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Max and Fine Cashmere? (Mongolian)

argoth

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Has anyone heard of this brand? I believe they are a distributor rather than a reseller.

During my last trip to China, I headed up to Mongolia for a week of sightseeing and horseback riding. In Ulaan Bataar, I picked up a number of ridiculous quality cashmere sweaters for ridiculously inexpensive prices at their factory. The factory itself is run by Italians (it was amusing to see a brand new Ferrari sitting outside - given that most of Mongolia has no paved roads even within the capital) and distributes to "high end Italian" labels.

I ended up staying at a bed and breakfast run by some locals while there or that of their parents anyway. The people I met actually worked at the cashmere factory, which is how I got the tour. Its amazing where offhand comments like "I hear Mongolia is known for its cashmere" can lead.

Arg
 

Tomasso

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Originally Posted by argoth
The factory itself is run by Italians and distributes to "high end Italian" labels.


That's why buying "Made in Italy" cashmere is such a dicey proposition. The best cashmere mills are in Scotland. Then, there are some very good Italian mills and some not so good, like the Italian run Chinese mills. Now you have Chinese milled cashmere with the coveted "Made in Italy" label on the market. That's why I buy only Scottish cashmere.
 

argoth

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I should mention that the reason this popped into my head was that I was perusing sweaters over at Loro Piana and they had 3 sweater styles that looked and felt exactly like the ones I purchased. Same color, same style, same cashmere quality, same little stitching details.

Edit: Not saying LP gets their cashmere from where I did in Mongolia, but it got me thinking.

Arg
 

pejsek

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I think it may be worth drawing a distinction between the Mongolian and Chinese cashmere. I mostly stick to vintage Scottish cashmere (how could you go wrong?), but in the past few months I've bought a few things for my wife marked Gobi cashmere that are as nice as anything else contemporary I've seen. The designs aren't the most imaginative, perhaps, but the cloth itself is really first rate--way above the standard Chinese-woven cashmere that's everywhere these days and which I wouldn't touch for anything.
 

argoth

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Good point. Mongolian cashmere tends to be made to a different standard than Chinese cashmere. China manufacturers tend to employ less skilled laborers and churn out product. Mongolia does the same, but, depending on the factory, the quality can be quite exceptional.

Looking at Loro Piana's website, for example, I just noticed that they do indeed have a Ulan Bator branch now. So.. maybe.
Its not exactly a huge metropolis. There are only a couple cashmere factories and most aren't Italian run.

Arg
 

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