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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! :)

I have a navy blue cashmere v-neck sweater purchased from C. Tyrwhitt some time ago. It fits well and is a good weight for where I live (San Diego).

It is starting to have some pilling and I'm thinking about buying another. I really like the navy and think it is a good match for my coloring.

They are priced at ~$180 currently. I am just wondering if anyone has suggestions for other brands around that range, or any other thoughts on the subject.
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My understanding is that piling is often caused by shorter fibers found in lower quality sweaters. High quality sweaters have much longer fibers and, as a result, resist piling.

I have an old J. Banks cashmere sweater I bought cheap on sale 5-6 years ago and it piles like crazy, but I wear it hunting and it still keeps me warm.
Since it was silly cheap, I don't mind trashing it.

If you are looking for quality, find the sweaters with longer fibers. They cost more since the cashmere is gathered by hand brushing as opposed to mechanical shearing.

Cheers,

BSR
 

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All wool and cashmere sweaters will pill to some degree, so it's not necessarily a sign of a cheap garment. There are many products on the market that can address this issue. Proper care, including brushing after each wear and proper storage are key for getting the longest life. When needed, hand washing using a detergent specifically formulated for wool and cashmere is suggested.

BSR is right, there is cashmere and then there's cashmere. I have a Pringle cashmere sweater that is >40 years old which looks and feels new. Cashmere gets a bad rap regarding it's durability; "cashmere is delicate" is the common refrain. BS! Cheap cashmere is delicate. Well made cashmere is durable and can last for years if properly cared for.

At the price point indicated, J Crew is another option.
 

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Irrespective of whether you purchase a new sweater, don't forget -


Not recommended that you emulate this gent's attire - Aussie accent optional.

I'm not a cashmere expert, but know there are varying levels of quality. The yarn of high quality cashmere tends not only to be made from longer fibers, but is also more tightly wound and hence denser, requiring more fiber. Counter intuitively, extremely soft and lofty cashmere garments may for this reason be less durable, but offer a soft hand.
 

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All wool and cashmere sweaters will pill to some degree, so it's not necessarily a sign of a cheap garment. There are many products on the market that can address this issue. Proper care, including brushing after each wear and proper storage are key for getting the longest life. When needed, hand washing using a detergent specifically formulated for wool and cashmere is suggested.

BSR is right, there is cashmere and then there's cashmere. I have a Pringle cashmere sweater that is >40 years old which looks and feels new. Cashmere gets a bad rap regarding it's durability; "cashmere is delicate" is the common refrain. BS! Cheap cashmere is delicate. Well made cashmere is durable and can last for years if properly cared for.

At the price point indicated, J Crew is another option.
Agree with all of this. My oldest cashmere sweaters are also those of the highest quality. I have a couple PRL cable-knit cashmere sweaters from the early 90s that, even after multiple wearings, could pass for last season. Yes, proper care post-wearing will certainly prolong the lives of these garments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is all quite interesting. I haven't tried yet getting rid of the pills so maybe I will do that.

One good thing about the CT sweater is that I know the fit is good, and I am just a little bit challenging for fitting.

On another note, I had occassion to call C Tyrwhitt once, and was surprised to hear the customer service rep pronounce it "Tirrit". I suppose that is similar to the way that Warwick is pronounced "Warrick", which I just recently learned.

Wow just googled Pringle, looks like prices start around $650. Hey I lost my CT for a few days and just located it today in the call room at the hospital. So that's another reason I am probably better off in the CT price range. I also seem to have misplaced an expensive pair of boxer-briefs and a pair of flip flops (eh, we used to call them "thongs" or "zories" when I was a kid. Nowadays "thong" may suggest something altogether different). Last I remember having them was showering and putting on fresh clothes in the hospital locker room. Sheesh !

I'm rambling a bit here, but it has been a long time since I have posted here and it is great to see familiar and new friendly and helpful members!

Off topic: I recently researched, purchased, and have been wearing some various expensive men's underwear. All boxer-briefs, from Saxx (Ultra), MyPakage, ExOfficio (sport mesh), Mack Weldon (sized too small), and 2Undr (also sized too small). I imagine there is a discussion thread on this subject already? Though I never saw one during my most active years here.

Cheers!
 

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Honestly, it's not worth buying cheap (let's call it sub-$200) cashmere.

As others here have reported, old cashmere sweaters are pretty amazing, and that's because they were simply better made from better cashmere.

I used to swear by Murray Allan cashmere sweaters, and I have some 25+ years old which wear like iron; they are amazing. Sadly, Murray Allan eventually shifted manufacturing to China, and the sweaters ceased to be worth owning. So I can't recommend that brand.

Pringle should still be okay, and maybe Johnston's of Elgin. Basically you want cashmere which was woven in Italy or Scotland (both nice, though different), with the actual garment also knitted in those places. *Maybe* there are some good looms in China, but I just steer clear of them.

Rule of thumb: a decent cashmere sweater is going to cost north of $450 (undiscounted). If that's too high, look at merino for now.

DH
 

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Rule of thumb: a decent cashmere sweater is going to cost north of $450 (undiscounted). If that's too high, look at merino for now.

DH
Is merino still second to cashmere in luxury? Cashmere is getting coarser every year, while ultrafine merino is commonplace (15 micron yarn is widely available where I am). Is there anything unique about cashmere that makes it desirable or is it mostly hype?
 

