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Cheap cashmere flooding the market - Page 2

post #16 of 27
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I remember Boyle writing that cashmere could only come from certain breeds from the Himalyas.
Duty on finished products - not source of fibre. As we all know, there are varying degrees of quality in every type of material. The cost issue simply opened up the market for our 'trade partners'. Does not mean they are supplying a similiar quality garment.
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Also, Boyle mentioned there was a 100% import duty. However, this was before the recent trobules over bannanas
No, the duty increases were a reaction from our Customs to this problem. There are a few other catagories this has effected as well.
post #17 of 27
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(ernest @ 20 Nov. 2004, 2:38) Do you mean the poor should'nt wear cashmere?
?
You seem to be sorry to see cheap cashmere....
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
http://www.time.com/time....00.html Bringing this back up after buying a couple of "cheap" cashmere sweaters today. Apparently there are some less scrupulous companies making sweaters out of not just the long downy undercoat fibers but also the short scratchy thick body hair fibers of the goats. This would account for the pilling and falling apart of the cheaper sweaters. I haven't decided whether I will keep these, because even the one I like better is a little scratchy in the sleeves. Anyone have a good source for good discount cashmere sweaters? I don't mind paying more if it will last a long time. Also, which brands have people had good luck with? Obviously Loro Piana, and I've heard Armani's knits are good, any others to look for? Thanks.
post #19 of 27
Cashmere sweaters cost an arm and a leg at high-end stores, and I personally don't think they justify the money spent. If you wear it often and with different coats it gets fluffy and bally very soon. If it gets dirty you can't clean yourself, but have to dry clean (additional costs). After dry cleaning it doesn't come in the same rich texture like when new. I learned this years ago, and I haven't bought one again. 100% merino wool has saved me worries, money, and nerves.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
I haven't had problems hand washing cashmere with Woolite just like merino or other wool. Some things have actually come out softer after doing this. If you get pills (balls of fluff stuck to the sweater) use a pill shaver on them. I have one that cost a dollar at a thrift store and it works wonderfully. But I agree, a lot of the cashmere out there seems to be way overpriced for the quality you get. That's why I'm wondering about brands to look out for.
post #21 of 27
On the less expensive side of things, the Harrison cashmere available on bluefly.com is not very good. I actually had decent luck with a few JCrew sweaters I bought a couple years ago. Brooks Brothers merino sucks, IMHO.
post #22 of 27
I personally love higher end cashmere, it is quite overpriced though.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
On the less expensive side of things, the Harrison cashmere available on bluefly.com is not very good. I actually had decent luck with a few JCrew sweaters I bought a couple years ago. Brooks Brothers merino sucks, IMHO.
Thanks for the reviews. One of my next questions was going to be how that Harrison stuff was. For my own reviews: I have had pretty good luck with Banana Republic stuff, though it's pretty simple and boring and a moth enjoyed my last sweater from them; A Loro Piana sweater I found at a thrift store and gave to my stepdad was (obviously) amazing; A Decaro (local tailor)-labeled sweater, possibly LP as well, is very nice but needs a hole mended and the body taken in, and also the neck hole is tiny. I'm wearing one by Daniel Bishop right now that I got today; it's pretty nice but again a boring knit. Luckily it is a great color and a good price, but it's just a little scratchy. I will probably keep it and if so I'll see if washing softens it up a bit. As for merino, I've only had a couple things made of it and the only one I can think of is by Ponte Vecchio, a brand that seems only to appear at a "discount", but it is a pretty nice, simple sweater and it was inexpensive.
post #24 of 27
I throw my merino sweaters in the washer with cold water, and they come out just fine. If I can't do the same with a cashmere sweater, then I can't see myself spending time and employing extra caution to hand-clean it. If you find the time and patience to do it by hand, that's great. As for the knit being boring, well, cashmere has always been considered a traditional staple of the middle class, so the manufacturers can't justify the risk of experimenting with new knits, or designs. Most people would spend $300-$500 on a simple classical V-neck or turtle neck sweater, than on some wildly designed ones. The fact that we don't live in U.S. makes it difficult to suggest something about a cashmere sweater (we don't have Brooks Brothers, etc.). Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, even GAP carry sometimes decent pieces of clothing with moderate prizes.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
By 'boring' I just mean the plain knits that most of the inexpensive sweaters are made of. Many wool sweaters are made in ribbed knits or cables, or something with some texture and visual interest, whereas almost all these cheap sweaters are made in plain flat knits. Besides being more dull and plain, these also make any pulls, pills, holes, or spots much more obvious, thereby decreasing the wearable life of the sweater considerably. I don't expect anything wild and crazy, I'd just like a little texture, but it appears I will have to pay (relatively) a lot for it. Hopefully along with the texture I will get better fibers that will themselves be more durable.
