Malo has always been involved in one of the most fascinating fashion transformations of all times, the one that turns the soft Asian goat coat into the most precious yarn: cashmere. It was already known in Europe from the end of the 18th Century; it comes from the North of India among Kashmir mountains. At the beginning, it was used to produce shawls exclusively for the Indian elite. Explorers and English colons, who traveled in those lands, fell in love with cashmere, so that they decided to export it through the Silk Road. The first lucky who started to appreciate cashmere’s extraordinary features, beauty and absolute comfort were European rich bourgeois women. At the beginning of the 19th Century, cashmere became very popular thanks to its qualities and fineness; Italians and Scottish are second to none for the quality of their yarn industry and manufactures: their art is unique. In Malo Italian factories, located in Florence and Piacenza, the attention is focused on quality, tradition and experimentation of new techniques and production processes.
The story of Malo garment starts in the Gobi desert, an area that spreads from North China to Mongolia: an immense desert area, the less populated in the world. Most of the Capra Hircus population that grows cashmere fibre lives in this area. They are a very special species, that can survive to extremely cold weather conditions, where temperatures during the coldest times of the year drop to minus 40°. Thanks to these weather conditions the most precious under coat can grow. During spring time the goats moult, so that their hairs can be gathered to produce the fine yarn.
The fiber harvest
The most precious fibres of the finest quality are harvested through combing: a manual technique local shepherd improved throughout centuries. The fleece combing preserves the animal wellness and allows a better performance of the fibres. Cashmere goat has an external protective fleece made of thick hair, while the internal fluffy soft hairs origin the fine cashmere fibre: it is located on the goat belly and under the throat and its lenght can vary from 2,5cm up to 9cm. Most part of the fibre is combed by hands during the molting season. Every year, the fibre yield of each animal can be made of few grams up to 0,5kg.
Big amounts of raw yarn are harvested in order to be washed, sifted and finally categorised. Then thick hairs are separated from the fine candid ones thanks to the “dejarratura” process, through which “pure cashmere” is obtained. The finest cashmere quality is made only of the very bright, fine, long and white hairs that can be categorised in different grades, according to its lenght and thickness. Malo uses only higher quality raw materials of the grade A, 14 -16.5 microns thickness, and 42 mm long on average (70 microns thickness for a human hair).
The best quality of cashmere is made of the most natural, resistant and comfortable yarn. This fabric is highly adaptable for any season. It is softer, warmer and isothermic than sheep wool. Once you try it, it is quite impossible to renounce to use it, in fact cashmere lovers wear it all the year, even during the warm seasons. Pure cashmere woven by Malo is elastic and resilient with unique features: it keeps the shape, it is long lasting, thick, soft to the touch and can keep a balanced body heat. No matter how many times you wear Malo garments, they will always keep their original shape: it is the real proof of their high quality.
Sustainability of the supply chain
The cashmere goats breeding is still a traditional activity for Mongolian local sheperds. The finest cashmere quality is guaranteed only by the respect for animals: indeed Malo uses certified materials, obtained respecting nature and local communities. Every processing step – the spinning, the dyeing, the transformation of the yarn into the final product – takes place in the company’s factories and is realised by our expert artisans. The brand philosophy, its history and the artisans’ expertise are woven in each Malo garment made to last, honoring tradition and excellence.
Care and maintenance
The best quality cashmere is not only a fine, soft and warm natural yarn, but also a very resistant one. Cashmere garments, if handled with care can last for decades. As with any other fine wool garment, it is preferable to hand wash with mild soap. It is recommended to plunge cashmere garments no longer than 10 minutes; after washing, rinse the garment in cold, clean water. Avoid twisting, squeezing or rubbing, since the garment could lose its original shape. For optimal drying, place the garment between two towels and roll up the extremities to absorb the excess water. Then spread it back to its original shape and let it dry away from sunlight and direct heat sources. Do not hang, since it could lose its original shape.