Cashmere is special and popular around the world, but why is cashmere so expensive? We list nine top reasons to explain this situation.
The word ‘Cashmere’ itself sounds luxurious. Wearing cashmere gives you an opulent appearance in addition to keeping you warm. The price of cashmere sweaters is higher than that of cotton or sheep wool sweaters. However, the manufacturing and quality make up for the price.
In order to provide you with all the information you need, we’ve compiled a list of the six real reasons why cashmere wool is so expensive.
Why is Cashmere So Expensive?
There Are Grades of Cashmere
Cashmere is not made equally. A thing’s price increases with its quality, just like it does with the majority of other things in life. There is a grading system for cashmere that can be used to distinguish between high- and low-quality fibers. A, B, and C are the three different quality grades of cashmere.
- Grade A: Indicates the best quality cashmere. This variety of cashmere will always feel the smoothest and finest in clothing. An average of 14 microns is the width of a grade A cashmere hair.
- Grade B: This cashmere is typical in appearance. With width hair of usually close to 20 microns, this grade of cashmere still indicates fairly good quality, but you can expect some scratchy feeling already.
- Grade C: Cashmere is the family’s “black sheep.” The 30-micron or even thicker hair strands of grade C cashmere are substantial. Wearing this cashmere close to the skin is not advised because it is almost certain to itch and scratch.
You should always look for a sign of the cashmere’s quality. Despite being the priciest, Grade A cashmere is the best and highest quality. So when purchasing your clothing, keep these types of cashmere in mind. Watch out for any blends in clothing made of cashmere. 100% cashmere is where it’s at!
[Related: Why is Merino Wool So Expensive?]
Each Individual Cashmere Goat Produces Very Little Cashmere
Every goat, in turn, contributes to the finite supply of cashmere. There is hardly any cashmere wool produced by each cashmere goat. Only 200 grams of cashmere wool are produced on average per year by a single cashmere goat.
The amount of cashmere fiber that can actually be used is made smaller by the fact that the fibers must be cleaned. To make the cashmere suitable for textile production, it must first have any naturally occurring oil and dirt removed. Compare that to the typical sheep, which yields three kilograms (3,000 grams) of wool annually.
Furthermore, not all goat cashmere is made equally. The color of the coat matters tremendously for a number of reasons, including the range of colors that can be offered.
White cashmere is the most expensive and scarcest shade. Black is both the most popular and least expensive color. Between those two is a wide range of cashmere hues, each with a different price.
Cashmere is Produced Each Year for a Limited Time Only
In addition to the strict quality regulations put in place for cashmere, which we will discuss in a moment, it is clear that this material is seasonal. It may seem odd to think of wool in terms of a particular season.
It’s simpler to consider seasonality in terms of product availability or even the occurrence of sporting events. Cashmere goats molt between March and May, which means that they develop a shaggy, coarse layer of hair in addition to their fine undercoat.
This creates a temporary increase in the availability of cashmere, although it is rapidly purchased and subsequently flies off the shelves. Each goat produces between 40 and 60 grams of fine cashmere wool at this time of year, which is its highest single output.
Cashmere is Warmer Than Any Other Wool
Products made from cashmere are warmer and softer than those made from any wool because they are made from the soft undercoat hair, which is close to the skin. The fiber combed (not clipped like sheep) from the neck region is used for fine knitwear, but the total amount of hair collected is very small (about 0.05%). 120g).
When the wool is 19 microns or smaller, it is referred to as cashmere. It results in producing the warmest materials that you can ever find anywhere on the planet (8 times warmer than sheep’s wool).
Cashmere is High in Demand
Among the industry experts, Cashmere is nicknamed “Soft Gold” and “Diamond Fiber” which clearly reverberates the grandiose luxury and wealth inherent in the products manufactured through this immensely material. Merchandise made from cashmere goats’ pure wool is incredibly opulent.
Cashmere Requires Intense Manual Labor
The look, feel and quality of cashmere garments completely depend on the processing of wool, which requires a lot of hard work from sheering the goats to separating and sorting each strand of the hair individually by hand.
The process is followed by the skilled artisan which also adds to the overall cost of scarves. Preparing a single pashmina shawl or scarf takes days, months, or even years.
