Part 3: The Form
Garnet Hill design gurus Karen and Erin recently set their email autoreplies to way-out-of-office and journeyed 6,000 miles from New Hampshire to Inner Mongolia. They set out to visit the happy goats and talented makers who bring our cashmere designs to life. This is the story, in three parts, of their adventure…
The father and son who own and operate the facility where our cashmere sweaters are knit are part inventors, part entrepreneurs.
They’re progressive in their approach to managing people and crafting luxurious clothing sustainably. We’ve worked with them for years.
This trip, designers Karen and Erin were there for a tour.
Many clothing factories in China are located far from residential areas, requiring workers to leave their families for weeks at a time and live in dormitories.
This facility is located within a scooter ride of home.
The company claims to have the largest collection of solar roof panels of any knitting factory in the area. The electricity generated powers 300 knitting machines.
The building design and materials reflect light and heat, helping keep workers cool and comfortable with minimal use of air conditioning.
Fine gauge yarns are created by pulling and stretching sliver yarns repeatedly until they are whisper-thin.
The factory is situated next door to the area’s electric utility, so as to recycle steam created by the utility. Steam is used in the creation of fabric and is also sufficient and to heat the entire plant.
Only eco-friendly dyes are used. Garnet Hill Eco-Cashmere is made without dyes at all, in the natural white, beige, or brown hue of the goat’s fleece.
The workspace is energy-efficient and spotless. Before the lights go off at night, its cool, resin-treated cement floor is saturated with water; during the day, the floor releases humidity at the level required for processing cashmere.
Our maker doesn’t tumble-dry cashmere, as some do. The friction of tumble-drying during manufacturing can add two years of wear in 45 minutes. Father and son solved that one, inventing a drying process that applies warm and cold air on drying beds. No tumbling, no wear.
Every panel of every Garnet Hill cashmere sweater is inspected by hand on back-lit tables. Indeed, at every step of creation, sweaters crafted by one worker are quality-checked by a colleague. The hand-linking of seams is left to the most experienced among them.
On this adventure, Karen and Erin saw our cashmere evolve from farm to fiber to form. Once home, they got us together to share their story and imagery. We thought you’d enjoy it, too.
We can’t prove it, but somehow, cashmere created by happy goats and happy people while conserving natural resources just feels softer.
And ours is really, really soft.
Read part 1: The Fleece
Read part 2: The Fiber