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Scarves, Pashminas and Shawls made from wool and fabrics blended with wool.
Scarves, Pashminas, Shawls and Wraps made from wool are warm and snuggly and make the perfect winter accessories, be they women’s scarves or men’s scarves. The raw fibre, or hair we call wool is harvested from various animals, though sheep’s wool is by far the most common. The yarn is also harvested from goat’s, musk ox, rabbits, and several breeds of cattle and pigs! As with all animal based yarns it is mainly made up of strands of protein. To check that you actually have a wool or silk product you can remove a few strands of fibre and burn them in a flame. If it is a protein based yarn, i.e. animal derived it will give off the distinctive smell of burnt hair. When we are shopping in India, we always carry a lighter, so we can check for ourselves we are buying the real thing.
Wool has many unique characteristics and varies substantially from region to region and animal to animal. One of the most important characteristics of a wool fibre is the crimp. In simple terms this is the natural waviness of the fibre. The smaller and more numerous the waves the finer the fibre will be and these fibres can be spun into the finest of yarns. It is also the crimp of the fibre that helps the fibres stick together during the spinning process. Even with manmade fibres this crimp has to be artificially introduced in order to make a useable yarn. Once the wool has been made into a scarf it is the crimp in the fibres which allow wool to trap the warm air of the wearer and keep the cold air at bay. Because of the crimp wool has a natural springiness and quickly regains its shape if scrunched up. Fabrics without that spring in them tend to crease more readily and these creases take a long time to fall out.
At York Scarves we sell our own range of pure wool scarves. We also combine wool with several other types of yarn. This includes our wool/viscose scarves and our cashmere/modal scarves. Just to allay confusion cashmere is a type of wool harvested from the Cashmere goat, and the word Cashmere is actually an old spelling of the word Kashmir, the now disputed Himalayan Kingdom straddling India and Pakistan. People often wonder what’s the difference between Cashmere wool and Pashmina wool and here the lines are a bit blurred. Put basically pashmina is a finer fibre than cashmere, In fact these days any wool finer than 16 microns is readily classified as cashmere whereas pashmina is less than 14 microns. True pashmina is relatively rare and very expensive though since the term “Pashmina” was hi-jacked by the fashion industry it has come to mean any stole or shawl of about 200cm x 70cm. Even if they are made from artificial oil based yarns like polyester.
In better quality woolen attire products Merino Wool is the most popular. Most of this comes from Australia and New Zealand but some also comes from South Africa. The quality of the wool is in part defined by the harshness of the climate. Animals that live in very cold conditions obviously need to develop better insulation and thus have evolved very fine hair. In hot conditions good insulation and the need for a fine coat is equally important.
York Scarves only uses the finest pure new wool for its 100% wool scarves. Our range of pure wool pashminas has quickly become a best-selling line which we will be expanding over time. If you want to become a wholesale customer for our unique range of fair trade scarves please fill in the enquiry form and we will get back to you.