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Cheap cashmere flooding the market

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
At all the discount stores they have huge piles this season of discounted cashmere sweaters. Actually some of them are very nice, but they go down to a pretty sad level. All I keep thinking is how many goats are shivering over in Nepal or Mongolia or wherever. Also, what is up with the sizing on sweaters? Why is a medium always 48-50" chest? A loose sweater sort of defeats the point of having loft in the fabric, and it looks sloppy, IMO. I keep wondering if I could pick one of these up and have it altered down to a 42" chest without ruining it. Anyone tried that? Assuming set-in sleeves, not raglan.
post #2 of 27
I was going to ask the same question. I'm finding $60-70 Cashmere sweaters all over the place. What makes one Cashmere sweater better quality than the others? Is it the weaving? Is it the wool from a different part of the animal? They say they are 100% Cashmere and not a blend? It can't all be the label that raises the price. Can it? Stevo
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm sure there are grades of cashmere just like grades of wool. It's just that the cheapest cashmere is still relatively soft and nice. For me, a better sweater would be one with a weave that doesn't seem like it would snag, or would hide snags better, as I seem to be attacked by cats every time I wear cashmere. Obviously, the thickness of the knit relates to how much the sweater costs to make as well. However, how can the material be used to justify the price if an XXL is the same price as a S? I don't think we medium-sized people should have to make up the cost of making the larger ones. It's a tax on the skinny, I tell you.
post #4 of 27
Do you mean the poor should'nt wear cashmere?
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Do you mean the poor should'nt wear cashmere?
?
post #6 of 27
I thought we all agreed that the poor will be brainwashed and sent off to war, assaulted at their "compound" by FBI and ATF officers for being fanatics, terrorists, or cultists. Whatever is the popular threat these days. or possibly made to work at low paying jobs packing processed food products that we give to third world countries as "aid" so that we can garner more UN support for war. Who has time to wear discount Cashmere?
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I thought we all agreed that the poor will be brainwashed  and sent off to war, assaulted at their "compound" by FBI and ATF officers for being fanatics, terrorists, or cultists. Whatever is the popular threat these days. or possibly made to work at low paying jobs packing processed food products that we give to third world countries as "aid" so that we can garner more UN support for war. Who has time to wear discount Cashmere?
?
post #8 of 27
This year is the trend of cashmere for a lot of clothing stores (low end/high end/retail chains). Last year it was the 100% merino wool in different weaves/thickness/smoothness. I don't like personally the cashmere. It's not durable, it's delicate and easy to get shoddy, and that's what makes it expensive. The technology of weaving cashmere is one of the most traditional ones, done in many third world countries (of course cheap). It's the high end clothing stores, fashion books, and the fashion "consultant" that have pushed the cashmere as the choice of the upper middle class. That's explains the ridiculous high prizes of cashmere sweaters in high-end stores. I prefer 100% merino wool with dense, thin weave in the shape of V-neck, turtleneck sweaters. They are very durable, versatile, and rich looking.
post #9 of 27
I actually agree with you, I think wool is a much nicer looking fabric than cashmere.
post #10 of 27
Glad some of you prefer wool Just leaves more cashmere available for me.. I personally don't find cashmere to be that much less hardwearing when compared to most merino wool - hell, I have cashmere sweaters that are 10 years old and look as good as the ones I bought today. Picked up three awesome RLPL cashmere items today at a great price (Gotta Love Loehman's).
post #11 of 27
nothing against wool, but I find cashmere to be much more efficient to the essential task of keeping the torso at a comfortable temperature.  I was shooting a movie in Romania in late November a couple of years ago and was outside on location all night long, with only my unlined Barbour and a borrowed not-too-substantial cashmere sweater.  I couldn't have been warmer, surprisingly, and have been a fan of the fiber ever since. My worry with the cheaper brands is their durability and density.  The ones I've seen in stores seem to be little better than a nice wool, and frankly speaking quite boring in design and color.
post #12 of 27
It's all about the Duty. Cashmere imports from the EU are dutied at 100% (thanks to the banana disagreements) while cashmere from the Andes influenced countries, India, Africa, and others (not sure about China) are duty-free. This has allowed the cheaper producers to market there products more effectively here, as the good stuff has become so expensive, many stores have simply stopped ordering from the UK for example. To fight back, Scotland and other governments have guaranteed certain profit levels for their home suppliers, so direct pricing/sales is a good option - if you can get it into the country ok.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Interesting. I was noting on some of these sweaters at the discounters that all the cheap stuff was from China or HK, while some discounted sweaters made in Scotland were ~250% the price of the others (e.g. $160 vs $60-80). Is this also why Scottish and English wool sweaters are disappearing from shelves here? This also begs the question, does this mean that a $160 sweater from Scotland may not be much better quality than a $80 sweater from HK (assuming no-name brands). Thanks Rider.
post #14 of 27
I believe some of the difference in price has to do with the fibres used. Shorter (cheaper) fibres results in more pilling just like in other wools.
post #15 of 27
Rider, I remember Boyle writing that cashmere could only come from certain breeds from the Himalyas. Once you try to transport the goats outside the Himalyas, they just don't grow the hair needed to make cashmere. So, when we're talking about cashmere from Hong Kong, are we talking about the same cashmere from the same breeds as those from Scotland? Also, Boyle mentioned there was a 100% import duty. However, this was before the recent trobules over bannanas. I had assumed that the recent increase in prices was due more to the declining value of the dollar.
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