Determining the value of a fabric, these main attributions of a product are aways taken into consideration:
- The base materials and quality and of the fabric
- How long it took to make it
- The overall aesthetic
The latter two is depending entirely on our expertise, since we are the ones who make the product. But to make a luxurious fabric, the quality of ingredients are the most important, just like in cooking.
The beginning of something new requires the most caution and care – in terms of textile this care is always put into choosing the base materials you’ll use. Different fibers and yarns behave differently on the loom, after the first washing or during wearing; it will be a different experience and character each step of the process. A finished piece can signal luxury and softness, can be warm, can protect you from the heat of the sun, it can keep away odor, it can be wrinkle resistant, flexible or stiff, depending of the choice of materials. When we mix different types of yarns or threads, we always have to be mindful about that these ingredients should love each other’s close proximity and they are agreeable with one another during wearing.
Being traditional handcrafters, it is fitting that we only use yarns made of natural fibers as our base materials: Cotton, Silk, Cashmere, Wool, Semi-natural fibers.
But there are differences between the same types – it’s important where we get our supply from, because there is variation between cotton and cotton or it does matter that how high the goats our cashmere come from live. In this article, we want to show you why we are working only with the best and what gives our products the exquisite quality they have.
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows around the cotton plant’s seeds as a protective case, almost purely made out of cellulose. The use of cotton fabric is known to date to prehistoric times and it is the most widely used natural fiber in the modern textile industry. But 90% of the world production has to be heavily treated with chemicals due to which influences the fabric’s overall feel and durability, and even can cause irritation for people with sensitive skin, meanwhile heavily pollutes the eviroment.
Prized for its softness, strength and superior quality, Egyptian cotton or ELS (extra long staple) cotton has a long-established reputation of being the finest in the world – that’s why we choose to use it. The plants are organically cultivated only in a small area East of the delta of the River Nile, representing 0.4% of the total annual production of cotton in Egypt. The bolls are hand picked which puts less stress on the fibers, leaving them intact and keeping their natural flexibility. This reduces the contamination with other fibers or parts of the plant, so the processing can be chemical free and sustainable.
Egyptian cotton fibers also produce finer yarns without sacrificing strength. The finer yarn means that this cotton is lustrously soft to the touch, making amazingly durable but delicate and smooth weaves that can only be rivaled by pure silk – which our products are commonly mistaken for. Egyptian cotton is the “queen of cottons”, scarves and shawls made from this material are as great for an everyday use as for an elegant event.
ELS cotton can also absorb an incredible amount of water, the half of their own weight, and still feel dry. Thanks to this, it holds dye brilliantly so no matter how often you wash it, the intensity and depth of color will hold, and you won’t loose neither the strength nor the softness over time, giving you great value for your money.
Silk taken from various species of animals has been used since ancient times, either in their natural state or after some form of preparation. In ancient Rome the price of silk equaled with gold in weight, and garments made of it are a symbol of elegance and nobility since then.
The finest and most beautiful silk is made by domesticated silkworm caterpillars living only on mulberry trees, but to keep the fibers longer (one worm can make up to 4 km silk), the animal is killed in the harvesting process. As a more ethical approach, we tend to choose wild or spun silk to make our products. Wild silks are usually harvested after the moths have left the cocoons, cutting the threads in the process, so that there is not one long thread, as with domesticated silkworms – not harming the animal in the process. Spun silk is made from short lengths obtained from damaged cocoons or broken off during processing, twisted together to make yarn.
Silk is a wonderfully skin friendly fabric, its distinctive sheen, delicateness and soft touch makes it incomparable to other animal based materials. It has great insulating properties. Since there are few air-pockets in the weave, it sticks to your body and lightly cools you. The warmth is trapped in the small space between the body and the fabric due to the tightness of the weave. It also absorbs water really well, it can drink 1/3 its weight without feeling wet. Silk is also exceptionally flexible, hardly retains wrinkles, flattens out quickly. Real silk has little to no static charge (except in really dry air), so your hair won’t get frizzy wearing a beautiful scarf or blouse. The rustling sound, or scroop, associated with crisp silk fabrics is not a natural property of the fiber but is developed by processing treatments, and it does not indicate quality, as is sometimes believed.
