Our Most Asked Questions, Answered

Image:  Marlene Lee

Today’s post is a little different, but it’s one I think you all will find very helpful! It’s a FAQ I’ve been meaning to put together for so long, and now it’s finally here! I love that you are curious about Lois Avery and our cashmere. I try to get back to every direct message and email, but I thought it would make sense to have an entire post I can direct you to for easy and quick access to anything you’d want to know!

Of course, I’d love to keep hearing from you so please reach out and say hello, and let me know if your question isn’t included below.

But in the meantime, here are the most frequently asked questions I get about our business and products. I hope my answers help!

What is the difference between the Italian Days collection and the Classic collection?

This is my most asked question! The Italian Days and the Classic scarves are exactly the same size and specification of cashmere, and they are both gorgeous. But the difference is in the weight and weave. The Italian Days contains approximately 90 grams of cashmere and has an open weave with a soft and fluffy finish. The Classic contains approximately 120 grams of cashmere and has a tight weave with a smooth finish.

Which is your best-selling scarf?

Our best-selling scarf of all time is our Classic cashmere scarf in Slate. It’s closely followed in popularity by our Italian Days cashmere scarf in Sea.

Are you planning to add knitwear and other cashmere products to the collection?

I receive an awful lot of emails and DMs asking me to do this. At this point in time, I have no plans to expand into cashmere clothing.

I feel there are lots of lovely knitwear brands out there who do this very well, and as I do not have a fashion background, I don’t feel that I have the knowledge to do this to the standard that I would want. Furthermore, I am a firm believer that you need to get the foundation of your business right before you expand. The foundation of Lois Avery is magnificent cashmere scarves and there are so many designs and styles that I want to add to the existing collection before I expand into any other new products.

Also, my passion has always been accessories, and I think if I were to expand Lois Avery in the future, I would take it in that direction.

What is the best way to care for my cashmere scarf?

You can find detailed instructions for caring for your cashmere here. I’ve talked previously about the biggest threats to cashmere such as moths, zippers on clothing and not following the correct cleaning procedures.

In addition to these wearing and storing tips, I also recommend keeping your scarves away from food to avoid any unnecessary spillage or stains. It’s good practice to shake your scarf before you wear it as well, and to keep it folded in the presentation box it comes in. The shaking removes any moth larvae and keeping the lid on the box keeps those pesky moths away.

Will the pleats in the Pleated cashmere drop over time?

The pleats on the cashmere from our Pleat Collection will soften a little over time with wear, but in my opinion, this will make the shawl softer and lovelier. In order to maintain those beautiful pleats, I recommend gently folding your scarf rather than hanging it.

Will my scarf be exactly the same colour as the photograph on the website?

I try to use product photos on our website that are as accurate as possible. These images can vary depending upon the device you are using. If you’d like to see more photos of a scarf, please email hello@loisavery.com and I can share further photos with you. I am always happy to take photos in natural light and send those to you also. It is true that I can often be seen standing outside photographing cashmere flapping in the breeze for a customer.

Do you offer gift wrapping?

We don’t offer gift wrapping as our beautiful Lois Avery presentation boxes are far more glamorous than your typical gift wrap, and they are complimentary with every order. This means that every order is already gift ready!

Why Italian cashmere?

There are a number of reasons why I chose Italian cashmere, which I speak about frequently. Namely, I love that some of the oldest mills in the world are located in Italy and there is an uninterrupted history of cashmere production. They’ve been able to adapt old traditions with technical innovation, which means the quality of the cashmere is always maintained. Also, cashmere is famously very resistant to dye and Italy is very well known for the techniques it uses to ensure colour saturation. Cheaper manufacturers in other parts of the world just can’t replicate this experience.

I’ve heard that some of the dyes in textiles can harm the environment, is that true?

This is true and another reason why I was determined to only include Italian cashmere in the collection. I have met all my suppliers in their mills, as it’s so important to me to understand the production process and ensure that my suppliers have the same ethical standards that I have. I of course appreciate that manufacturing practices are complex, so I ensure that all of my cashmere suppliers comply with industry standards and are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, which ensures that production is not harmful to the environment.

Why is cashmere expensive?

Cashmere is an expensive textile as a single cashmere goat actually does not produce much cashmere. In fact, it takes four years for a cashmere goat to naturally shed enough fine hairs to knit one sweater. Crazy, right?!

Why is your cashmere special?

I proudly source our cashmere shawls from heritage family-run mills in the Alpine region of Italy north of Milan, which you can read more about here. This is the perfect setting for luxury cashmere production due to the soft water that runs through the rivers in this area and serves the textile mills.

Can I place an order if my location is not showing on your list of shipping destinations?

Yes, please get in touch by emailing hello@loisavery.com and I will help you.

Which is your most read Journal article?

Our most popular Journal article of all time is “The 5 Best Markets in Italy For Food” from 10 February 2018. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed doing research for this one.

Which retailers stock Lois Avery?

Fortnum & Mason in London and Isetan Shinjuku in Asia. We also participate in seasonal pop ups in London so you can see The Collection in person and meet me. I would love to expand our pop up presence so please get in touch if you’d like to see a Lois Avery pop up in your hometown.

And that’s all I’ve got for you! Again, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have more questions. Clearly cashmere and Lois Avery are my passions, so chatting about all of it hardly even feels like work!