Developed and promoted in the 16th century by the Mughal emperors and then perfected by the Kashmiri women over the centuries, these scarf/shawls are made of the finest available cashmere which, per Forbes Magazine, is the most luxurious fabric available in the world today. Sometimes referred to as “ring scarves” or “ring shawls”, these treasured items were known for their ultra light weight, their extremely fine weave, and their durability. This cashmere was so fine that the entire scarf could easily be pulled through a wedding band, hence the term “ring scarf”. They comprised an important part of a bride’s trousseau and were a measure of wealth and status.
For her exclusive line of shawls/scarves, Vanessa Noel chose the softest hair from the baby cashmere goats to weave into a herringbone pattern. Each thread measures just 12 microns versus 16-18 microns for regular cashmere, and 75 microns for human hair. The weaving of this very fine wool can only be done by skilled and experienced hands. 100% of the wool used to create this baby cashmere comes from young goats, under two years of age, and that only live around 14,500 feet in the Himalayas. Additionally, there is only one harvest of baby fine hair in the goat’s life to be had. This explains both the softness and the great scarcity of this wool. It takes the wool of 3-4 goats to complete one scarf and up to two months of labor.
Vanessa’s luxurious Baby Cashmere scarves are intended to replace the storied Shahtoosh scarf which has been banned internationally for causing the poaching and near extinction of the Chiru from which the very rare wool was derived. The goats that produce the baby cashmere are in no way harmed when their silky fine hair is clipped off.
Vanessa’s line of Baby Cashmere scarves/shawls is available exclusively at the Vanessa Noel boutique in New York City and on vanessanoel.com They come in a broad color pallet for every season that ranges from earthy pastels to brilliant primary colors and continues on to include all shades of dark and bright. The scarves are completely unisex and can be worn in a variety of ways. They measure 40 x 80 inches or 101 x 203 cm and weigh only 3.8 ounces.