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Is Expensive Cashmere Actually Even Worth It?

If you are a fan of cozy sweater, soft scarves, and luxurious coats, or a owner of a fashion retailer, you might have wondered if splurging on cashmere is worth the investment. Cashmere is one of the most sough-after fabrics in the world, known for its unparalleled softness, warmth, and durability. But what are the differences between cheap and expensive cashmere, and why does it cost so much?

colourful cashmere goats

The finest cashmere comes from the neck and belly of cashmere goats, where the hair is finest, longest and most uniform in colour. There are several factors that can influence the price of cashmere products, such as:

Grade of Cashmere Fibers

Cashmere grade is a measure of the quality and fineness of the cashmere fibers. It is determined by the diameter of the fibers, measured in microns. The lower the micron count, the finer and softer the cashmere is.

There are different criteria for grading cashmere, but the most common one divides cashmere into three grades: A, B, and C; with Grade A to be the top and most expensive class, and Grade C to be the bottom and the cheapest class. If you are interested in these grades, more information can be found in our previous blog.

The grade of cashmere affects the price of cashmere products in several ways. Firstly, finer cashmere fibers require more skill and care to process and knit, which increases the production costs. Secondly, finer cashmere fibers produce lighter and warmer garments, which are more desirable and valuable to consumers. Thirdly, finer cashmere fibers have a longer lifespan and resist pilling better than coarser ones, which enhances the durability and quality of products.

Source and Origin of the Cashmere Fibers

As you may already know, cashmere is made from the fine undercoat of cashmere goat. These goats live in harsh and cold climates, such as the Himalayas, Inner Mongolia, and China. To survive the winter, they grow a thick layer of soft and fluffy hair under their coarse outer coat. This hair is what we called the cashmere.

Cashmere from China and Mongolia is considered to be the most superior, as the goats in that specific region produce the finest and longest fibers due to the extreme cold and altitude; Cashmere from certain places in China are relatively more abundant and cheaper, but also coarser and shorter; Cashmere from Iran and Afghanistan is rare and expensive, as the political and economic situation there makes it difficult to export.

Demands and Supplies

The demand for cashmere has increased over the years, as more people appreciate its beauty and comfort. However, the supply of cashmere is limited by the number of cashmere goats and the amount of fiber they produce each year. For most cashmere sweaters, it take s fibers from approximately 4 cashmere goats to produce enough fiber for one piece of cashmere sweater. Additionally, some sweaters require cashmere from baby cashmere goats, which is even rarer as baby cashmere can only be collected once on each cashmere goat. This makes cashmere a scarce and valuable commodity.

Colour of Cashmere

The colour of the cashmere fibers determines how much dyeing is needed to chieve the desired shade. The natural colours of cashmere range from white to brown to grey, with white being the most rare and valuable. White cashmere can be dyed into any colour without losing its quality or brightness. However, darker colours require more dyeing and bleaching, which can damage the fibers and make them less soft and resilient. Therefore, white cashmere tend to be more expensive than coloured ones.

Nonetheless, there are exceptions to this rule. Some colours are in high demand and can fetch higher prices than white cashmere. Black cashmere is a good example to this, they are very popular because it is versatile and elegant. Black cashmere is made from a blend of white and black fibers, which gives them a rich and deep hue. Another example is pink cashmere, which is trendy and feminine. Pink cashmere products are usually dyed with natural pigments, such as cochineal or madder, which add extra dyeing fees to their value.

Choice of Factory and The Processing Techniques

Large-scale factories can benefit from economies of scale and lower their production costs by buying in bulk and using efficient processes. They can also offer more variety and availability to their customers, and they can compete on price with other brands. In addition, they have their own cashmere farms and origin of cashmere goats.

On the other hand, small-scale producers can charge higher prices for their product because they offer exclusivity and authenticity to their customers. They can also differentiate themselves by focusing on quality, craftsmanship, and sustainability. They appeal to niche markets that value tradition and ethics.

Cashmere fibers have to go through several steps before they become ready for knitting or weaving. These steps include sorting, washing, dehairing, dyeing, spinning, and finishing. Each step requires skill, time, and resources, and affects the quality and price of the final product. For example, sorting involves separating the fine cashmere fibers from the coarse guard hairs by hand or machine. This is a labor-intensive and costly process that determines the purity and grade of the cashmere. The higher the purity and grade, the higher the price.

Brand of Cashmere

It is not easy for the majority to tell the quality of cashmere, some brands may use deceptive marketing techniques to make their cashmere products seem better than they actually are. This is why it is important to look for reputable and trustworthy brands when purchasing cashmere products. Cashmere products are sold by various retailers, from high-end fashion houses to online platforms. The brand name and reputation of the seller can influence the perception and expectation of the customers, as well as the marketing and distribution costs. For example, a cashmere product from a famous designer will have a higher price tag than a similar product from an unknown seller. A cashmere product from a reputable seller will also have a higher quality assurance than a product from an unreliable seller. The most-well known fashion brands in this industry includes: Todd & Duncan, N.peal, Loro Piana, and Burberry.

However, these brands come with a higher price tag than other cashmere products, as they have their history, quality, reputation, marketing strategy and experience for added value.

cashmere goats

So, is expensive cashmere actually even worth it? The answer is: it depends. If you value quality over quantity, comfort over convenience, and style over trends, then cashmere might be worth the splurge for you. But if you are looking for something more affordable, practical and sustainable, then you might want to look for other alternatives.

Whatever you choose, remember that cash mere is not just a fabric, it is an experience. It is a way of treating yourself to something special, something that makes you feel good inside an out, which is priceless.

Ultimately, the price of cashmere products is determined by the preferences and perceptions of consumer. It depends on what you value and what you are looking for in a cashmere product. Whether you prefer a cozy sweater from a small family farm or a trendy scarf from a big fashion house, you can enjoy the beauty and comfort of cashmere in your own way.

cashmere goats couple

As you can see, there are many factors that affect the price of cashmere products. However, this does not mean that you have to pay a fortune to enjoy the benefits of cashmere. You can still find affordable and high-quality cashmere products if you know what to look for and where to shop. Here are some tips to help you:

- Do your research. Learn about the different types and grades of cashmere and how to identify them. Read reviews and ratings from other customers who have bought similar products. Compare prices and features from different sellers and brands.

- Check the label. Look for labels that indicate the origin, content, weight, and care instructions of the cashmere product. Avoid products that do not have clear labels or that contain other materials besides cashmere.

- Feel the texture. Touch and feel the cashmere product before buying it. Look for softness, smoothness, elasticity, and density. Avoid products that feel rough, scratchy, stiff, or thin.

- Inspect the details. Examine the design and craftsmanship of the cashmere product closely. Look for evenness, consistency, neatness, and durability. Avoid products that have loose threads, uneven stitches, holes, or defects.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand why cashmere products have different prices and what factors affect them. Cashmere is a wonderful material that can keep you warm, comfortable, and stylish all year round. With some knowledge and care, you can find and enjoy your perfect cashmere product without breaking your bank.



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