Cashmere wool vs Merino wool: What’s the Best Wool to Wear?

Cashmere wool
Cold winters and you are craving for warmth. What else could be better than the cozy wools? Well, there are dozens of yarns to choose from, but if you are exploring the softest and highest quality woolen fabrics, the perfect choice could be Merino or Cashmere wool. Both pieces of wool have the softest woolen fabric and come in the best quality to provide you with the perfect warmth for your cold winters, but you may be in a dilemma about which fabric would be better to choose from. Don’t worry! here in this article, we will compare both fabrics making it easier to choose between them.

Cashmere wool

Cashmere or Pashmina wool is the most luxurious fabric in the world. This pleasantly soft and light fabric is originated in the Kashmir region of Central Asia. The wool is sheared from the native species of Cashmere goat which is the only source of Cashmere wool. Collecting Cashmere wool is the most laborious task, which is done by hand. The process yields a small amount of wool. It takes the wools of at least two goats to make a single sweater. No wonders why Cashmere fabric is so rare and expensive in the market. The lighter, softer, and rare Cashmere fabric possesses a higher loft with a silky feel, It would provide you with an elegant look as it beautifully drapes your body which is perfect for formal occasions.

Merino wool

Merino wool Merino wool best kind of wool extracted from sheep. Merino sheep are only the source of Merino wool which are raised and bred mostly in Australia and New Zealand. This wool is a wonderful material with many special qualities, it is warm, soft, moisture-wicking, and durable. Thus it is used for making a variety of garments and blankets. Since Merino wool is durable and stretchable it is preferred to make various outdoor garments too, So, which of the fabric is best when you want to make certain garments out of it? Which would make the best sweater and which would make the best socks? Well, the answer depends upon the quality of each wool. Let’s compare both of these wools.

Cashmere wool vs Merino wool


Cashmere and Merino wool are both popular for the softness they retain. The source, Cashmere goat and Merino sheep are the best among all other breeds which are reared and bred to obtain soft quality wool. However, Cashmere wool is softer than Merino wool as it contains thin wool fibers which are flexible enough to provide the feeling of softness.


Cashmere and Marino are both made up of delicate wool fibers. These can be easily stretched and shrink, if not maintained properly. Both of them can be provided with a longer life if taken great care of. On the bright side, both of the fabrics have fire resistance quality and hence can extinguish themselves when they catch fire. Thus this quality can also increase the life of the fabric. These fabrics may shrink as well if not washed properly. Merino wool is more durable since its fibers are much stronger than Cashmere fabrics. Thus it is more widely used.


Wools are comparatively more breathable than cotton or polyester. Not to forget the main purpose of wool is to keep animals warm, dry, and also comfortable in every season and both Merino and Cashmere wool are obtained from sheep and goats respectively. Considering the fact both the wools are comfortable and breathable. When you have to compare both the wools, Cashmere wool is considered more breathable than Merino wool. The fibers of Cashmere wool are finer which results in thinner fabric making it more breathable for your skin. Although the Merino wool is less breathable than Cashmere, it beats all other sheep wools in terms of breathability.


Both the fabrics of Cashmere and Merino wool have the soft and most comforting textures. They are best among the animal wools and gill you with tenderness.  While we must compare both, Cashmere wool is softer than Merino wool due to its thin and fine fibers Although Merino wool is the softest type of sheep wool.  Generally, people are less allergic to Cashmere wool than Merino wool due to its flexible and soft texture.


Now talking about the warmth that both the wool provides, well they are both worn to keep you warm, especially during the winter. Both the wools have great insulating properties and can be your good friend when it hits cold.  The warmth of both the woolen fabric also depends upon its thickness. Cashmere fabrics could be made in different thicknesses due to their thin and soft fibers providing more warmth than Merino wools. Merino wools on the other hand are warmer too, not more than Cashmere but definitely better than the other wools sheared from sheep. Thus you could go for pashmina if being warmer is in your high priority.

Odor Resistance

Both the wools have the natural instinct to resist the odor. You can take the instance of both sheep and goats, their smells are resisted by these wools making them less smelly mainly during summers.    Now to be specific, Merino wools are generally considered to be more odor-resistant than Cashmere wools.  You might have heard Merino wool is used to make outdoor garments like socks which are prone to be smelly. The efficiency of Merino to absorb excessive sweat and smells make it the perfect material to manufacture outdoor products. Cashmere wool has less absorbent properties than Merino wool, thus they resist odor less comparatively. 


