Have you ever wondered whether the type of cashmere weave makes any difference beyond how nice the pattern looks? The answer is, not always, but it can.
I should begin by emphasising that the weave of cashmere would not be enough to compensate for inferior quality of the fibre itself. A high quality, naturally soft-bred cashmere woven for sturdiness would still feel softer than a mixed-bred, lower grade cashmere woven for maximum softness.
That said, all other things being equal, what's the difference?
The Plain Weave
The plain weave is the simplest of weaves. It's just a straightforward over-under weave forming squares.
Because the fuzziness of the cashmere fibre fills the space within the empty square between the threads, the tactile feeling of softness is enhanced.
A loose, light weave makes for a very flexible scarf that can be easily styled in different ways. This close-up is my personal high grade cashmere scarf (not in the store catalog, but can be requested!).
A closer-woven scarf would be suitable to be worn secured against your skin (soft!), such as when you're out and about in winter wear. Check out Ethical Cashmere's Winter Active scarf.
The Herringbone Weave
This weave is a classic - and classy - 'V' shaped weave. Here is an example from another of my personal scarves, a fine Kashmiri cashmere wool (not in the store catalog, but can be requested!).
This weave sacrifices some softness for tightness. Not that you will notice, because the row of V shapes gives it a silky smooth tactile sensation. It's also a very flexible weave, and easy to style.
A winter grade scarf with the herringbone weave can be seen in Ethical Cashmere's heirloom quality Winter Classic scarf.
The Diamond Weave
The diamond weave is a visually interesting weave for its subtle cascade of interlocking diamond pattern.
This weave has a more or less similar effect on softness as the herringbone. However, the tactile perception is not as silky, because the diamond pattern is an equally lateral-vertical 'grain'. The symmetry makes it a sturdier weave, so it is perfect for an everyday sort of scarf.
Most of Ethical Cashmere's catalog is in a diamond weave, chosen to be a versatile and long-lasting staple of your wardrobe. Definitely a value for money choice for the slow fashion crowd. If you're looking for an affordable cashmere scarf, the one to rule your accessories collection, this is the one!
The Twill Weave
The newest scarf on the store, the ECO, is a twill weave scarf. The long lengths make the scarf very flexible even when it's as thick as other scarves, maximising styling potential.
It doesn't feel as silky to the touch as the herringbone, but it's softer than the diamond weave. Great for casual neck scarves, where you want a flexible garment for comfort but it does not need to be hard wearing.