This fall, Noah has worked with Johnston's of Elgin, the last remaining vertical textile mill in Scotland and the acknowledged world leader in cashmere production and fabrication, to create our Scottish Cashmere Sweater. This limited run, in a fit and colors exclusive to Noah, represents our vision for including pieces in our collection that offer a very high level of refinement while remaining functional and accessible. In this case, doing so meant bringing this sweater to you at a price that clocks in significantly higher than most of the other items in our store. Here is our reasoning behind this:
Cashmere wool has been used to make clothing for thousands of years. Its name is the old spelling of Kashmir, the northernmost region of India, which produced shawls so prized they eventually spawned a global industry. Cashmere's fibers have a natural crimp that traps tiny pockets of air, imbuing its yarn with a unique loft and up to three times the insulation power of regular wool. Combine this with its legendary softness and surprising strength, and you can see why cashmere’s finest grades are always featured in the collections of luxury fashion houses.
Today, the best cashmere is combed, not sheared, from the downy undercoats of goats who inhabit the mountainous regions of China and Mongolia. Combing out the fibers during molting season means they're at their longest, which, when woven into yarn, means the instant pilling associated with cheap cashmere is not an issue. The refining process involves several steps, many of which are still performed by hand, using methods that date back centuries. The best sweaters are densely knit, using two or more plies, which ensures they'll hold their shape.
We wanted to bring cashmere in its best form to Noah’s customers without all the pomp and price inflation of runway brands. We chose a simple, crewneck design with raglan sleeves that evokes the fisherman’s sweaters we love. We used a hearty, three-ply, ribbed knit, fully-fashioned in rich solid colors, to create a sweater that doesn’t demand a special occasion to be worn, but that can more than hold its own with the best pieces in your closet. We think a material this remarkable should see frequent use once the weather gets chilly, and this makes that effortlessly, elegantly possible.
Making something to this high standard means high production costs. We chose not to compromise on materials, nor on the expert level of craftsmanship we think a truly timeless cashmere sweater demands. But we didn't make this to be something you'd wear for one season -- it's truly meant to last for years. We need to charge a certain amount to stay in business, to make sure we can continue to bring ideas like this to life. Noah's Scottish Cashmere Sweater may seem exorbitant, but its quality-to-price ratio is far greater than equivalent items you'll find at more ostentatious labels. If it's the right time to invest in a garment like this, we are extremely confident you won't be disappointed.