or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Cashmere Sweater Hierarchy
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cashmere Sweater Hierarchy - Page 3

post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by NORE View Post

How much wear are you guys getting out of your cashmere sweaters? I'm finding mine holding up for only two seasons max, then they start looking shoddy.

How often do you wear the same one? I don't wear mine too often so this would be difficult to accurately compare... I wear maybe one per week in the winter, and I rotate about five or six of them.

I primarily buy the BB Made in Scotland V necks, which have held up surprisingly well for a sweater that can easily be found for under $200 on sale. I also have some RLPL cashmere sweaters (made in Italy) that are pilling quite a bit faster than the made in scotland BB ones
post #32 of 75
How does Howard Yount stand up agaist those brands?
post #33 of 75
What do you think of Malo?
post #34 of 75
Surprisingly, the softest cashmere sweater that I had so far is from Valentino's main line. It is amazing.
post #35 of 75


Re: Chinese makers

Quote:
Originally Posted by wright View Post


in the present sells to Hermes too.

 


Yes, apparently just a few Chinese makers currently produce for most of the major designer labels. 

 

Personally I have always wondered about cashmere fabrics made in Italy.  There is obviously no local production of the fiber, and no historical association as in Scotland.  I suppose that this is just a matter of major cloth-makers utilizing a variety of raw materials.  Certainly this makes sense when it is material that Italian mills are well known for, such as suiting fabrics.  I am always a bit skeptical about Italian-made cashmere sweaters though.

 

post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post

How often do you wear the same one? I don't wear mine too often so this would be difficult to accurately compare... I wear maybe one per week in the winter, and I rotate about five or six of them.
I primarily buy the BB Made in Scotland V necks, which have held up surprisingly well for a sweater that can easily be found for under $200 on sale. I also have some RLPL cashmere sweaters (made in Italy) that are pilling quite a bit faster than the made in scotland BB ones

I have three or four that get worn maybe once a week each during the cooler months. All cableknits if that matters.
post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by msameth View Post

Unfortunately, you're about a decade late to the party. Ballantyne has taken quite a plunge since their acquisition in 2004 by di Montezemolo's PE group, Charme. It has become a "high-fashion life-style" brand with mediocre-quality offerings generally made in Italy and the Balkans. Four years after Charme took over Ballantyne, the original plant in Innerleithen, Caerlee Mill, was spun off from the label due to poor performance and managed as a separate partnership with Brooks Brothers and Zegna Baruffa (Zegna's yarn spinner) as principal investors. In 2010, JJ and HB 1788, as the new partnership was known, was placed into receivership and nearly everything was liquidated save the intarsia section, which was formed into a new company with Charme's backing called Caerlee Mills. Caerlee seems to continue to supply Ballantyne on a contractual basis; you can still see a few of the signature made-in-Scotland, hand-framed diamond intarsias in their most recent collections and apparently if you go to the concept shop in Notting Hill you even can order a self-designed, made-to-measure garment from Caerlee Mill. The rest is quite disappointing.
I don't know who supplies yarn for the mainstay of Ballantyne's current production, but Todd & Duncan of Kinross was, and continues to be, the favored spinner for prestige Scottish cashmere knitters, such as John Laing, William Lockie, and Caerlee. T&D were acquired in 2009 by their principal supplier of dehaired cashmere fibers, the Ningxia Zhongyin Cashmere Co of Zhongyin, but production and management have remained at Kinross. Before the early 1990s Mongolian raw cashmere clippings, with dirt and guard hairs intact, were exported directly to Scottish processors such as T&D and Johnstons to be dehaired, scoured, and so on. Then the PRC began to exercise trade controls in order to increase the value of their exports and build a competitive domestic industry, so European spinners began to import semi-processed fibers. As the technology gap has narrowed between Chinese and European processors and spinners, many (mezzanine) European knitters today even use wholly Chinese-made yarn, albeit not without peril. In 2001 the US Consumer Protection Agency censured Clan Douglas for its cashmere sweaters made of Chinese yarn that turned out to contain 5% wool. A few European firms, in fact, have set up their own plants in Inner Mongolia to ensure tighter quality control (I think Loro Piana), but they are certainly in the minority.
These are my Ballantynes, all between 35 and 45 years old:
7fa7ce85.jpg
Even the oldest still look pristine, showing no pilling or stretching; I wash them once every few months, in a front-load machine on delicate cycle in cold water with a special shampoo, air-dried flat (no cultic/sacrificial rituals, just a bit of prudence). In my humble opinion, the quality of the old Ballantyne, Pringle, and Lyle & Scott was and remains unsurpassed. The Lockie and McGeorge I've had the opportunity to see are probably nearly there as well. I've also heard great things about Murray Allan and Laing. Pity that it's basically all been swept away.
BTW, the current Creative Director of Ballantyne is Yossi Cohen.

