Different Grades of Cashmere
Considered the best quality grade, the fibers of grade a cashmere are 14 microns to 15.5 microns thick. It is has the finest threads and feels the softest. The fibers are longer than the other grades, between 34 mm and 36 mm, which makes the garments longer-lasting.
Grade B cashmere has fibers that are about 19 microns in thickness. It is a little less soft than grade A, therefore it’s also cheaper. Cashmere garments don’t tend to list the grades on their labels, so you have to judge by its feel.
Grade C is the lowest quality cashmere, with fibers that are about 30 microns in diameter. It is cheaper than grades A and B and feels noticeably less soft. That is not to say it’s unpleasant to the touch, as it is still a luxurious fabric.
Whatever the grade, cashmere should always feel soft and smooth. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it. Always hand-wash cashmere products as they are too delicate to go in the washing machine. Note that pashmina and cashmere are the same thing; pashmina is the Persian name for cashmere. Keep the garments away from dampness and sunlight; if necessary wrap them in tissue paper to protect them.