Thursday, December 20, 2012

Colombo Cashmere of Italy

In the cashmere wars there are really only two contenders.  Sure most cashmere fibers come from one region as we have posted before but the manner in which the fibers are processed and how they feel and look is another story altogether.

Scotland as we have posted before is king when it comes to processing the fibers and the finished product.  In fact mention "cashmere" to someone and the first thing that comes to mind is Scotland and Scottish Cashmere.  However if there could be two kings on one throne, then Italy and its Italian Cashmere would definitely be the second, if not a simultaneous wearer of the cashmere crown.

We sell both kinds at but there are differences between the two.

Cashmere is known for its softness and warmth.  There is nothing softer than Scottish cashmere.  touch our Alex Begg and You will know what I mean.  However in some ways I personally find the Scottish stuff a little fluffy.  I like my cashmere a little more firm and in that way the Colombo Cashmere wins.  It starts firm but with use softens and I like that. 

Both have a certain finishing that is evident only on high quality cashmere which we will try to picture tomorrow so you know what I mean and both are incredibly warm.

Which do you prefer, soft or more firm?  Let us know!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Begg Additions

I am not sure why but in the recent past Alex Begg i.e. Begg of Scotland decided to not move away from cashmere production but to add to its lines of cashmere with some silk items as well as other woven fabrics including the Spring/Summer Cotton and Silk Wraps.

Of course their Wispy Cashmeres some shown below

which are feather light and simply beautiful are a staple and belong in the lineup of a cashmere company.  I like to compare the feel of the wispy cashmeres to what the Emperors New Clothes might have actually felt like had those charlatans actually delivered garments.

What was a nice change for the warmer weather was their was their work with the silks in the form of the wraps as well as their blends of cotton and silk, shown below.

All the colors were rich and all the patterns nice as well.  The perfect mild climate gift or for between seasons.

And the Still Life Silks:

The beauty of these is that they are timeless and classic and dont expire at any time.

Begg of Scotland Cashmeres

Yesterday we talked about cashmere quality and how Tuesday's only carry the finest of cashmere for men and women just like their unparalleled collection of children's clothing.

Today we will talk a little about the Alex Begg Scarf Collection that we carry.  Begg Cashmere is quite probably the highest quality Scottish Cashmere on the market today and while you may claim that your particular brand of cashmere is better than Begg or must be since its so wonderful, understand that its quite possible that your designer is getting their cashmere from Begg!

Before I continue on the differences between Scottish and Italian and or (gasp!!!) Chinese  cashmere I want to make it clear that Scotland does not boast cashmere as one of its natural resources.  What this means is that there technically is no such thing as Scottish Cashmere!  What Scotland does in fact have is a very soft pure water used to wash and treat the fibers it receives and more importantly true artisans who know and understand how to process the raw fibers and turn them into the delicious product that warms your neck or body.

Another thing that you need to know is the difference between weaves and knits.  Many cashmere scarves are weaves.  To understand weaves think of a shirt where the fibers are woven together to create the cloth of the shirt. Most sweaters are knitted together or like like that scarf that "Aunt Edna" has been making for years that she might finally gift to you this holiday season.  You know the type.  They look something like this!

Of course knitted scarves are perfectly fine and can look quite attractive and sharp for example these knits from one of our Italian Suppliers:

The easiest way to tell if your scarf or item is knitted or woven is by gently pulling on the scarf.  If it stretches and when you release pulls back to its original length its probably knitted.  If it doesn't then its probably woven.

Begg for their part only weaves scarves.  They don't knit them.  Their scarves are light, fluffy and quite luxurious to the touch.  Many of their styles might be stripes or squares but they have added more stylish (less classical) looks in the last few seasons.

Here are some of the patterns that we have in stock and are immediately available:

Tomorrow we will talk about more of the Begg offerings which are recent additions to the family of products.  Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cashmere and Tuesday's Child

As we round the corner heading into the final stretch of 2012, gift giving season comes up once again.  Many of you know Tuesday's Child Boutique and as a place to get your children's clothing but not many of you know us as one of the premier websites where you can get Cashmere and wool scarves and other knitwear that make wonderful gifts this time of year and all Winter.

What is Cashmere?

Before we discuss the purchase of cashmere it's imperative to understand what cashmere is, when is it good and why is it so expensive.

