Cashmere wool and angora fur are both associated with luxury and softness unimaginable. If you are trying to decide which luscious luxury item to buy as a gift for someone else or a treat for yourself, it may be a very difficult choice by touch alone. Both are very silky and both can provide substantial warmth when made into wraps, shawls and ponchos. Here are some of the some things to consider that can help you make up your mind as to which you should purchase.
Allergies vs. Comfort
A big factor in deciding whether to buy a cashmere poncho or an angora wrap is allergies. Do you or does the gift recipient tend to have allergies around goats and sheep? Since cashmere is taken from the soft, downy fibers of wool from the shoulders and neck of Kashmir goats, the recipient with allergies may be in for a terrible surprise. The gift can cause quite an allergic reaction in people who have allergies to goat and sheep wool. If that is the case, then you may want to buy an angora gift instead. Most people are less likely to have an allergy to rabbits, which is where the angora fur and yard come from.
Ability to Pay for Dry Cleaning vs. Washing Blended Garments at Home
Both angora and cashmere require dry cleaning when the garments need to be washed. If you or your recipient cannot afford regular dry cleaning expenses, you may wish to buy a blend garment that has a few of these fibers mixed with a lot of wool, cotton or polyester. The cashmere or angora fibers still lend their softness to the garment, but because they are not completely one type of wool or fur, the garments may be washed by hand or in a machine at home.
Special Occasions vs. Frequent Wearing
Angora frequently “felts,” meaning that its shorter fur strands tuft outward and simple movements can pull these tufts loose. This is why angora fur and yarn are better suited to items worn only for very special occasions — there is less of a chance that it will “felt” and fall apart from wear. Cashmere, on the other hand, is very durable and “felts” much less, making it ideal for luxury gifts that you or your gift recipient can wear more frequently. If allergies are no problem, frequent dry cleaning costs are not an issue, and you simply cannot make up your mind, there are wraps, scarves, ponchos and shawls made from mixtures of cashmere, angora and wool available. (You will just have to read the labels or the product descriptions to find them.)