Brooks Ross knows cashmere. The Leggiadro President tells us what makes cashmere the best in the world...or pretty close.

7 July 2010

Brooks Ross knows cashmere, as he should. His mother, Ann Ross, founded Madison Avenue’s upscale destination for women’s fashion, Leggiadro, in 1985 and now has boutiques in New York, Americana Manhasset, Melrose Place, Ocean Reef Club, Monticeto, Palm Beach, Nantucket, Palm Desert, Naples, Sarasota, Dallas and Charleston. Sticking with the foundations of luxury, Leggiadro designers and craftsman all Leggiadro clothing is spun and died in Italian factories. And their pillow soft cashmere is the best in the world…or pretty darn close.

What’s so great about cashmere?

Everybody loves cashmere – the texture, the warmth, the luxury. Have you felt it?

I mean it’s beautiful, but why is good-quality cashmere so expensive?

There is a lot of fundamental differences between types of cashmere. Five things to keep in mind are: length of fiber, location of raw fiber, color of raw fiber, location of production and weight of item.

So it’s like pima cotton – longer fibers make it softer? 

Exactly. Longer fibers create greater strength Think of it like interlocking hands with a person. If you are holding each other by your fingertips, it won’t take a lot of force to break that bond. If your hands are fully clasped, it will take more force to separate. Shorter fibers have a tendency to pill.

Then where the fiber comes from is important as well. But isn’t a goat a goat? 

There are Kashmir are in many countries; it’s where on the goat the fibers come from. Premium fibers come from a very small area in the center of its chest, the underbelly, and are hidden underneath a coarser outerlayer of hair called “guard hair.” The hair that comes from there is also the purest in color. Other parts of the animal might have fibers gray or brown. Those are harder to die.

Why Italy? 

Italians have ingrained, historical knowledge of how to deal with the fiber. Leggiadro spins their fabrics in Italy because of their ingrained luxury tradition of both spinning and dying the yarns.

What was the fifth one? 

Weight. So it might seem counterintuitive, but the lighter the material, the more delicate and luxury. A very fine sweater requires almost three times as much time to make the same sweater at a heavier weight. Our artisans are more careful about small imperfections. A broken needle or small twist can entirely ruin the quality and weave. They must be extremely meticulous.

Hence the name Leggiadro.
Right. Leggiadro means aesthetic beauty with lightness and grace.


Emma Dinzebach

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Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 12:00 AM
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