silk-like feeling of cashmere scarf, a wool scarf is thick, heavy and sometimes itchy.
The durability of both wool and cashmere scarves heavily depends on the quality. Generally, merino wool scarf is sturdier than a cashmere scarf when it comes to stretch and washing. However, high-quality cashmere scarf with some extra care could last for 20 years.
Taking care of wool & cashmere scarf
Cashmere scarf requires more attention in maintenance. To clean the cashmere scarf, hand washing gently with cold water is the preferred way. No hot water is allowed because it will cause the shrinkage of cashmere scarf. You can also machine wash the cashmere scarf but remember always set the washing cycle with a delicate material and cold water. As merino/sheep wool is slightly more durable, it can be washed in both warm and cold water, and machine cleaning can be performed easily. Hence, less care is needed for a merino wool scarf.
One of the main factors that affect shopping decision is pricing. As we know pricing comes with quality; cashmere scarves are more expensive than merino wool scarves. For a decent sized 100% cashmere scarf, if the price is lower than $100 (even with a discount applied), then there is a great chance that the quality would be comprised.
The common factor of both scarves is that they are stylish, warm and comfortable to carry. By taking proper care of them and using them rightly, you can maintain their attractiveness. If you are more concerned with the quality and softness of the fabric, you are more likely to choose a cashmere scarf. If you feel too much cold in the winter season and have to perform outdoor activities most of the time, you will most probably prefer cashmere scarf because it's much warmer than merino wool scarf. However, merino/sheep wool scarf is no less, as it is so durable. So, if you want to spend less and buy a scarf that will last longer, you might prefer merino wool scarf. The significant point you must take into consideration before you make the final decision is not to compromise on quality and choose the best.