Cashmere is one of the world’s rarest and most luxurious fabrics because its fibers only come from one animal, the undercoat of the Cashmere goat, and it can only be harvested once per year when the goats shed their winter coats. And since it takes the undercoats of four goats to make just one Cashmere sweater, you can see how limited this commodity can be.
But as with anything of value, the Cashmere market is flooded with knockoffs and imitations that might look and feel like Cashmere to the untrained eye but are anything but. Thus, knowing how to tell if Cashmere is real is the most important thing you need to know to protect yourself from being scammed by fake Cashmere. Here’s how to test if Cashmere is real.
Signs That the Cashmere You’re Buying is Genuine Cashmere and Not Fake
There are a handful of tell-tale signs that will tell you whether the Cashmere garment you are looking at is real or fake.
The first one is the fabric’s softness. Cashmere is one of the softest fabrics on Earth because its fibers are extremely fine and bumpy, so it won’t make your skin itch or prick the skin. Simply running the fabric over your chin will tell you if it is Cashmere soft.
Another thing to look for is a label that reads “100% Cashmere.” By law, genuine Cashmere garments need to be labeled as such. So, if the garment is missing this label, then it probably isn’t real Cashmere.
Other signs that Cashmere is real include:
- Cashmere products are woven following a large-scale diamond pattern
- Genuine Cashmere is radiant but not shiny or overly dull
- Genuine Cashmere is lightweight
- Genuine Cashmere products are expensive
- Cashmere products do not have embroidery
- Genuine Cashmere exhibits rich and full color throughout the entirety of the fiber
Additional Tests to Tell You if Cashmere is Real
Since Cashmere products are usually woven or knitted by hand, it is not uncommon for the weaver of the product to weave their initials in the corner of the product. If you see initials in the fabric, then this indicates that the Cashmere is genuine.
Wiggling and massaging the fabric can also tell you if it is real Cashmere or fake. If you wiggle the fabric between your fingers and the action leaves a mark in the fabric, then it is not real Cashmere. Likewise, if you rub the fabric with your palm and it rolls up, then it is not real.
If you have already purchased the product, then you can take a thread from it and hold it up to a flame to tell if it is real Cashmere. If the thread shrinks from the flame, burns slowly, and smells like burned hair, then it is Cashmere. But if it burns quickly, generates black smoke, continues to burn after the flame is removed, or smells like melting plastic, then it is most likely acrylic.