Because cashmere and Merino are two of the softest and most luxurious fabrics in the world, they often get mistaken for each other. And it’s no wonder because they are both used to make scarves, gloves, hats, sweaters, socks, and other cold-weather accessories.
But what is the difference between these two fabrics? Here’s everything you need to know about cashmere vs Merino wool.
Cashmere vs. Merino Wool: Where Do They Come From?
The primary difference between these two fabrics is where they come from. Cashmere comes from the hair of a Cashmere goat while Merino wool comes from Merino sheep. Cashmere traditionally came from Kashmir in Northern India, but most modern cashmere is now produced in China and in certain areas in Central Asia. Merino, on the other hand has its origins in Spain, although Australia is the largest exporter of Merino wool today.
Cashmere vs. Merino: What are Their Characteristics?
Both cashmere and Merino are moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics that are extremely odor resistant. They’re also among the most expensive types of wool available. But of the two, cashmere tends to be more breathable, a bit softer, warmer, and more delicate. It is also the more expensive of the two.
Merino is more durable, easier to care for, and more sustainable. It can also be machine washed on a gentle cycle, but like cashmere, it should be laid flat and air dried. Merino is less expensive than cashmere, but more expensive than other types of wool. There is also a higher global population of Merino goats compared to Cashmere goats and the Merino wool industry has more regulations that producers need to adhere to.
What is Cashmere Merino Wool?
Cashmere Merino is a relatively newer fabric that blends cashmere and Merino fibers. This fabric is typically made up of about 75% Merino and 25% cashmere fibers. By combining the two fibers, producers can imbed their fabrics with the best qualities of cashmere and Merino wool. The result is a fabric that is nearly as soft and warm as cashmere, but with greater durability and a more affordable price than cashmere alone.
Cashmere vs. Merino: Which is Better?
Of the two fabrics, cashmere is a finer, higher-quality product and one that is considered luxurious. But as to which is better, the answer comes down to your personal preference.
If you want something that is luxurious, soft, and warm that you will absolutely cherish, then cashmere should be your choice. But if you are looking for something more affordable and capable of standing up to a lot of wear, then Merino wool will suffice.