Cashmere. It is by any measure the king of luxurious natural fibres, an esteemed and precious material championed by purveyors of elevated menswear the world over. Even so, in recent years it has become steadily more difficult for cashmere producers to secure top quality raw fibre, primarily due to reduced demand for cashmere globally and the ever-encroaching requirement for cheaper materials for mass manufacturing.
To find producers who, in such a tricky climate, nonetheless go the extra mile to create cashmere garments of a truly superior quality is particularly up-lifting. For this reason, when last Pitti Uomo, The Rake had the time to catch-up with unparalleled Scottish cashmere weavers Begg & Co., we knew immediately that we had to work with the company to create something which best represented its commitment to the finest quality. Thus, the Begg & Co. for The Rake Cashmere Camouflage Gentlemen’s Square was born.
A ‘gentleman’s square’ is essentially an enlarged pocket handkerchief, designed to be a versatile and more summery alternative to a full-length scarf - it performs the role of a simple scarf draped around the neck, just as easily as it does that of a neckerchief or cravat - making this a playful and rather chic alternative to the conventional necktie or scarf.
What’s more these squares have been produced in Begg’s ‘wispy cashmere’ quality – arguably one of the finest renderings of spun cashmere yarn on the planet. Named for its feather-like quality, it takes the form of a supremely soft, lustrous and lightweight breathable woven cashmere with a very light nap and glorious sheen. The cashmere is in fact so fine, that normally it would break under the tension of a loom. To get around the problem, Begg coats the spun yarn in a soluble glue-like solution to strengthen it during the weaving process, before gently washing the solution out of the woven material afterwards.