There is nothing comparable to the cashmere tie, if you are looking for the ultimate tie to pamper yourself with.
Cashmere has a history stretching back thousands of years, though it has always been a luxury fiber. It comes from the Cashmere goat, an animal that thrives in high altitudes and on the steppes of Asia. Cashmere is actually far warmer than Wool, but less bulky as well.
A cashmere fiber must be smaller than 18.5 microns in diameter (Merino wool is about 20 microns) and longer than 3.175 centimeters. This is a long stapled fiber, which means that when spun the cashmere yarn or thread will create a slight fuzzy halo, kind of like mohair but on a lesser scale.
In order to harvest this downy hair, the goat must either be combed or shorn. If the goat is shorn then the rough guard hairs and vegetable matter must be separated from the softer under hairs. Either method of gathering the fiber is very labor intensive, and each individual goat does not produce very much fiber. This is the reason why cashmere is such an expensive material, and also why it is considered a rarity and a luxury.
Because of its fine micron count, cashmere is probably the softest animal fiber on the planet. This means that your cashmere tie will be snuggly and sensuous around your neck, as well as very warm. It also means that cashmere necktie will be a great choice as a winter accessory, but in the summer you will probably want to stick with a Satin, Silk, or Polyester Tie.
Also, as soft as cashmere is, it is also very delicate. It is not a material that is easily cleaned and if it is agitated in the wash or by rubbing it will pill and felt. However, this is really a small price to pay to be privileged enough to wear such an amazing material.
Perhaps the largest producer of raw cashmere is China, where the goats thrive in the highland steppes. China produces about 10,000 metric tons of the fine fiber every, followed by Mongolia at about 3,000 metric tons per year. Most of this fiber then goes to mills in Italy, Scotland, England, and the US.
Johnston's of Elgin, in Scotland, is particularly renowned for producing excellent cashmere cloth. You can buy a top quality woven cashmere necktie from Forzieri, a well known Italian design house that specializes in luxury men's products. Other design houses, like Ralph Lauren and Kenneth Cole periodically come out with a cashmere line of ties as well.
A cashmere necktie is a really versatile accessory that can be worn in many places. It is good for day to day at work, but can also be worn out to special occasions. You may want to avoid wearing it out to a messy dinner because cleaning cashmere is so difficult.
A Knitted Tie will look a bit more casual than a Woven Tie, and will also probably be lighter weight and less substantial. A woven tie will be a bit more three dimensional, but will have less of the cashmere halo than a knitted tie. Cashmere necktie goes well with dark suits, light suits, tweed, and everything in between.
For winter wear, from work to cocktail hour, a cashmere tie is an undeniably classy choice.