Shall we compare cashmere?

(46 Posts)
MsBouvier Sat 09-Nov-13 20:52:55

Just interested to see how different brands stack up. I have a cardi bought from Banana Republic five years ago which is flawless.

Yet I am combing the bobbles off a brand new Pure sweater like a motherfucker.

Is brora worth the investment? What else is good?

Jojay Sat 09-Nov-13 21:12:44

I bought a very old John Lewis (Jonelle brand) cashmere cardi in a charity shop and it was amazing. I machine washed it, tumbled it, buised it in every possible way and it still looked perfect, until it very sadly wore out on the elbows - sob! I still miss it now grin

PasswordProtected Sat 09-Nov-13 21:13:15

I have loads of cashmere. The Pure stuff is actually ok from a pilling point of view, Repeat is good as is Feldbausch, bought in Switzerland. The best cashmere I ever had was Marco Pecci, I think, bought in Germany.
I do now have a cashmere "razor" for the bobbles, but haven't used it yet.
M&S always looks good, but they have such odd colours and styles.

MotherBluestocking Sat 09-Nov-13 23:44:04

I think Brora is worth it. It doesn't pill and it is noticeably softer and denser than other brands. It also improves with repeated washing.

dexter73 Sat 09-Nov-13 23:49:07

Brora is great.

Fozzleyplum Sat 09-Nov-13 23:51:15

I buy Brora and Pure Collection. PC is fine, but Brora is, IMHO, unbeatable for quality. The main reasons I prefer it are the softness and the heathered colours. As I understand it, the longer each fibre, the softer the cashmere and the less prone it is to pilling; one of the reasons for Brora's high price is that they use only long staple cashmere. Also, they use several colours to make up each shade, giving a heathered effect.

The downside is that I like only a couple of the styles that they do - but I have several colours of each and wear them almost constantly. They wash very well. I try to wait for the sale, which is usually late than the other January sales.

scarlet76 Sun 10-Nov-13 00:59:35

M&S is good but their styles and colours this season are not to my liking.
Boden I find hit and miss. Ordered a cropped cashmere cardigan that felt more like lambswool than cashmere. However have a well fitting cashmere jumper that's doing well.
Have some nice Hush cashmere wrist warmers but haven't tried anything else.

faustina Sun 10-Nov-13 07:51:03

Brora, although some of it does get bobbles. Also JCrew. A bit cheaper, Gap is very good too.

Bellebelle Sun 10-Nov-13 12:11:08

Bought two J Crew cashmere jumpers a couple of months ago, really impressed so far but longevity still to be seen...

higgle Sun 10-Nov-13 12:22:25

I have a bit of a collection, mainly vintage and nothing beats a nice Pringle, Dalton or other scottish cardi from the 60's. Not only is the quality better than most modern cashmere but you can find features such as tie necks and printed or intarsia patterns.

Of my newer stuff Brora is definately the best, though I can't really afford even the sale so have bought some off ebay and some final mark down pieces. The thick four ply aran style cardi is just heaven to wear, you feel as if you are being snuggled in a cloud.

M&S is decent quality. I'm disapointed in my Boden cardi, only bought it to match a dress from there and won't bother again. I also have one Tesco jumper ( F&F) and although that is not as soft it washes well and is a reasonable weight.

BikeRunSki Sun 10-Nov-13 12:34:30

I have 3 year old Boden cashmere hooded jumper, which i wear several times a week and it still looks new.

Aquelven Sun 10-Nov-13 13:11:39

Brora don't produce their own knitwear, they just sell & distribute it. All their cashmere is manufacture by Johnstons.

Aquelven Sun 10-Nov-13 13:12:07

Manufactured, sorry.

MsBouvier Sun 10-Nov-13 14:01:30

Interesting re vintage cashmere. I find Brora's prices a bit terrifying. Aqua is that johnstons of Elgin?

I picked up a Johnstons of Elgin shrug from a charity shop and it was the softest I have ever felt. Very warm too.

Autograph is fine but it does shrink despite careful washing.

Boden has proved disappointing. The cropped cardigans I have had haven't worn well and they aren't the softest.

Repeat is very good quality.

John Lews Weekend cashmere is very substantial and wears well.

Tescos looks ratty after a couple of washes.

higgle Sun 10-Nov-13 14:13:02

I have a lovely sagey green Brora V neck that I got from ebay for £20 because there was a tiny hole that had been well mended. I've worn it at home for dog walking etc. for 5 years now and it still looks lovely - dog pinches it and takes it to his bed if I leave it lying around.

