The influx of cheap cashmere garments took pace in 2005 when import quotas were relaxed, allowing China to export huge numbers. This luxurious fibre, once only affordable to a minority, suddenly became a mass market product, available in every large high street store, usually for under £100.00 and sometimes under £50.00. The cheapest Cashmere jumper I have ever been able to find was a discounted 100% Tesco’s Cashmere jumper for £12.50!!. At the time whilst still a student, I bought several of these jumpers, they made great Christmas products!
However, as the saying goes, you pay for what you get. Cheaper Cashmere jumpers are often made from the discarded guard hair not considered good enough quality by many of the top end manufacturers. These cheaper shorter fibres are often more prone to failings such as pilling and bobbling, as well as often being constructed using a looser knit meaning the garments tend not to hold their shap as well. A more expensive cashmere jumper will tend to weigh around 300gr where as many of the cheaper cashmere jumpers are commonly closer to 200gr.
However, although not as good quality, there is obviously a demand for luxurious products at more affordable prices. In recent years with the growth of a ‘throw away culture’, some would ask does it matter if the cheap cashmere jumper lasts just a year or two.
The era of the cheap cashmere jumper, however, may just be about to end. As the price of cashmere has soared in recent years and continues to do so, this has pushed up the production costs. It is just a matter of time before the fibre becomes too expensive to make into cheap clothing.
At the Cotswold Tailor I have opted to make my range of jumpers in a world famous Scottish mill. My touch of cashmere jumpers are made using 90% lambswool and 10% cashmere fibres. We use only the finest cashmere fibres, ensuring luxurious quality that you can feel, that are more durable and will retain their shape better.