So why is cashmere so expensive?

Cashmere  (kashmir, cachemire) – a material that is obtained from the undercoat (underhair) cashmere goats (cashmere goats), who live in the mountainous regions of Central and South Asia (sometimes these goats are called Tibetan or Himalayan). We are talking about undercoat instead of wool – and that’s why they say of cashmere as a separate material, rather than a variety of wool. However, to the fur he’s still very close – much closer than cotton or linen, for example.

Why is cashmere so expensive goats

History of cashmere

The history is the best answer to the the question of why is cashmere so expensive. People have learned to use the undercoat of goats for the production of shawls over two thousand years ago – at least in the third century BC. Production of cashmere items initially was located in the same area, where mountain goats live, that is, in what is now Nepal, Mongolia, China and India. From the field to the north of India – Kashmir (Kashmir) – and there was the name of this material. However, then it was called pashm and pashmina; Persian language is translated as … hair!Why is cashmere so expensive history

In XIV-XV centuries the production of cashmere has become more extensive, however, the Europeans learned of this material only at the beginning of the XIX century, when during the Egyptian campaign French general sent a cashmere shawl in Paris. The French liked it very much, and they decided to start the production of cashmere things right in France. Soon, the first batch of Tibetan cashmere were imported into France, and the French were the first in Europe to produce cashmere products.

Later, in 1818, the French started a campaign to import mountain goat in France. Of the 1500 acquired in Persia goats to France reached only 256. In general, the success of the campaign was not crowned, and to open large-scale breeding of mountain cashmere goats in France did not succeed.


In 1820s French cashmere interested Scots; they started manufacturing shawls of cashmere yarn, had already been made in France. Since 1832 the Scots began to produce cashmere yarn independently (from imported Asian raw materials, of course). Having discovered over time that overtake the French design shawls are very difficult, the Scots began to specialize mainly in the plain and plaid cashmere things.

Why is cashmere so expensive historyLater produce cashmere fabrics, knitted fabrics, garments and accessories of steel and in other countries – particularly in the United States and Italy. Thanks to the successful marketing and the pursuit of maximum subtlety and tenderness of products in the XX century the Italians managed to overtake Scotland in terms of volume of sales of cashmere items.

Kashemir was and still is a very prestigious material, products made of it are highly sought after in the US, and in Asia and in Europe. The largest producer of cashmere (raw materials) is currently China; with a noticeable margin from it should Mongolia, and followed by Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and some other Asian countries.


Advantages and disadvantages of cashmere

Why is cashmere so expensiveWhy is cashmere so expensive is explained by its history, but it also has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The main advantages of cashmere – is its softness and tenderness; articles of cashmere is very comfortable to wear, and pleasant to the touch. In addition, cashmere – very warm material; it is much superior to the thermal insulation properties of conventional fleece (on average three times, all else being equal), but inferior alpaca. Lightweight and thin cashmere sweater or scarf can be very warm.

On of the major cashmere cons is a high price, as well as the sensitivity and, in some cases, poor wear resistance. Of course, there are very sturdy products made of cashmere, which are able to faithfully serve for years, but many cashmere things – quite fragile and not very durable creation.

Michael Anton:

“Cashmere although  gives a spectacular view, but drives up their price to the size of the cost of a good car, and did not prevent the wear and tear.”


Emphasizing that a mistake to think that the products look more noble cashmere  than wool. It is not necessarily the case. Moreover, the eye inexperienced layman can even confuse a cashmere sweater or scarf and sweater / scarf of normal wool. Yes, there is a very nice-looking cashmere knit things, as well as cashmere fabrics – but there are great things from wool fabrics or wool jersey, which in appearance is not worse or even better.


Why is cashmere so expensiveMoreover, sometimes cashmere things look very simple. About an ordinary, nondescript, but expensive cashmere sweater for sure someone will say something like this: “how, and this is the most famous cashmere? Such money for that sweater? Yes, it looks just $20! “. Some people just like attracts simple appearance.

Hope the history explains why is cashmere so expensive and where it comes from.

Here is collection of Cashmere sweaters you can get from Amazon. Some of them run expensive and some of them are just about $39.