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Cashmere label NAT launched at SLEE

SLEE Gallery is extremely excited about hosting the launch of an amazing cashmere fashion label NAT, brainchild of Natalie de Villiers.

Having studied Textile Technology and Management in Germany, with a bachelor’s degree in Textile Engineering, De Villiers’ interest and expertise are in cashmere yarns and garments.

Her first internship in 2006 was with a small cashmere firm in New York. From there she made a jump to Hugo Boss, for whom she worked for several years, first in Switzerland and then in China. Later, she moved on to Calvin Klein Europe in Amsterdam.

This first solo collection of De Villiers’ was created with 2-ply, 100% ultrafine cashmere yarn, 2-ply, 70% ultrafine cashmere and 30% silk yarn, 100% ultrafine merino yarn and a fine silk/linen blended yarn.

The cashmere is sourced from Inner Mongolia, where the Capra Hircus Laninger goats live. Because of the extreme temperatures and hostile environment these resilient animals grow an extremely soft and fine undercoat, which is harvested during their natural moulting season.

Every year in spring the goats are combed by the nomads to gently remove the highly valuable hair growing underneath their fur. The fibres are then carefully selected by hand, according to their fineness, length and colour, and is then gently washed.

The yield is very low, on average a 100 to 150 g can be combed from each goat, which explains why pure cashmere is so precious and sought after.

The yarns are then spun and dyed in Italy at one of the best spinning mills in the world, a third generation family enterprise.

De Villiers sources and selects the yarns herself, and the knitting of all the items is done at a small family run workshop in the heart of Umbria. The excellence of this workshop lies in the superfine quality of a complex 18-gauge knitting technique and, most importantly, in the hand finishing of each of these fine garments.

The NAT brand is all about creating timeless, natural fibre garments, and supporting exceptional craftsmanship, moving away from large scale factory production. It is a beautiful, sustainable, “slow” fashion brand.

This cashmere pop-up can be visited until 14 April.

The gallery invites late-night shoppers to visit them on 13 April until 21:00.

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