Processing Cashmere is a Delicate Process
Cashmere is widely praised for its fineness and softness, but these same qualities also make it nearly impossible to work with.
Quality cashmere products can only be made by the most skilled artisans, and they must take great care at every stage to avoid accidentally degrading the fibers’ quality by overdyeing, overprocessing, or handling them excessively.
To lessen the possibility of the fibers being damaged, high-quality dyes must be used. It is necessary to guarantee color fidelity and to guard against any risk of color transfer or user injury. After all, such a premium product attracts an elite clientele.
In order for the dyed cashmere fibers to dry without clumping together, they must first fully aerate.
The following action is a precaution to guarantee that the cashmere strands stay separate. The fibers are “carded” or detangled and then lined up on cards. The strands could then be combined to create yarn from there.
The quality of the cashmere output is determined by a grading system. Both the fineness and length of the cashmere strands are rated. High-quality cashmere hairs should not be wider than fourteen microns.
Again, the delicate nature of a single cashmere strand cannot be understated, but it also speaks directly to why this textile is valued at such a premium.
Cashmere Wool Fibers Have Special, Standout Properties
As previously mentioned, cashmere wool fibers are renowned and praised for their fineness and softness. Cashmere is regarded as such a luxurious fabric in large part due to these two characteristics. Despite how thin the fibers are, cashmere is actually quite strong.
It should not come as a surprise that animal fur is a durable material given its origins as a protective covering for animals with low body fat levels during extremely harsh winter conditions.
But cashmere also contains a lot of moisture. This contributes to both maintaining its adaptability in a range of temperatures and strengthening its strength. Additionally, cashmere may remain easier to work with and dye thanks to this moisture content.
Once more, a luxurious yet durable material will only grow in popularity and remain a high-end product.
Kashmiri goats undergo a process known as “MOULTING” between the months of March and May each year, which naturally causes them to produce a particular mixture of fine undercoat and coarse-grained hair.
Throughout the entire year, manufacturers must wait to receive their orders because it is a natural process. And as soon as it hits the market, it starts to fly. Therefore, the stock is always limited and the buying process is followed on a first come, first serve.
What is a Cashmere Sweater Made Out Of?
Wool from Kashmiri cashmere goats (Capra Hircus) is used to make cashmere sweaters. These goats can only be found in specific climatic and geographic regions. You can find cashmere goats only in the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, China, and Mongolia. Only 0.5% of all wool is produced in cashmere.
The majority of cashmere wool comes from various regions of China and Mongolia. However, Himalayan goats produce the finest pure Cashmere wool. Since there is less production, cashmere is sometimes combined with other materials like cotton, wool, or even silk. Due to this reason pure cashmere is an expensive fiber in the market.
How Do I Care for My Cashmere Sweaters?
You must take good care of your Cashmere sweater because you spent a lot of money on it. Always keep the sweater in a spot that’s tidy and dry. To avoid any damage, place some naphthalene balls.
Because of how delicate the fiber is, washing cashmere in a machine can be terrifying! You must go for a professional dry clean. Tell the dry cleaner to take extra care with the sweater before giving it to them. For fiber, too much chemical exposure is not good. You only need single dry cleaning once a season.
Conclusion: Why is Cashmere So Expensive?
The reason why cashmere is so expensive is now clear to you. A cashmere goat’s annual production of cashmere is limited to 200–300 grams, and it is harvested in the spring when the animal is naturally molting. Just one coat requires the use of three to four goats.
It’s a combination of many factors which all shape the price of one of the most luxurious materials in the world. Consider how unique and prestigious cashmere is the next time you put on your cashmere clothing.
Is Cashmere Really Worth it?
A ladies’ sweater requires about two goats’ worth of fiber. If you want a garment that is soft to the touch, warmer than wool, lightweight and breathable, then it’s absolutely worth it to buy cashmere.
What is So Special About Cashmere?
Cashmere is a natural fiber known for its extremely soft feel and insulating properties. Almost like silk to the touch, cashmere fibers are incredibly delicate and fine. Compared to sheep’s wool, cashmere is much warmer and lighter, and it resembles mohair, which is made from angora goats.
Is Cashmere Considered Luxury?
Cashmere, the mantle of kings, is well known for being one of the softest and most luxurious fibers. Like diamonds or gold, it is noble, uncommon, and priceless.