post #26 of 27
Interesting regarding Cashmere: (And I am looking at reasonably priced high quality cashmere sweaters for next season.) Taken from http://www.scottishfibres.co.uk/acat...ere_Story.html CASHMERE (& Caprine Fine Fibre (CFF)) All goats, with the exception of Angora goats (and don't let any Angora breeder tell you otherwise), produce cashmere in varying quantities. Cashmere is a fine undercoat grown by the goats as a protection against the winter in much the same way as geese and ducks produce down. Most goats produce cashmere in quantities which are too small and lengths which are too short for commercial use and most dairy breeders (particularly those who show their goats) regard it as undesirable and something which spoils the appearance of the goat's coat. Feral goats and many of the dairy goats produce the finest cashmere but due to the lengths and volumes it is generally unusable, although once crossed with higher volume producing goats new breeds of good cashmere producers can be obtained. More than 3,000 tonnes of cashmere is produced worldwide, the majority coming from Mongolia with smaller amounts from Iran, Afghanistan, Australia, New Zealand and a very small amount from the UK. Until recently Britain handled and processed most of the world's cashmere with the Dawson International group of companies processing around 2,000 tonnes annually, with Scotland the world centre for cashmere finishing, knitting and weaving. In its best year the UK produced 1 tonne. Recently China extended its own processing facilities and the majority of scouring (washing) and de-hairing is now carried out in China along with an increasing amount of finishing. Massive export levies on raw cashmere from China has meant that processing in other parts of the world is now uneconomic and has resulted in the massive loss of jobs and businesses in the UK textile industry, not least in the Scottish Borders. Cashmere growth on the goat is generally regarded as being triggered by the shortening daylight hours of late summer/autumn although many of us believe that other factors - such as temperature and even diet have an influence on the production of the cashmere. The coat generally continues to grow until about the end of the year in preparation for the coldest weather and is removed in the early to late spring depending on the method of harvesting. Where facilities allow, the goats are shorn in early March and kept indoors for several weeks before being allowed back out. This ensures that the maximum amount of cashmere from each goat is obtained since it is done before the coat loosens naturally and falls out. Where the facilities to house the goats do not exist it is more common to comb or in some cases simply pull out the fibre. This has the disadvantage of having to be done after the coat has begun to loosen and therefore, much of the fibre can be lost, but has the advantage of leaving the main coat, or guard hair, intact allowing the goat to continue to have protection against the elements. This method also spreads the process out over a much longer period since the goats shed at different times and it usually requires two or three operations to remove all the cashmere. The fleeces (whether shorn or combed) are individually packed in polythene or paper bags ready for the start of the processing. Scottish Cashmere Producers Association operate a pool each year with all the fleeces sent to a central point where each fleece is individually graded into categories - white hosiery white weaving coloured hosiery coloured weaving reject These are more or less in order of value with white hosiery the most valuable since it is the finest and being white can be dyed any colour whereas the coloured (usually brown or grey) can only be dyed darker colours. Hosiery grade cashmere is internationally agreed as being under 15.5 microns (thousandths of a millimetre) and having the characteristics of cashmere with weaving being above that but under 18.5 microns and having the characteristics of cashmere. Reject (which becomes Caprine Fine Fibre) either is outwith the diameter parameters or does not have the true characteristics of cashmere. This can be caused by a variety of factors and is fairly subjective on the part of the grader who may feel that a fleece is too curly so it might contain mohair characteristics, may be too short, or be too coarse. Because of the very strict adherence to the definition, particularly in the United States of America, erring on the side of caution tends to predominate. Following the grading the fibre is sent to be scoured, or washed, to remove all contaminants whether they are vegetable matter or simply dirt. Once scoured and dried the next process is de-hairing. This sounds like a contradiction in terms sincec the entire fleece is made up of hair but is simply a term used to describe the process where the guard hair is separated from the cashmere. On shorn fleeces the proportion of guard hair to cashmere can be as high as 80/20%. Apart from the cost of all the processes this is another good reason for the high cost of cashmere. Once this has been done the cashmere is ready for dyeing, spinning and knitting or weaving.
post #27 of 27
Can a cheap cashmere sweater be "made in Scotland"?
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