With proper care, a silk piece can last you a long time. Although silk does not readily retain dirt and soil, there comes a time when you have to clean your garment, which can be a bit inconvenient. You have to wash it in cold water with detergent made for delicate fabrics or you have to give it a professional dry-cleaning service. You can iron it on a low setting if needed, but without steam or water, since they can leave a stain on the fabric.
The history of cashmere wool is the history of luxury, beauty and elegance since it’s one of the most expensive yarn to make textile. It has often been called the “fiber for kings” and handwoven cashmere scarves have marked an elite allegiance ever since the Middle Ages.
Cashmere is obtained from the double layered coat of the cashmere goat – the higher the animals live, the higher the quality their wool is, and only the undercoat is used to produce yarns. We supply our cashmere from the Tibetan highlands (about 5000 m high) where nomads live and breed these animals, living in great harmony with nature, far from the harms of the modern consumer society. Once a year, they collect the wool from the goats with combing and collecting tufts that can be found on rocks and bushes that the goats rub against in order to rid themselves of the warm winter cover. For an average 100% cashmere scarf we need about 2 or 3 goat’s hair.
Products made out of cashmere are soft and pleasant to wear as well as to the touch and keeps you warmer than regular wool. Cashmere textiles perfectly maintain their shape, do not stretch or fade out, and when cared for properly, they look like new even after years of use. Purchasing cashmere is a long-term investment, because the material is not obtained easily, and working with it requires great expertise which makes it an expensive product.
As it is a delicate material, it requires special care. You have to was it with detergent made for wool (we recommend a using a bit of baby shampoo with it) in lukewarm water, and after washing it is important that you rinse it in cold water a few times to remove any excess detergent, which can damage the fine fibers of your scarf in the long term.
Merino wool is a natural fiber grown by Merino sheep. Early users of Merino were the Bedouins of the Sinai deserts and the Tuaregs of the great North African deserts. These tribes used merino wool garments for hundreds of years in world’s greatest deserts, where the weather is extremely hot and dry during the day and cold at night, what wool is perfect for – it will keep you cool when it’s warm outside and vice versa.
The fibers are collected once or twice a year with shearing, during which the sheep are relaxed and are not showing resistance and it doesn’t harm them in any way. It’s thinner and softer than regular wool – making it easy to wear next to skin, you will not get itchy in it. Unlike other types of wool, Merino wool absorbs all odor molecules and only releases them upon washing. It can absorb about the third of its weight in liquid, so it will keep you dry and comfortable – it releases water just as easily, it will dry quickly if you get caught in the rain. The elastic properties of the merino fiber make it extremely wrinkle resistant, there is no need of ironing after wearing or washing a piece.
Thanks to it’s surprisingly fine texture, Merino wool makes outstandingly elegant, high-end fabrics for anyone who demands that comfort and style go hand in hand.
Semi-natural fibers are manufactured fibers made from natural sources such as wood and agricultural products that are regenerated as cellulose fiber. The many types and grades of these can imitate the feel and texture of natural fibers such as silk, wool and cotton, but usually not the durability. Depending on their unique characteristics, there are a few types:
Rayon is a kind of viscose, the name is interchangeable. The base for this fiber is usually some kind of wood. It is usually called artificial silk, but when it gets wet, it can easily be damaged.
Modal is made of up-cycled cotton or silk, and is a lot more stable than rayon when wet, similar to cotton. The fabric has been known to pill less and can be even tumble dried. Using textile industry’s leftovers it’s a highly renewable material.
Lyocell‘s base is always bamboo and/or eucalyptus. It is really environmentally-friendly thanks to the highly sustainable base materials, and more durable, but not as soft like modal – it’s also more expensive to produce.
From these three, we like to use Modal and Lyocell. Modal is used as a substitute to cotton or silk in our products, to make them more affordable without loosing much of the quality those fully natural fibers give. Most of our customers choose Modal by touching the fabric, since it feels like something between cotton and silk, and is surprisingly soft. In the name of protecting the environment, we only use spools collected from textile mills which would be unusable for them and otherwise end up in the landfill.
These materials disappear after about 12 months in the ground. This means that, when you’re done with your textile, the earth will take back their compounds, releasing carbon and nutrients back into the soil.