The Reason Why Cashmere Is So Valued
Comparing Cashmere and Wool
Cashmere and wool are both animal fibers that come from somewhat similar creatures – goats and sheep. Obviously, this makes them share some common characteristics like they both have scales and crimps(meaning curly). However, it is their differences that set them apart.
What is Special About Cashmere?
Cashmere is much thinner than wool so it’s much softer, and it has fewer scales per unit length than wool, making it much smoother to touch.
But the best feature of cashmere is, unlike wool which is solid, that it’s hollow inside the fiber, forming a natural heat insulator. This is not found in any other textile material, meaning cashmere is the warmest of all. You can experience it very vividly when it’s cold, you hold, for example, a polyester scarf against your skin and you will feel it’s as cold as the environment, but if it’s a cashmere one, the instant it touches you, it’s the same temperature as your skin. That’s really an addictive feeling.
Why is Cashmere so Expensive?
Price of cashmere follows the most basic principle of economics – demand and supply. On the demand side, because of all the special features it possesses – soft, light warm – cashmere is sought after by countless people. On the supply side however, cashmere is the rarest raw material in textiles. It only accounts for 0.2% of all animal fibers. Remember this 0.2% is for ANIMAL FIBERS. If other types of raw materials(such as cotton and chemical fibers like polyester) are taken into consideration, cashmere is basically a negligible fraction.
Unique and rare, cashmere holds its status as a niche luxury product without much contention. (END)