Where it comes from. Where the cashmere was sourced makes a difference in how it lasts. In the steppes of Inner Mongolia, the cold climate means the goats grow fuller undercoats. This makes for long fibers that have higher resistance to pilling than shorter ones. As the Inner Mongolian cashmere Moonlit Memory favors is washed and worn, it will become softer but not wear.
How many plys it has. The thinner the fibers, the softer the cashmere feels. The ideal is to have a strong yarn made up of multiple thin plys (or threads.) 1-ply yarn is weak and has an awkward “torque.” 2-ply is much better. The more individual plys that compose the single strand of yarn, the larger the yarn. (Though, with the magic of cashmere, it gets no heavier.) The yarn we used for our romantic flutter sleeve shrug was 4-ply. This was full enough to give the desired depth and texture to the dimensional design.
In the cold Himalayans, where cashmere is originally from, it has always been treasured. It eased the mountain chill while still being soft and light. This rare yarn was collected over years and then worn by the older ones of the tribe during their last decades.
Still today, the right cashmere can be a practical luxury that provides beauty and pleasure throughout a lifetime.