This is quite informative!
post #38 of 75

Sierra Trading Post currently has excellent prices on Johnston's of Elgin cashmere sweaters -- $120 for a sweater-vest, and $120 - $165 for regular pull-over sweaters (depending on cut and color) with their dealflyer coupons.

 

If any of you want to do that, you can signup in a way that will give them some credit to me by clicking through here.  This will give you a $10 coupon as well.  Then sign up for their dealflyer email, and follow the link through that to get the discount pricing.  It works very well, with the only minor annoyance that STP sends their discount emails ~twice/week.

post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taimur View Post

How would it stand?

I'm looking to purchase a couple of staple cashmere sweaters -- V-necks in basic colours to last me for enough time to justify the investment.

I'm looking primarily at Pringle and Drumohr since they can be had at decent prices online. Are Malo and/or Cucinelli really worth the few extra hundred over Pringle/Drumohr?

How about a cheaper brand like Kangra, which is available on Yoox? John Smedley? The stuff Turnbull & Asser retails?

Anything else I should be considering, say at under $200 a sweater?

Thanks in advance.

Real Pringles are expensive.The term cashmere today is used too freely. The definition of cashmere is the undercoat of the Kasmir goat from areas like Inner Mongolia (part of China today) and from the neck area of the animal so it may take a number of goats to make just 1 cashmere sweater. Today anything is called cashmere and may just be the undercoat of any goat from anywhere from its entire body. In many places they would just call something like this the underdown and not cashmere but I guess the labeling laws are rather lax now. It would be better to get a very high quality worsted lambswool rather then a cheap "cashmere". Cashmere is one of those things that if it's not the top it's not worthy of the name. Cognac is the same where unless it's at least a VSOP the cheaper stuff is not even as good as some top brandy from another area at the same price.

post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by apack View Post


Re: Chinese makers


Yes, apparently just a few Chinese makers currently produce for most of the major designer labels. 

 

Personally I have always wondered about cashmere fabrics made in Italy.  There is obviously no local production of the fiber, and no historical association as in Scotland.  I suppose that this is just a matter of major cloth-makers utilizing a variety of raw materials.  Certainly this makes sense when it is material that Italian mills are well known for, such as suiting fabrics.  I am always a bit skeptical about Italian-made cashmere sweaters though.

 

Erm, there are no Kasmir goats in the milder Scotland either or is there sea isle cotton from England. The raw materials come from elsewhere and it's a craft turning them into something suberb.China should make the best cashmere because that's where the goats are located but they don't (not yet anyway) and the same with silk, but Italy makes the best and and has the silkworms right there too.

post #41 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by House View Post

Real Pringles are expensive.The term cashmere today is used too freely. The definition of cashmere is the undercoat of the Kasmir goat from areas like Inner Mongolia (part of China today) and from the neck area of the animal so it may take a number of goats to make just 1 cashmere sweater. Today anything is called cashmere and may just be the undercoat of any goat from anywhere from its entire body. In many places they would just call something like this the underdown and not cashmere but I guess the labeling laws are rather lax now. It would be better to get a very high quality worsted lambswool rather then a cheap "cashmere". Cashmere is one of those things that if it's not the top it's not worthy of the name. Cognac is the same where unless it's at least a VSOP the cheaper stuff is not even as good as some top brandy from another area at the same price.

http://www.pringlescotland.com/pringleofscotland/search/cashmere/MEN/tskay/BAD3B277/gender/U/collection_id/19273

post #42 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by msameth View Post


Unfortunately, you're about a decade late to the party. Ballantyne has taken quite a plunge since their acquisition in 2004 by di Montezemolo's PE group, Charme. It has become a "high-fashion life-style" brand with mediocre-quality offerings generally made in Italy and the Balkans. Four years after Charme took over Ballantyne, the original plant in Innerleithen, Caerlee Mill, was spun off from the label due to poor performance and managed as a separate partnership with Brooks Brothers and Zegna Baruffa (Zegna's yarn spinner) as principal investors. In 2010, JJ and HB 1788, as the new partnership was known, was placed into receivership and nearly everything was liquidated save the intarsia section, which was formed into a new company with Charme's backing called Caerlee Mills. Caerlee seems to continue to supply Ballantyne on a contractual basis; you can still see a few of the signature made-in-Scotland, hand-framed diamond intarsias in their most recent collections and apparently if you go to the concept shop in Notting Hill you even can order a self-designed, made-to-measure garment from Caerlee Mill. The rest is quite disappointing.
I don't know who supplies yarn for the mainstay of Ballantyne's current production, but Todd & Duncan of Kinross was, and continues to be, the favored spinner for prestige Scottish cashmere knitters, such as John Laing, William Lockie, and Caerlee. T&D were acquired in 2009 by their principal supplier of dehaired cashmere fibers, the Ningxia Zhongyin Cashmere Co of Zhongyin, but production and management have remained at Kinross. Before the early 1990s Mongolian raw cashmere clippings, with dirt and guard hairs intact, were exported directly to Scottish processors such as T&D and Johnstons to be dehaired, scoured, and so on. Then the PRC began to exercise trade controls in order to increase the value of their exports and build a competitive domestic industry, so European spinners began to import semi-processed fibers. As the technology gap has narrowed between Chinese and European processors and spinners, many (mezzanine) European knitters today even use wholly Chinese-made yarn, albeit not without peril. In 2001 the US Consumer Protection Agency censured Clan Douglas for its cashmere sweaters made of Chinese yarn that turned out to contain 5% wool. A few European firms, in fact, have set up their own plants in Inner Mongolia to ensure tighter quality control (I think Loro Piana), but they are certainly in the minority.
These are my Ballantynes, all between 35 and 45 years old:
7fa7ce85.jpg
Even the oldest still look pristine, showing no pilling or stretching; I wash them once every few months, in a front-load machine on delicate cycle in cold water with a special shampoo, air-dried flat (no cultic/sacrificial rituals, just a bit of prudence). In my humble opinion, the quality of the old Ballantyne, Pringle, and Lyle & Scott was and remains unsurpassed. The Lockie and McGeorge I've had the opportunity to see are probably nearly there as well. I've also heard great things about Murray Allan and Laing. Pity that it's basically all been swept away.
BTW, the current Creative Director of Ballantyne is Yossi Cohen.

