Why Cashmere is So Ridiculously Expensive?
Cashmere is a type of fibers known worldwide for being amazingly soft and incredibly warm. Anything made from cashmere has a luxuriously soft feel to them. It also provides significantly more insulation from the cold weather when compared to regular sheep wool.
However, the super-soft feel and incredible insulation come at a price. Cashmere is one of the most expensive fibers on the planet. It’s definitely not a fashion fad. It has been a highly sought after material for centuries and luxury cashmere coats continue to be in high demand in upscale fashion stores in America and elsewhere.
How Expensive is Cashmere?
A regular cashmere coat can cost anything from $500 to $600, while long coats can easily be over a thousand dollars. Cashmere cardigans can cost anything from $200 to $300 while sweaters that are 100% cashmere usually have a price of $500 or more.
Why Are Cashmere Coats So Expensive?
Contrary to what most people think, cashmere doesn’t come from sheep. Sheeps produce wool, not cashmere. The cashmere fabric comes from the cashmere goat found in certain regions of the Himalayas. It’s in those freezing habitats that these goats grow incredibly thick and warm coats. Cashmere coats are made from underfur of these goats, which are harder to collect and process. Each goat produces only four to five ounces of fabric. In fact, it takes about two to three adult goats to make a small cashmere sweater. Compare that to how much a sheep can produce per shearing, which is almost 6.5 pounds, and it’s easy to see why cashmere is such a rarity. Adding to the rarity is the fact the fact that each cashmere goat can only produce cashmere fibers once every year. Considering that some species of sheep can be sheared twice a year, the supply of cashmere is severely limited.
Processing cashmere is also a much more expensive process. The entire process is extremely labor intensive, which involves separating the soft hair from the undercoat from the coarser hair. Any dyes and chemicals used in processing also need to be delicate enough to ensure the softness and quality of the pure cashmere wool. Apart from the many intricacies that go behind converting cashmere wool into weavable yarn, there is also a lot of skilled labor-intensive work required. Employing skilled workers adds to the overall cost.
If these weren’t enough, cashmere is a highly sought after commodity by fashion brands located all across the globe. There simply isn’t enough cashmere for everyone. The basic rule of economics dictates that anything that has high demand and low supply is bound to have a steep asking price.
4 Signs Your Cashmere Coat is Not Genuine
Thanks to its high demand cashmere products are often mislabeled and sold as cashmere. Coats with only 10 to 20 percent cashmere are often represented as “cashmere coats.” The rest of the coat often contain yak hair, rabbit fur, or good old fashioned wool. If you are in the market to buy a 100% cashmere coat, then it makes sense to know a thing or two about spotting a fake. The following are 4 signs your cashmere coat is not genuine.
The Price is Too Good To Be True
Would you buy a solid gold watch that’s priced at $50? You wouldn’t because you know that it has to be some sort of a scam. Similarly, you shouldn’t fall prey to a scam when buying a cashmere coat that’s priced too low. Luxury cashmere coats are expensive and because the material itself is so expensive, there is no way fashion brands can offer huge discounts on coats without incurring a loss.
It Makes Your Skin Itch
Authentic cashmere coats and fashion items have an incredibly soft feel to them. Fibers of cashmere coats have extremely small diameters, so fine in fact that they never induce an itchy feeling.
Therefore, if your “cashmere coat” feels rough and makes your skin itch, then it’s not genuine cashmere.
It Doesn’t Say 100% Cashmere Anywhere on the Label
Manufacturers often use sneaky wordings such as “cashmere feel” or “cashmere-like” to hide the fact that the product is not genuine. Most genuine cashmere items have “100% cashmere” written somewhere on their labels. If it just says cashmere, then it’s reason enough to be sceptical about the product.
Doesn’t Have a Diamond Weave Pattern
Cashmere products, especially shawls have a typical diamond-shaped weave pattern. The weave is also irregular as they are typical woven using handlooms. If the weave pattern is missing and the weave looks machine-made then a closer inspection is warranted.