Poodlehorse Sun 10-Nov-13 18:47:59

Johnstons of Elgin is fab quality and does not pil

Laska42 Sun 10-Nov-13 21:01:32

John lewis ones very good have 3 which ive had several years and none have pilled, I also have two cardis from Sainsburys Tu about a couple of years ago and they are good also .. but i've lost a lot of weight since then though so may have to ebay them (or just wear them as lounge tops at home , which might be a better bet as I never seem to get much for stuff on ebay these days best ) but have just got a new 'seconds' M&S cardi from an ebay business seller for £30 here and here for sweaters its arrived and looks good , well see (btw this seller also does M*S heatgen thermals too.. very good -I'm not the seller nor know them)

Fozzleyplum Sun 10-Nov-13 21:27:31

Would agree about Johnson's of Elgin; their mill produces the Brora garments. If you're ever driving on the A9 near Pitlochry, stop in at the House of Bruar. They sell Johnson's cashmere and often have it in their clearance shop. The cashmere/silk mix is also very soft and hardwearing.

Corygal Sun 10-Nov-13 21:43:56

Johnstons is heaven - thick and soft and lingeringly delish, gets better with age too.

MaeMobley Sun 10-Nov-13 21:52:24

I was not impressed with Boden & Landsend cashmere.

Has anybody bought NPeal? or Tse?

I agree with others regarding Scottish vintage cashmere.

hermioneweasley Sun 10-Nov-13 22:05:56

J Crew is excellent

one from La Redoute has gone a bit bobbly

Laska42 Sun 10-Nov-13 22:07:00

If any of you have the cash for Johnstons of Elgin (I dontsad) they have 20% off today
code LAE2013

FreshLeticia Sun 10-Nov-13 22:20:54

Hmm, I have a selection from Tesco to Brora. One of the best quality ones is an old Johnstons one, it has gone dense and smooth. I am currently on the sofa in PJs wearing a dusky pink Brora ballet wrap cardi I found for £8.
Even the Brora ones pill at first but i find that after a few washes and shaves they settle down and remain the same for years.
I also have quite a few Woolovers cashmere merino cardis and they are good too, machine washable as well. With all of these I think it is important to stick with classic shapes and colours.
Fashion shapes and 'this season' colours are ridiculous in cashmere frankly.
Anyone have any White Company or Wrap London cashmere? Are they decent?
Also I have a Figleaves grey drape cardi which i have worn over my PJs for years but which is sadly 'going home' with holes in the elbows. Anyone darned cashmere successfully?

belledejour Sun 10-Nov-13 23:12:14

I have two items of White Company cashmere – both very disappointing, the wool feels like lambswool.
Another vote for Repeat...am sitting typing in snug Repeat scarf, not a bobble to be seen after 3yrs.
Also agree J Crew is good.

I have some from Hush and Brora. Brora good but way to expensive and stressful to own as a result. I won't buy again. Hush is reasonable and do a nice navy.

Too !

hollyisalovelyname Sun 10-Nov-13 23:31:07

Pure and M&S pilled very quickly for me. I was disappointed.

teta Sun 10-Nov-13 23:43:05

I have a Wrap cashmere tunic from last year.Its very soft but bobbled very badly immediately.The same has happened with this years Boden cardigan.My Tescos cashmere cardigans from 3 years ago are better quality.I sort of expect all cashmere to bobble these days though.Jumpers from ten years ago are infinitely better than todays offerings.I have just ordered a couple of Stefanel cashmere lightweight T's from Tk Maxx and they have washed and worn OK with minimal bobbling under the armpits.Maybe Italian brands are better quality.

SpringyReframed Mon 11-Nov-13 06:31:25

I find M and S is itchy and shrinks. The cuffs are also skimpy. I like Pringle but the longest lasting item I have is a cardigan I bought from George at Asda years ago! Brilliant and as good as new. I also have a sweater dress from Gap from about 5 years ago which is still good.
It all seems a bit of a lottery so it is good to have a thread like this. I imagine that it goes on batch as much as anything with the chain stores and who they buy from in a particular year.
Has anyone tried the Uniqlo cashmere?

Eastpoint Mon 11-Nov-13 07:05:54

Our local knitting/wool shop has a lady who mends cashmere, I'd try similar for moth holes. The repairs are unnoticeable.

LaTrucha Mon 11-Nov-13 07:06:25

I love my M&S and John Lewis cashmere. I treat them pretty badly (I wear the M&S one in bed!) but they look great. My Boden one is rubbish. It bobbles awfully and has stretched even with careful washing.

Snowbility Mon 11-Nov-13 07:35:24

M&S have shrunk on me, have bought Pure, Uniqlo and Whistles this year. I'm happy with both so far, but I wouldn't say they've had a fantastic amount of wear yet. Pure could do with longer sleeves. Both pill but I expect that will calm down eventually.
I ordered some Brora last year but I didn't think it was worth the price tag, too much £££ to feel like an everyday garment and I didn't really appreciate the extra softness or depth of colour that others have mentioned.

