Cashmere Fashion: Why is it Pricier than Other Wool Types?
Posted On September 25, 2015
Cashmere is a popular fashion piece that is also a favorite gift option for the holidays and for the cold season. Pure cashmere apparel comes with a big price tag, but it is still very much in demand and sought after in the fashion world. Its propensity for warmth and comfort are just some of the factors that make it a highly valuable commodity. But what really makes cashmere so expensive?
Making cashmere fashion garments
There are specific types of goats that produce the wool that is made into cashmere, which is taken from the soft undercoat of these animals. In making one sweater alone with a two-ply makeup, it would require more than two goats.
Producing cashmere is a laborious job that involves separating the undercoat from the top coat, which is typically done by hand. All these factors and more contribute to cashmere’s low production rate on a global scale. This is in stark contrast to the high production rate of sheep’s wool.
Cashmere’s eastern production roots
Many women feel regal in their cashmere garments, which is appropriate as cashmere was a royalty item before becoming a mainstream fashion piece. The region where cashmere was originally produced is called Kashmir, which is where the name comes from. Early on,emperors from the region and beyond are known to have used cashmere shawls for religious and political reasons.
Introduction of cashmere to the western world
A textile manufacturer from Scotland named Joseph Dawson discovered cashmere shawls from India. He then had the idea to import the cashmere material to his factory. These were then sold to women from the upper classes who loved the warm and soft feel of cashmere, which is another factor in its steeper price; it’s warmer than sheep’s wool for up to eight times more.
For the world of fashion and today, the rest is history.
Different types, different qualities
Cashmere garments vary in quality, depending on several factors that include color, fiber length, and texture, which all affect the production and the value. Cashmere fibers that are white would require less dyeing, which in turn lessens the damage to their natural soft quality.
The geographical area where the cashmere originated also factors in when it comes to the quality of the wool. In places where there is harsh weather and the cashmere goats have a scant diet, such as in Mongolia, the cashmere produced has a finer quality, prized in the production of luxury items. Raw cashmere materials can be affected by inept production as well, which is why the process is also taken into account.
The biggest supplier of cashmere wool is China, but it is the European region that has the expertise in manufacturing cashmere, producing the fashion world’s best quality cashmere items.
Cashmere may be an expensive addition to your stylish closet, but its quality and comfort plus trendy style all add up to a great investment. No matter what cashmere garment you love best, just make sure that the item you’re buying is truly pure cashmere so that you’ll get great value with your money.
Sophie White is a fashion blogger based in Australia. She has a keen eye for the latest in fashion, hairstyles, shoes and more, dedicating her time to everything about the fashion world. With her passion for quality and elegant style, she leads the online marketing campaign for White + Warren, a knitwear brand in New York.