FROM KASHMIR TO UXBRIDGE: A BRIEF HISTORY OF CASHMERE

If you haven’t been around the shop lately, then perhaps you might have missed that we now carry cashmere crewnecks and cardigans from our KIN line. We were inspired by the textile’s rich history as it travelled from India to France and then to the world of high-fashion.

KNIT PICKING | Pringle of Scotland's factory, 1950. Keystone/Getty Images
KNIT PICKING | Pringle of Scotland’s factory, 1950. Keystone/Getty Images

During the late 18th century, shawls made from a soft new material were exported from Kashmir and India to the West — Britain and France. Commercial trading of raw cashmere in earnest began between Asia and Europe. The wool came from the bellies of goats in India or Tibet and was spun in Scotland. Cashmere goods were generally expensive, hard to come by, and incredibly sought after.

Later, during the American Industrial Revolution, hundreds of textile factories began popping up. Particularly, in Uxbridge Massachusetts which soon became a hub of cashmere production around 1810. This increased availability and production coupled with a variety of other effects of the Industrial Revolution, allowed cashmere to be produced more inexpensively.

Just over a century later, designer Jean Patou and fashion house Chanel helped popularize cashmere in the 1920’s. Noted rival to Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli helped solidify this fabric as a must-have wardrobe staple in the 1930’s.

About ten years later, French youth began raiding their mother’s closets and putting their own twist on cashmere cardigans — wearing them backwards, buttoned at the back.

Girls in Cashmere

It is this history and rich heritage that encouraged us to source high quality cashmere for our KIN line. Cardigans and crew necks are available in charcoal, grey and black. Our cardigan is inspired by classic designs, but with a modern cut.  Alternatively, the crew neck boasts a high neckline and slim, modern cut. Both are crafted from soft and rugged in two-ply cashmere,  and are sure to become wardrobe staples.

Please stop by the shop and cop a feel for yourself.

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