Ruralninja Mon 11-Nov-13 08:04:11

I had an absolutely amazing cashmere teal v neck from Jaeger - bought in the sale. Just perfect and luxurious and brill. DH boil washed it. Readers, I nearly left him.

Aquelven Mon 11-Nov-13 08:06:29

The best quality ones I have are Pringle, great fit & wash like a dream. I wouldn't pay full price though, I get them from their factory shop.
Johnstons is lovely too but too expensive as no better in quality than Pringle & £££ even from the factory.

Aquelven Mon 11-Nov-13 08:11:26

Ruralninja I had that happen to one of mine, DH put it in the machine on a hot wash with the towels when I was in hospital confused
Do you still have it? If so you can get it back to almost full size. Hand wash it & while it's still damp gently stretch it back into shape. Just keep pulling gently, lengthwise & width wise. Mine came back to within an inch of the original size, good as new.

faustina Mon 11-Nov-13 08:19:37

N Peal quality (someone asked): I have a scarf from them which is lovely, but I also have a cardigan which is very ordinary compared to my Brora stuff

Ruralninja Mon 11-Nov-13 08:49:49

Aquelven it now resembles a small felty child's jumper and so I gave it to my 5 year old niece... bit snug on her too!

Liveinthepresent Mon 11-Nov-13 10:34:40

I think this has been widely discussed on here but I am so disappointed with my White Company cardigan. More bobbles than cashmere. That was even without having washed it.

prettybird Mon 11-Nov-13 10:42:17

M&S used to be good but is now crap (unless they improved last season as I told dh not to buy from them for Christmas). Pilling/bobbling and really thin. I had a cardy that wore through within a year under the arms and at the elbow (and I hadn't worn it that much) and I had to throw it out sad. In contrast I have a Pringle cashmere jumper that must now be c.20 years old which is still as good as new.

It's as if M&S chose a price point and then reduced the quality of their cashmere to meet it (I believe it is something to do with the length of fibres). sad

The John Lewis stuff that dh has bought me in recent years is still looking good and wearing well. smile

SilverSixpence Mon 11-Nov-13 10:54:51

I have a Gap jumper which is amazing quality from a couple of years ago, looks new and has been worn loads. The cardigan I got from there last year is tatty and hideous.

Pure collection jumper dress (via TK Maxx) still looks nice although not as new, washed really well in the machine.

Brora (via ebay) developed holes in a few places, the cashmere is lovely quality though.

Crumpet (via ebay) fine knit cardigan - really nice quality, not bobbled but quite fine fabric

Boden (ebay outlet) fantastic bargain, looks like new still - this is the AW cashmere not the SS which is apparently thin and rubbish

can you tell i like cashmere smile

baskingseals Mon 11-Nov-13 11:21:19

Boden, lovely shape but very thin and already bobbley, haven't dared wash yet. Would not buy again, even in the sale.

John Lewis, nice and warm, but not stunning, and ds2 ripped the neck so I always have to wear a scarf.

Crew from charity shop, definitely the best quality but not the world's most glamourous shape.

French connection from second hand shop, soft but not very thick. Would not buy again.

Has anybody bought any Uniqlo cashmere? Is it nice?

EldritchCleavage Mon 11-Nov-13 11:24:43

Ballantyne is the nicest thick cashmere I've worn, and a sadly defunct label called CXD London the best for fine gauge.

My last Pure buy did pill rather, I have to say. Uniqlo does not last at all well I don't think.

Snowbility Mon 11-Nov-13 12:01:04

Forgive the scummy link but here the daily mail share their opinion on cheaper cashmere.

Djangor Mon 11-Nov-13 13:52:44

I wear cashmere often as wool mixes with angora or mohair make me sneeze & wool other than cashmere or merino tends to make me itch & can lead to a skin reaction like hives. My first cashmere buy was off ebay & was a Johnstons sweater - top quality when I got it & still looks just as good. Department stores like Selfridges are good for big mark downs at sale time on quality brands like Johnstons, Pringle, Ballantyne etc, but they tend to be generous on size. For me Brora is best for top quality cashmere in small sizes; their colour ranges always suit me & everything I have ever bought still looks as new. I also rate Denner but they don't do small sizes. I have a few bits of cheap cashmere for everyday which I don't mind getting tomato sauce on etc and have found Pure best (only the ordinary range - the Gassato range seems to be so thin it shows every bump etc through), then J Crew (but only sale time as otherwise expensive). I won't bother buying M&S or Boden cashmere again. The point about good cashmere is that it seems to go on forever - I don't have too many other garments which still look good as new after 10 years.

cressetmama Mon 11-Nov-13 15:21:15

Uniqlo! Very good colour range, wash and wear well and competitive on price.

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