I've had every one and yes they were better even the lambswool was excellent. I guess that you can still find some as good but they'll be ultra expensive but they were all still expensive in their own day in 1970. I'm just guessing a little here from what I remember of prices in England and I may be off but I'd say that in today's money these pullovers would be like $300-400 apiece

post #43 of 75

I've seen a lot of love for John Smedley's sweaters on the forum and snagged a couple from ebay on the strength of the comments around these parts but I have to say I couldn't recommend them. TK Maxx (a chain store that sells end of line designer stuffs) is full of Smedley sweaters, they aren't exactly a niche brand.

 

I don't know whether it's some kind of romantic notion about them being English but these things are simply form over function. This time of year over here when you wear a sweater you're wearing it to keep warm, both the Smedley one's I have are so thin you can see through them. One is a Sea Island cotton the other is wool. I dunno maybe he has heavier weights available but these are akin to all the All Saints sweaters i've ever seen i.e wafer thin. My RL and Gant sweaters are much more practical I find.

 

I've had a look at some Johnstons of Elgin sweaters and they look more suitable for conditions here, I'd be interested if anyone has tried them.

 

I've also had a look in the Sevenwolves store here in Cambridge and I've been impressed with Norse Projects. Has anyone had experience of their sweaters?

post #44 of 75

Johnstons of Elgin is *much* better than Smedley.  I have found Smedley sweaters generally very thin and don't like their Sea Island fabric.  It seems like it would distort quickly.  Johnston's cashmere is great, and John Laing is also excellent.  If you look up-thread to the post by msameth you will find some discussion of recent Scottish cashmere weaving and some of the labels it's sold under.

 

If you're looking for lighter-weight or cheaper options, I have found Daniel Cremieux's cotton/alpaca blends to be surprisingly good, and also like Bobby Jones fine-gauge cotton sweaters.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgy View Post

I've seen a lot of love for John Smedley's sweaters on the forum and snagged a couple from ebay on the strength of the comments around these parts but I have to say I couldn't recommend them. TK Maxx (a chain store that sells end of line designer stuffs) is full of Smedley sweaters, they aren't exactly a niche brand.

 

I don't know whether it's some kind of romantic notion about them being English but these things are simply form over function. This time of year over here when you wear a sweater you're wearing it to keep warm, both the Smedley one's I have are so thin you can see through them. One is a Sea Island cotton the other is wool. I dunno maybe he has heavier weights available but these are akin to all the All Saints sweaters i've ever seen i.e wafer thin. My RL and Gant sweaters are much more practical I find.

 

I've had a look at some Johnstons of Elgin sweaters and they look more suitable for conditions here, I'd be interested if anyone has tried them.

 

I've also had a look in the Sevenwolves store here in Cambridge and I've been impressed with Norse Projects. Has anyone had experience of their sweaters?

post #45 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by House View Post

I've had every one and yes they were better even the lambswool was excellent. I guess that you can still find some as good but they'll be ultra expensive but they were all still expensive in their own day in 1970. I'm just guessing a little here from what I remember of prices in England and I may be off but I'd say that in today's money these pullovers would be like $300-400 apiece

 

List prices for good-quality cashmere are that or more.  However, deals can be found -- for example the current offer at Sierra Trading Post for Johnston's cashmere sweaters at $120-$160 with their email discount.  I have seen Laing sleeveless cashmere pull-overs on ebay NWT for as little as $50.  So it is still possible to acquire very good quality cashmere at good prices with some judicious shopping.  Just stay out of the brick-and-mortar retail stores.  These clothes are timeless so there is no need to pay a premium for this year's model.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Cashmere Sweater Hierarchy