Quality of cashmere knitwear is mainly determined by three factors.
First of all is the fiber itself. Needless to say, the quality of the raw material is very important. The diameter of a cashmere undercoat fiber is about 14 to 16 micron, and the length is up to about 40 millimeters. Thinner and longer is generally considered better. UTO uses only top-quality—in short, the most expensive—cashmere hair. It is the same class that the high-end line Loro Piana and other famous brands use.
Second is the quality of the spinning process. The fleece needs to go through spinning to be used as knit yarn. The fiber is “twisted” and “pulled” to make a long continuous thread, and how well it is done makes a big difference. Generally, a thread without bumps is considered of better quality. If we want to make the thread even and strong, we can simply tighten the spin and pull it harder. However, it will lose texture and tenderness. Making smooth and beautiful cashmere thread requires not only high-grade fiber but also superior technic and well-examined procedures. The cashmere yarn we use is spun in Japan with the utmost care by Toyoboshi, a member ofCCMI (The Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute).
Last but not least, manufacturing quality also determines the value of the final product. Even if the most expensive yarn is used, it does not mean the product is good. At UTO, our knitwear items are produced one by one in the atelier in Kitakami by a team whose leader has 50 years of knitting experience. Knitting of the fabric is done with the famous Shima Seiki machines, and fine-tuning and linking require experience and delicate engineering. You can see the beauty of even stitches in high-gauge knitwear. Furthermore, at the final stage of production, we air-dry our items, which is a time- and space-consuming step, instead of using more common machine drying. We believe the drying process has a big impact on final texture, so we continue to use natural air-drying.
UTO cashmere knitwear is the fruit of highest-grade fiber, top-notch spinning, and wholehearted dedication to craftsmanship.