Why is Cashmere Wool so Expensive?

Why is Cashmere Wool so Expensive?

Jan 01, 1970 05:30am | Cashmere

You may have heard about cashmere. It is the best fabric you can get for garments. It is very light and super warm. You can make from these delicately fine fibers anywhere from a rug-like blanket to all kinds of clothing as soft as a cloud.

However, cashmere garments are not cheap or in the affordable range for many. With the limited resources everyone has, you may wonder if investing in cashmere clothing is a sensible choice. The real question being, are you just paying for the branding with no actual value? In simple terms, it's the best fabric you can get and is worth every penny. But let us explain why. We will look at various reasons that cause the price of cashmere products to be so high.

Scarcity of supply

Cashmere wool comes from goats that reside in the upper Himalayan range. The temperature drops below the freezing temperature causing the goats to grow a thick layer of hair. However, these are not all used in production. Only the super-soft hairs of the cashmere goat are collected that lies under the thick one. 

A sheep produces well over 6 pounds of wool in a year. Meanwhile, we can get only 200 grams from a cashmere goat. The goats grow the soft hairs required for the cashmere wool only in few months in a year. 

Costly production process

From the tiny amount of wool collected from each goat, about half of the quantity gets lost during the cleansing process that removes dust, dirt, and other residual waste. Processing the cashmere wool into yarns takes a dedicated and skilled team. First, they dye the fibers into the required color, then aerate it to prevent clumping. 

The soft cashmere is handled carefully without using chemicals or mechanized processes that would otherwise damage the fibers. Finally, the processed hairs are lined up and turned into a yarn. 

Labor-intensive industry

The Shearing process is simple to remove wool from sheep in bulk quantity. This method is not suitable in the case of cashmere goats. The soft undercoat hairs are collected using brushes by hand. It is a labor-intensive process. The cashmere wool is processed extensively by hand. The individual strands are separated and shaped by highly skilled workers. 

The overall quality, look and feel of the cashmere garments heavily rely upon the competence of the workers. Amidst the delicate fibers, aligning the cashmere yarns into an artistic form or pattern, texture takes a long time.

High demand

We need to understand why cashmere wool and garments made from pure cashmere are in high demand. Cashmere wool is very soft and super lightweight. It is also three times warmer than traditional sheep wool.  Cashmere garments are very durable. Cashmere makes for superior winter clothing with its lightweight but warm properties. Even during the summer, these are equally suitable. Thin clothing made from cashmere blocks the sun and keeps the skin in pristine condition.

Aside from the usefulness factor, cashmere garments are items of extreme luxury. There is no other fabric that provides more comfort than cashmere. It's the same fiber used to make the clothing of emperors, and now it is available for purchase by everyone. 
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