Merino wool has a long history, it comes from the wool of a small sized breed of sheep called the merino. It probably came from a mountainous region of North Africa and was introduced in Spain. While nobody could smuggle merino sheep outside of Spain without risking their lives as this was a major crime. At the end of the 18th century Napoleon took his army to Spain and the entire merino wool production was stopped and destroyed. Luckily merino sheep were taken to Germany where the production restarted. In the following decades some merino sheep were taken to the USA, Australia and New Zealand, starting an industry that continues to this day in those countries.
Merino wool is renowned for its warmth and softness but also has the propriety of retaining heat even when very wet.That is why you find that many good quality clothes for sports and the outdoors contain at least a percentage of merino wool. Therefore if you invest in a good merino wool sweater you will have a long lasting garment that can be worn indoor or give you a good protection outdoors. On top of that it will last you many years.
The Cashmere goat is responsible for the wool of the same name which is among the warmest and softest available. It comes from its winter undercoat which is an area with particularly soft and warm hair. As Cashmere wool is very light it is ideal to make anything like scarves or shawls or even Cashmere ponchos. Cashmere will need some looking after, it will have to be hand washed and dried carefully (by placing it between two towels thus absorbing most moisture without distorting its shape). Therefore you might want to choose an everlasting design that does not require daily washing and you will be able to enjoy your cashmere garment for many years to come.