With the holidays near, many people are looking for cashmere sweaters to give as gifts. It's no wonder why; these luxurious sweaters are are super soft, warm, cozy and stylish. Making cashmere the perfect gift to give almost anyone on your shopping list. Here are some facts and shopping questions to keep in mind.

What are the benefits?

The durability and softness of cashmere is what makes this luxurious fabric extremely sought after. It rarely wears out and actually gets softer the older it gets, kind of like fine wine; better with age. This fabric will keep you warm in the winter, but also cool in the spring.

Is it worth buying blended fabrics to save on cost?

The high price of cashmere can cause people to shy away from buying these amazing garments. If cost is an issue, you could get a cashmere and silk blended garment. These two fabrics work well together and the silk gives the sweater a little more luster. Silk is a harder fabric, so the sweater won't be as soft as if it were 100% cashmere.

You may also choose a cashmere and cotton blend of fabric. The softness and luxurious feel of cashmere won't be sacrificed with this blend. Keep in mind however, that cotton is a lighter fabric, resulting in less warmth. This is a good option if the expense of 100% cashmere is too much.

How to avoid buying a cheaply made sweater?

One reason cashmere is so expensive is because it is made with two-ply yarn. Single-ply yarn allows garments to loose their shape over time. There is also four-ply cashmere, but it's important to know there is no difference in quality between two-ply and four-ply yarn. The additional plies are used for color variations and added warmth.

Loosely knit or limp fabric is the best indication of a cheaply made sweater. You can test the quality by rubbing your hand over the sweater and see if fiber starts rolling into little balls. If this happens, the sweater is more than likely not 100% cashmere. You can also stretch the sweater and see if it snaps back into the original shape. If it doesn't, the sweater may have been knitted with very loose tension, or made with poor quality fabrics.

The most important factor in the quality of cashmere is the length and fineness of the fibers. Garments made with long and thin fibers maintain their shape better than cheaper, lower quality cashmere and will get better after every wash.

Once you purchase a cashmere sweater, how do you care for it?

Keep the garment clean. Moths are attracted to dirty clothes, by keeping it clean you help keep moths from ruining your cashmere.

Hand wash knits with cold water. Never wring or twist. Gently blot excess water with towels. Lay on a flat surface until thoroughly air-dried.

Woven garments should be dry-cleaned.

Avoid hanging sweaters on hangers. Instead fold neatly and place in a container for additional protection from moths.

Williams Cashmere Men's Ribbed Crew Neck, Charcoal, Small
Amazon Price: $300.00 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 18, 2015)