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Is merino still second to cashmere in luxury? Cashmere is getting coarser every year, while ultrafine merino is commonplace (15 micron yarn is widely available where I am). Is there anything unique about cashmere that makes it desirable or is it mostly hype?
Good cashmere is wonderful stuff, but I'd much prefer good merino to bad cashmere; in other words, just because it's cashmere doesn't make it innately luxurious. Cashmere is warmer than merino, of course.

I have some really very nice merino v-necks which I prefer for layering because they're not as warm as cashmere (which can be *too* warm here in Atlanta).

My recommendation for cashmere is to get the best quality one can afford, and have it as a really special item, like a thick, luxurious shawl cardigan (a very nice item).

Looking at my sweaters, I also have a camel wool cardigan (a pretty cozy and interesting item), and I've had angora sweaters in the past but they were *too* soft (I like a harder, more rigid weave of wool for sweaters).

Again, it's like anything: never buy a thing just because it's *the thing*; buy it because it's a good value: top quality for a fair price.

DH
 

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Is merino still second to cashmere in luxury? Cashmere is getting coarser every year, while ultrafine merino is commonplace (15 micron yarn is widely available where I am). Is there anything unique about cashmere that makes it desirable or is it mostly hype?
Terms like "luxury" are useless as I've heard of Starbucks being labeled as luxury.

Merino is fine and very durable. It doesn't take a back seat to cashmere in anyway.

Cashmere is more expensive mainly due to its supply and the labor intensive harvesting of the fibers.

All things being equal, cashmere tends to be lighter and warmer than merino. It's not better nor is it worse. It's just different.

And Dhaller is right, most of the stuff you find at department stores is garbage. I'd rather spend the money on good Merino or Saxxon wool as it will last longer. Good cashmere is not cheap. But well cared for, it will last decades.
 

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I was able to thrift two sweaters today from Inis Meain. One is cashmere and the other is baby alpaca. This is what I would call "good cashmere." If you get a chance to get hold of one of these, I can highly recommend them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is a really interesting discussion. That's what I like about AAAC, I learn something new every day.

Only thing about buying an expensive sweater is I have a tendency to misplace things at times.

I will have to look at the Merino though, I do see them for sale quite often.

I have a big thick shawl collar cardigan I bought on sale from Land's End a few years back for a few hundred bucks. I love it but it is pretty much never ever cold enough to wear it in San Diego! On the few ocassions I have worn it however, I have gotten compliments from women.

So there you go!

Anyone want to discuss expensive underwear? I think I'll go start another thread.

:happy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just bought on Amazon a Conair pill remover, hopefully it will actually work and not damage anything.

Thanks Flanderian!

SG, could you (or anyone?) recommend some nice quality brands of Merino sweater? Or shall I just go to Macy's, or look on Land's End, or ? ? ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was able to thrift two sweaters today from Inis Meain. One is cashmere and the other is baby alpaca. This is what I would call "good cashmere." If you get a chance to get hold of one of these, I can highly recommend them.
I just checked, and my size in the CT Cashmere sweater is XXL, which fits me perfectly. I am 6'1" ~235# with chest ~50". Just looked up Inis Meain, wow nice stuff but a little pricey, that was a good find you made!

I thought people here had a pretty good opinion of CT, perhaps that is just for basics (shirts, etc.) and for starting out with stuff that isn't too expensive? Their Merino sweaters are ~$70.
 

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Just bought on Amazon a Conair pill remover, hopefully it will actually work and not damage anything.

Thanks Flanderian!

SG, could you (or anyone?) recommend some nice quality brands of Merino sweater? Or shall I just go to Macy's, or look on Land's End, or ? ? ?
I buy Alan Paine merino wool sweaters pretty loyally; they are very nice.

If you have a good, independent menswear store (if you live in San Diego there must be, so there's just no good reason to suffer through Macy's or Lands End), there's a good chance they carry them, and of course you can buy them online.

The merino is really high quality, they have tons of colors, and they're sized numerically (for example, I wear a 40, not "medium" - there's no reason sweaters shouldn't actually fit well, and alphabet sizing usually doesn't quite hit the mark).

You can order online as well. They're usually in the neighborhood of $150; again, yes, you can buy a fifty dollar merino sweater from Macy's, but compare it to an Alan Paine and you will instantly regret it.

https://www.alanpaine.co.uk/mens/knitwear/jumpers/merino-jumpers

DH
 

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Question about maintenance - I thrifted a cashmere sweater that I think has stretched a bit (does not feel as springy as cashmere should be) - it is vintage scottish cashmere from Laing, so it's quality AFAIK. Would a wash regain its shape and springiness?
 

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Question about maintenance - I thrifted a cashmere sweater that I think has stretched a bit (does not feel as springy as cashmere should be) - it is vintage scottish cashmere from Laing, so it's quality AFAIK. Would a wash regain its shape and springiness?
It should, just make sure to wash it correctly (meaning be sure not to stretch it during the washing process, and make sure to dry it on a rack so gravity doesn't stretch it). There are some good guides to washing cashmere sweaters; I'm linking one from GQ, but other folks may have better ones to recommend.

I will say, from long experience, that *sometimes* the finished areas of a cashmere sweater, like the weave around the v-neck (the sort of collar part, not sure what it's called), can lose shape a little because the very tight weave loosens (or maybe a twist is introduced to the threads, I'm not sure). Nothing terribly bothersome, but again, be sure to wash somewhat gently (by hand, obviously).

https://www.gq.com/story/the-gq-guide-to-washing-your-cashmere-sweater

DH
 
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