If you want to envelop yourself in warmth and luxury, buy a cashmere wrap or shawl, sometimes called a pashmina. If you want to find the best one for your money, follow these tips.
Step 1: Buy the real thing Buy a wrap made of 100 percent cashmere, as indicated on the label, or a silk/cashmere blend. Make sure the shawl contains no more than 20 percent silk.
Step 2: Get two-ply Get a wrap with two-ply yarn instead of a single ply for added strength and resistance to pilling.
TIP: If you can see your hand through one layer of the wrap, it's probably one-ply.
Step 3: Feel Feel lots of different cashmere. Those with the best-quality fibers are those that are extremely soft, light, and have little or no pilling. Avoid cashmere that feels fuzzy, stiff, or scratchy.
Step 4: Stretch test Stretch the cashmere to see if it springs right back into shape, a sign of quality.
Step 5: Buy from trusted sources Buy from trusted sources, like labels that specialize in cashmere or large department stores, which employ quality control testing.
FACT: Mongolia's cashmere industry provides jobs and income for a third of the country's population.