Friday, 22 January 2016

Cashmere and silk quality testing using a laboratory for Mypashmina

From time to time we use a laboratory to test the quality of our products to ensure that the quality is consistent and their is nothing dodgy going on at any step of the supply chain. We have been using the same supply chain for years so we are confident, but it is good to check every now and then.

The laboratory we use, uses a technique called projection microscopy to identify which fibres are present and in which quantities. They take 1000 fibres at random, photograph them on a projection microscope and count how many have the characteristics of the types of fibres in their database. In our case it was purely cashmere and silk as expected.

Our most recent test was for an Angelweave cashmere shawl - (Only £79.50 at ). These are made with handspun cashmere weft and a pure silk warp. As they are hand-spun, the width of the cashmere yarn varies throughout the item so it is difficult to be precise with the fibre content. On our website, we say the product contains 90% cashmere and 10% silk. This is a pretty good estimate.

We sent one off to SGS laboratories to have it tested. The test cost £408 ,  so it's not cheap to have a proper test that identifies both the exact fibre contect and the quality of the fibres in the yarn.

The result of the test is below - 92.6% Cashmere, and 7.4% Silk  and 0% anything else.

If you want to find out more about the inspection methods for checking the fibre content of cashmere items, read this report:

Also, if you are buying cashmere elsewhere - shock horror - you can always ask to see any cashmere testing certificates. A good supplier will have a recent one to hand for the concerned customer.

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