While one might often refer to cashmere as a wool ("cashmere wool"), in fact we need to understand that its not a wool which comes from sheep, but a hair from the goat found in the Asia regions. Your typical sheep is a domestic animal and is usually only exposed to typical mild weather elements, therefore it doesn't need to have overly warm covering.  But while your typical sheep is exposed to mild weather, the goats of Kashmir by contrast have to withstand the extreme temperatures of the regions that they are habitat.  This can mean weather WELL BELOW  -30 Degrees Celcius. (-22 Farenheit)

Farmed Cashmere Goats photo courtesy of Devon farms

Cashmir Goat in the wild
Cj Roberts / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

That being said not all hairs from the Cashmere Goat are created equal.  The outer layer of the hair is called the "guard hair" and is not the best for warmth.  The under layer is the cashmere hair that is used to make fibers for garments.  Of those hairs,  the longer the fibers, the less likely they are to pill (or better yet the less pilling you will have) because longer fibers use less of those fibers to make a thread and pilling is in essence the ends of each fiber unravelling.  Longer fibers are therefore more costly.  In addition, the undercoats fibers are thinner than the outer guard hairs and thinner fibers means a softer hand (touch).  In the shearing process which usually takes place at the end of the cold season the quality hairs must be divided from the guard hairs by a process known as de-hairing.

At Tuesday's Child we for the most part  have two companies that we purchase from, Lanificio Colombo and Scottish Producer Alex Begg now Known as Begg of ScotlandThe Scottish are synonymous with Cashmere production so I will not get heavily involved with them and their history which you can read on their website or by googling Alex Begg Cashmere.  Suffice it to say that their Wool/Angora Blend scarves are as soft as most cashmere that you have seen from other companies.  Imagine how the Cashmere must feel!

We do have some residual Murray Alan sweaters but alas, that century old company went out of business and into receivership about 5 years ago.
Our Italian Cashmere Sweaters and Scarves are supplied by Lanificio Luigi Colombo, a mill that is comparable to the more known brands of luxury fibers like Loro Piana and is best known for its art of processing and attentive selection to the most famous fibres: Cashmere, Guanaco, Vicuña, Mink, Chinchilla, Ermine and Camelhair.

A passion for high quality fibres serves as inspiration for adventurous raw materials research, which is still expertly conducted entirely in person and includes travel to the most remote locations, while always respecting and protecting the cultures of the places visited.

Their mission as listed on thier website is to create fine garments of unparalleled quality.  Allow us to tell you that they have succeeded!

In comparison, the Alex Begg are of a fluffier nature and a slightly softer hand, however I personally prefer the more firm nature of the Colombo Cashmere.

In either case, your gift recipient will be quite pleased, and so will you!

Next up, some of the Cashmere Styles we have in stock.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday Super Deals

In what is probably gonna be a series of posts to this blog this season here is the lead off deeply discounted set.  These are items that are from this season but are now marked off more than the concurrently running sale:

From the Add Outerwear Collection of down jackets and coats.  This group of coats is now 40% off.  Plus if you add the Cyber Monday sale or any other sale we have running  (hint hint...see Friday's post) you can go as low as 53% off.

If you arent familiar with ADD think of it as a cost effective alternative to Moncler.
Down Jacket with Piping.
Hooded Flannel Down Jacket

Friday, November 23, 2012

From the Match Me Matching Table - Nice But Hard to Match

We have posted before about this particular Paul Smith Junior shirt being hard to match.  It has a few shades of black and grey and a hard borderline sea-foam (blue with shades of green) stripe and reversable cuff/collar.

Paul Smith Junior Striped Shirt

When a customer asked what we recommended for it we thought that the Fendi Kids Round Neck Sweater with Logo Patch Elbows was the right combo for the shirt.  The navy and grey in the sweater works together with the navy blue and grays in the shirt.

Fendi Kids Round Neck Pullover Sweater

For pants we left it with any classic navy dress pant as the customer pretty much wanted to go there.  A nice rich (not sporty type) corduroy navy pant would also work lending a touch of sport to the otherwise classic sweater and borderline sporty shirt.

Here is what we got when we put them together:

With a closeup detail of the shirt and sweater here:

Happy Black Friday!

PS:  If you are a reader of this blog you are about to get rewarded as I will let you in on a secret that no one yet knows about...Whereas everyone will get 10% off their cart, I am gonna offer another 13% off your entire shopping cart on orders made on Cyber Monday 2012.  Just enter the code SIMPLY13 to get your additional 13% on your entire cart (and that means EVERYTHING in your cart ;-) ).(and no, you cant combine this coupon with another one!) (and when I say 13% off your cart I mean instead of the 10%, not combined with the 10%)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Balance of Seasons

Its quite funny that we havent even hit the beginnings of Winter 2012 yet and at the same time we are receiving Spring 2012 Merchandise. In fashion thats the way it goes and in fact its been that way for a few months now with the Delivery of our Burberry Kids (some of which you can see by downloading our Burberry Digital Catalog) and just recently with the receipt of our Little Marc Jacobs Swimwear collection.

Here are some of the small selection that we have thius far received. Little Miss Marc is back and cuter than before.  And for those in the know on Fashion, some of these prints are from the Women's Marc Jacobs line.

Little Miss Marc Bow Racer

Lipstick Kisses One Piece Mailot

And this Little Miss Marc Coverup