Cashmere's unmatched warmth and softness have made it a global favourite for scarves, blankets and more. Yet, as high street retailers offer this sought-after fabric at lower prices, you might question whether all cashmere garments share the same standard and what sets Joshua Ellis Cashmere products apart? The answer lies in our manufacturing journey and commitment to quality, extending from raw fibre to the finished piece. Read on to discover what makes our Cashmere truly special.
Our Cashmere Story.
We source our cashmere from the finest Cashmere goats of Mongolia and China, renowned for their exceptionally soft and luxurious fleece, qualities you can find in a Joshua Ellis accessory.
We work closely with the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) to select local herders who have perfected the art of sustainable and ethical cashmere farming over generations. The herders handle the goats with great care, ensuring their well-being and the preservation of their precious cashmere fleece, extracting the noble fibres from the goats' soft under hair with a gentle touch.
The raw cashmere then undergoes a meticulous sorting and grading process to separate the finest fibres from the rest. The quality of the cashmere is graded on its fineness and length, a high-quality single hair can be as thin as 14 micrometres. This rigorous selection ensures that only the softest, longest, and most luxurious cashmere fibres are used in our end products.
Low-cost cashmere garments are typically mass-produced and use coarse, dark, or short fibres that are subjected to harsh bleaching for cost-cutting purposes which, unfortunately, damages the fibres.
These differences may not be obvious on the shelf, but excessive bleaching and post-processing softeners might make the product feel soft initially, but this process significantly reduces the products lifespan.
At Joshua Ellis, we work with the natural properties of the cashmere, closest in colour to our finished products, to avoid bleaching the delicate fibres, ensuring that our products can last for years.
Our meticulous process involves washing the cashmere fibres to remove impurities, followed by gentle air drying to prevent clumping. Subsequently, we use a process called carding which detangles the fibres and prepares them for dyeing and spinning.
It is then, that the yarn can be transported to our Yorkshire mill, where it's expertly crafted into our exquisite cashmere accessories. Throughout this entire journey, we handle the fibres with the utmost care, minimising damage and preserving their unique feel and quality.
With a history dating back to 1787, our expertise in working with cashmere fibres has been refined and passed down through generations. Every Joshua Ellis garment goes through 21 different processes before it is deemed perfect for sale. Each stage from design to yarn spinning, weaving, finishing to final inspection is carefully executed in our own special way, in our own mill, to make sure that the design and quality is second to none.
Throughout our manufacturing process, we harmoniously combine state-of-the-art technology with timeless equipment, ensuring that every stage treats the cashmere with the utmost care. However, the true secret behind our top-quality cashmere products lies in our distinct ripple finish.
We achieve this using a unique method that involves dried teasel plant heads, delicately coaxing and aligning the cashmere fibres in slightly alkaline water, sourced directly from the Pennine Hills. This process results in the one-of-a-kind ripple texture seen in our cashmere products.
It may surprise you how much of the process is done by hand. Every Joshua Ellis product undergoes a thorough hand examination to identify and correct even the smallest imperfections. Before our distinctive labels are carefully hand-stitched onto every scarf, stole, and accessory, preparing them for direct shipment to you.
When you invest in great cashmere products, you are stepping up the longevity and luxury of your wardrobe. These garments will keep their quality and shape for years to come, therefore earning back your initial investment over the years, and giving you a lower cost per wear.
The only problem with cashmere is that its luxury and softness is addictive. Once you try it, it will be difficult to go back to normal wool.