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The Luxury of Cashmere

The Luxury of Cashmere

 

Sourced from nature, made sublime by artistry, cashmere is the culmination of a delicate harmony—and the end point of a process hundreds of years in the making.

Endlessly versatile, it can be spun into pieces that are soft or structured, lofty or lean. The epitome of style with substance, it is a signature of Lafayette 148, one that expresses our values, beautifully. Discover the fascinating story of this most extraordinary material.

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Since its earliest documented usage in 14th century Persia, cashmere has been synonymous with luxury. Its unique combination of softness and ultralight warmth is without equal—it is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, and has a distinctively silky touch that’s sought after around the world. At Lafayette 148, all of our cashmere is top dyed, meaning each fiber is dyed before it is spun, giving the yarns a beautifully saturated, dimensional color that’s entirely unique.

Since its earliest documented usage in 14th century Persia, cashmere has been synonymous with luxury. Its unique combination of softness and ultralight warmth is without equal—it is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, and has a distinctively silky touch that’s sought after around the world. At Lafayette 148, all of our cashmere is top dyed, meaning each fiber is dyed before it is spun, giving the yarns a beautifully saturated, dimensional color that’s entirely unique.

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The story of our cashmere begins with a special breed of goats native to the Mongolian Himalayas, where a centuries-old tradition of wool gathering ensures a harvest of exceptionally downy, long-staple fibers. To survive the harsh winters of the high plains, the goats have developed an ultra-soft undercoat, which is prized for its exceptional warmth, silkiness and light weight. Rather than shearing the coat, these hairs are gently brushed from the soft, inner fleece and then carefully chosen for their fineness and length—only the most superior among them go on to be milled and made into Lafayette 148 designs.

The story of our cashmere begins with a special breed of goats native to the Mongolian Himalayas, where a centuries-old tradition of wool gathering ensures a harvest of exceptionally downy, long-staple fibers. To survive the harsh winters of the high plains, the goats have developed an ultra-soft undercoat, which is prized for its exceptional warmth, silkiness and light weight. Rather than shearing the coat, these hairs are gently brushed from the soft, inner fleece and then carefully chosen for their fineness and length—only the most superior among them go on to be milled and made into Lafayette 148 designs.

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All of our cashmere yarn is sourced from a single mill, Lora & Festa, through a relationship that has been forged over decades. Based in Italy for more than five generations, our partners pride themselves on being stewards of this precious natural resource. From hand-harvesting the wool, to hand-finishing the yarn and carefully cultivating the health of the herds and herders they work with so intimately, they are devoted to safeguarding the integrity of this rare fiber, and ensuring that it remains plentiful for generations to come.

All of our cashmere yarn is sourced from a single mill, Lora & Festa, through a relationship that has been forged over decades. Based in Italy for more than five generations, our partners pride themselves on being stewards of this precious natural resource. From hand-harvesting the wool, to hand-finishing the yarn and carefully cultivating the health of the herds and herders they work with so intimately, they are devoted to safeguarding the integrity of this rare fiber, and ensuring that it remains plentiful for generations to come.

“Cashmere is the ultimate luxury. From the softness of the yarn to the warmth it provides to the light weight and exquisite color, no other fiber can compare. It has a true timelessness, and it’s important to me that our designs reflect that.”

—Emily Smith, Creative Director

 

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At Lafayette 148, sourcing the best yarns is simply the start. With our own design studio and production facility, nothing escapes our oversight. To keep the cashmere yarns smooth and pliable, we built a temperature-controlled storage area, custom-designed to mimic the cold, arid Mongolian climate. We flew in a team of experts from Italy, who spent three years training our team to operate our fleet of ultra-modern German knitting machines. We put great care into choosing the right yarn and the perfect stitch for each piece. We even specially treat the water used to rinse the cashmere, so as not to disrupt the fiber’s natural pH balance. Very few designers go to these lengths, but each step along the way helps to create a truly superior cashmere garment.

At Lafayette 148, sourcing the best yarns is simply the start. With our own design studio and production facility, nothing escapes our oversight. To keep the cashmere yarns smooth and pliable, we built a temperature-controlled storage area, custom-designed to mimic the cold, arid Mongolian climate. We flew in a team of experts from Italy, who spent three years training our team to operate our fleet of ultra-modern German knitting machines. We put great care into choosing the right yarn and the perfect stitch for each piece. We even specially treat the water used to rinse the cashmere, so as not to disrupt the fiber’s natural pH balance. Very few designers go to these lengths, but each step along the way helps to create a truly superior cashmere garment.

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Part of our heritage since the beginning, our Cashmere Collection is built on a philosophy of timelessness over trend. Sweaters, scarves and coats are cast in an enduring palette of soft, neutral shades. Our designers work carefully to strike a delicate balance between loft and durability, softness and shape—so that the pieces we create today remain luxurious for years to come.

Part of our heritage since the beginning, our Cashmere Collection is built on a philosophy of timelessness over trend. Sweaters, scarves and coats are cast in an enduring palette of soft, neutral shades. Our designers work carefully to strike a delicate balance between loft and durability, softness and shape—so that the pieces we create today remain luxurious for years to come.

The Journey of Knit

See the extraordinary story of our sweaters come to life.


Watch the Film
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