FrontRunners: Ultrafine Living
During the late 1980s, explorers identified a rare breed of high-altitude mountain goat, known as Capra ibex sibirica, living in the far reaches of Mongolia, Turkistan, and Kazakhstan. The Capra fiber is so limited that farmers can harvest only about 450 pounds annually, which alone would yield no more than 100 suits. However, the Brussels textile maker Scabal (scabal .com) recently began blending the goat’s ultrafine, short-haired cashmere fiber with its Super 200 wool to create a more plentiful yet still very fine cloth. . . .
Manrico (manrico.com) has found an intriguing new use for cashmere—in the bedroom. The Milan company recently added cashmere bedding to its offerings. The machine-washable sheets and pillowcases, which come in 60 colors, are priced at $7,200 for an all-cashmere king set (top and bottom sheets and two pillowcases). The company says that the bedding’s thermoregulatory properties will keep sleepers comfortable in any season.