Even when ‘cashmere’ is written on a garment, cashmere is not always in it. With the right background knowledge, however, originals can be distinguished from fakes. Our guide outlines how to tell fake vs genuine cashmere.
Recognising genuine cashmere
Cashmere is cuddly soft, offers a pleasant thermal protection and is still light and breathable. In short: the wearing feeling is simply unique. It is no wonder that many women and men want to call at least one such piece of bondage their own. Cashmere wool is one of the finest and most pleasant materials ever. But you also have your high price. And that is justified when you look at the work behind the production.
Where does cashmere come from?
The cashmere wool is extracted from the underhair of the cashmere goat. It is based in Mongolia, China, Iraq and Afghanistan. In these regions, winters can get cold up to -50 degrees Celsius. A warm protection offers these animals their fine underhair, which is even more delicate than the steamy sheep’s wool.
Info: For a cuddly cashmere sweater it takes about 300 g. Real cashmere is therefore scarce and therefore also so expensive – just a luxury item.
Why is cashmere so expensive?
Only when winter is over can the soft and fine underhair of the cashmere goat be obtained. Between March and May, the goats are then combed out. This means a considerable additional effort. Cashmere goats must not be shorn, otherwise they could easily freeze during the nights.
Another reason for the rather high prices is the yield that a goat brings. Cashmere goats do not really offer much wool,per year about 200 g to 300 g. However, this must first be washed, combed and freed from dirt particles. Only about half remains to be processed.
Signs to tell fake vs genuine cashmere
Distinguishing fake vs genuine cashmere is virtually impossible for laymen. There are too many tricks that we can’t see with the naked eye. For example, normal wool fibres are treated with chlorineto make them appear smoother and thinner. If you have discovered a beautiful cashmere product, you don’t want to have it examined by an expert. However, there are small indications that distinguish fake vs genuine cashmere.
Quality feature 1: The label
If you discover a cashmere product in the store, you should first pay attention to the label to recognize good cashmere. According to the Textile Labelling Acts, manufacturers must provide material information. This might look like, for example:
- 70% Cashmere; 30% silk
- 100% Cashmere
- Pure cashmere
This means that a product marked with 100% cashmere must consist of at least 85% cashmere. Cashmere is often combined with other types of wool, which does not detract from the quality. In many cases, for example, it ensures that the product is more resistant.If a garment is said to have a “cashmere content”, you can assume that only at least 14.5%are from real cashmere.
Cashmere is marked either in percentages or as pure cashmere.
Quality feature 2: The feeling
Fabric must be felt,so the recognition of real cashmere succeeds best. If you caress the fabric, you can also quickly determine whether it is cashmere or if you are just holding a fake in your hands.
Real cashmere feels warm when you hold it.
If, on the other hand, the fibre feels cold and shines slightly, you can assume that it is only synthetic fibre such as polyester.
Of course, not all fakes are cold and all originals are warm. That would be too easy. But it can bring light into the dark with particularly cheap products.
Quality feature 3: The fibres
The fibres can also give a further insight into the authenticity of cashmere. To do this, you need to take a close look. The fibres can be between 15 mm and a maximum length of 75 mm. For high-quality textiles, fibres with a length between 35 and 50 mm are used. In short, when longer fibers are used, there is less risk of pilling. If smaller and therefore cheaper fibers are used, the risk of pilling is greater. Here it can simply happen faster that the short fiber ends knot when wearing.
Quality feature 4: The burning sample
Those who are still very unsure up to this point could carry out a so-called burning sample. But don’t try to set the whole cashmere sweater on fire, but just a small fiber that you pluck out of the garment. Synthetic fibres burn quickly,melt and torment. Real wool, on the other hand, is difficult to ignite and smells of burnt hair. This burning sample allows you to distinguish real wool from synthetic fibres. But not whether it is cashmere or the much cheaper sheep’s wool.
Quality feature 5: The price
The priceis not insignificant in terms of quality. If you take a close look at the manufacturing process, you can certainly understand that a real cashmere sweater is not available for $30 – even in the super special offer. Expect $100 and above. If you hold such a garment in your hands, you can compare with the above features.
100% of a layman cannot distinguish cashmere from a forgery. However, there are some clues that can help you. If you want to have a sweater made of real cashmere, then you should only buy from trusted retailers and pay attention to the textile marking.