Cashmere Mattress Fibres Explained
Cashmere is usually the reserve of high-end mattresses because of its high cost and low supply chain. If you’re looking at a mattress that contains Cashmere you may be wondering whether it is worth the additional cost.
We explain exactly why Cashmere is renowned as a high-performance luxury fibre and whether or not the mattress you’re looking at contains enough of it to make a difference.
Where does Cashmere wool come from?
Cashmere fibre comes from the far East, in particular, the Himalayas and China. The Cashmere goat has a fine, soft, winter undercoat which is then sheered to create this luxury fibre. This undercoat grows longer as the day length shortens making for soft fine strands that can both effectively regulate heat and also increase breathability. Which are great properties for a mattress comfort layer as this can keep you warm when it is cold and also allow airflow for hotter summer nights. Cashmere goats then have a coarse outer coat which is also used as a mattress insulator between the spring and the comfort layers.
Cashmere as a mattress comfort layer
Cashmere wool works wonderfully well when used a superior grade comfort layer. Cashmere can be blended with other fibres such as wool to make a mixed comfort layer at a certain price point, sub £2,000 or in the most luxurious way as a 100% Cashmere wool layer £4,000 plus!
The issue with mattress manufacturers and retailers is they know that Cashmere is both in limited supply and very expensive. This has led to most retailers blending Cashmere in tiny amounts, sometimes as low as 1% with other cheaper fibres but then claiming its still Cashmere. In fact, in most cases using Cashmere as a comfort layer alone is prohibitively expensive. It would cost thousands of pounds for a 100% pure Cashmere wool comfort layer alone.
Why is Cashmere so expensive?
Cashmere is expensive as the goats which are sheered are in very small supply. Factor in the demands from the fashion industry for Cashmere for jumpers and scarves it means it is in really limited supply.
Secondly, you can only sheer up to 150g of each Cashmere goat at any one time. So you can imagine that it would take at least 5 Cashmere goats to provide a suitable 500GSM comfort layer.
What’s similar to Cashmere?
Alpaca is the nearest fibre to Cashmere and is actually slightly better in terms of longevity and the loft (or fluffiness) if the fibre. Cashmere does tend to compress quickly, unless using coarse Cashmere, as an insulator. Alpaca is still incredibly expensive but there’s a better supply chain as the Alpacas are far larger than Cashmere goats so more fleece can be sheered at any one time.
As we’ve discussed there are very few mattresses under £4,000 that will contain significant amounts of Cashmere due to its high price point.
Another beneficial use of coarse Cashmere is as a mattress insulator which helps bridge the layers between the Calico Spring Unit and the start of the upper comfort layers.
As Cashmere is super breathable and resilient it works incredibly effectively as an insulator. Coarse Cashmere is far firmer than the beautiful, yet expensive, Cashmere wool which works as a benefit in this fashion.
It’s far wiser to spend your money on a decent sized 100% Natural Cashmere insulator like this than pay top dollar for a few tiny percentages in a mixed blend comfort layer. You should always be looking for at least a 50/50 mix of just two Natural Fibres when blended and avoid anything less than this.
|1||500GSM BRITISH WOOL|
|2||1200GSM BLENDED BRITISH FLEECE WOOL AND COTTON|
|3||HAIRPROOF CAMBRIC COVER|
|4||1200GSM PURE HORSETAIL|
|6||1000GSM WHITE CASHMERE INSULATOR|
|7||1600 CALICO ENCASED POCKET SPRINGS [49MM] [1.28MM]|
|Total||5100GSM Chemical Free Cover|
Cashmere quite rightly commands a high value for its beautifully soft fibres. However, due to the limited supply chain, you need to bear in mind that mattresses that are under £3,000 probably only contain tiny percentages of Cashmere. Sometimes 1-3%. You always need to check with the mattress retailer as to the blend. If you can’t be sure then Alpaca is very similar comparison.
If you need help understanding how the comfort layers work then why not get in touch with our small friendly team?
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