Both of the woolen fabrics give you an elegant look. The soft and flexible fiber of both the wools are stretchable enough to fit in your body perfectly When you have to choose between one of the fabrics, Cashmere is preferred over the Merino fabrics. However, both fabric is used to make different sorts of clothing pieces.  Cashmere fabric is used to make luxurious clothes which are mostly preferred to be worn in formal places. Merino wool is mainly used in manufacturing casual wear.


Woven fabrics aren’t supposed to be very stretchy. Both Merino and Cashmere wool being woven wool do not possess the super elasticity that can be stretched to a great extent. Both of them possess medium stretchability and can lose their shape if not maintained properly. You may use the knitted Merino wool rather than the weaved one as the elasticity would increase when knitted. Since Cashmere wool is usually only woven, we can conclude that knitted Merino products would win over the Cashmere product in stretchability.

Ways of caring for the wools

The long life of the wool can be determined by the way it has been cared. If you want them last longer in their original shape and unfaded color, you must know the technique to wash them. Merino wool is more durable than Cashmere wool and is also easier to maintain. Still, they are prone to shrinking if not treated with care. They can be washed in the washing machine with the right practice and with precautions.
  1. Firstly, turn the garment inside out and place them into the washing machine.
  2. Place the function of a gentle cycle, and cool water in the machine.
  3. Don’t forget to use wool detergent.
  4. Do not use bleach and fabric softener as it can damage the fibers.
  5. Take out the clothes from the washing machine soon after the washing cycle is completed.
  6. Dry them in the air and avoid direct sunlight. Lay them flat while drying so that they don’t lose their shape.
Store the Merino clothes by folding them as hanging them may stretch out their shape. Cashmere wool is a very delicate fabric and can lose its softness in every wash. They comparatively need higher care than Merino wool fabric. Here we present you the washing tips which may be your savior:
  1. Fill some cold water in the tube.
  2. Put some special kinds of detergent made for washing Cashmere, or mild shampoo and soak the garments in that water.
  3. Bleaching and use of wool softener should be strictly prohibited.
  4. Swirl the soaked cloth occasionally.
  5. Drain the tub and gently take out the excess water from the cloth.
  6. Rinse the garment again with clean water. Finally, gently squeeze out the excess water but do not wring it.
  7. Now dry the garment laying flat so it would not lose its shape. Remember not to place the clothes in direct sunlight. Air drying is highly suggested.
The garment should be stored very properly. Folding is encouraged while storing instead of hanging as the Cashmere cloth may stretch out the shape of it.


Natural woolen products are generally expensive. Above that, both Cashmere and Merino wool are luxury fabrics and aren’t widely available in the market. Both fabrics are comparatively more expensive than any other woolen fabrics. Merino wool is the most expensive of any other type of sheep’s wool due to its softness and warmth. However Cashmere wool is more expensive than Merino wool. It is mainly due to less availability of Cashmere goats than Merino sheep. In fact, you can make more than one sweater from a single sheep’s wool, but we require at least two Cashmere goat’s wool to make a single sweater.


Both types of wool are converted into different sorts of clothing or garments. Since Cashmere fabric is more delicate than Merino wool, it makes clothes that don’t go through much wear and tear. They are typically used in making shawls, sweaters, hats, gloves, indoor socks, and scarves. Merino wool is more durable since it is more resistant to wear and tear. They are used to make more outdoor types of clothing such as sweaters, socks, jackets, thermal clothing, and many others. It is also used for making blankets.

So, what is better Cashmere or Merino?

We have already compared the different qualities of Cashmere and Merino wool. Both possess certain qualities better than others. Well if want to have warmer and softer vibes, then go for the Cashmere wool product. They are more breathable too. But they are more expensive and difficult to maintain. Similarly, if you want more durable and comparatively stretchable, and cheaper, you can go for Merino. It may not as soft and warmer as Cashmere, but it can be definitely be worn more often. So, what would you prefer to choose?
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Arun Sapkota

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