The Four Best Tests To Tell Between Real And Fake Cashmere
Don’t let manufacturers and clothing brands pull the wool over your eyes, so to speak, when it comes to labelling their products as cashmere. There are lots of counterfeit cashmere products around these days, making it difficult for shoppers to know what is the real deal and what is fake.
To prevent you getting tricked into spending your valuable money on faux cashmere items, read our tips on how you can tell what is authentic.
Look at the label
Before falling in love with a particular item of clothing, make sure you look closely at the label. Genuine cashmere products will indicate as much, saying ‘100 per cent cashmere’.
Items with a mix of wool should say what percentage the blend is on the label, such as ’20 per cent cashmere / 80 per cent merino wool’.
Only jumpers, scarves and gloves that are 100 per cent cashmere can be called ‘pure cashmere’, while anything above 85 per cent will have the term ‘cashmere’ on the label. If it says, ‘with cashmere content’, this suggests a blend of wool has been used.
Of course, a garment without a label at all should set off alarm bells, as it is most likely a counterfeit.
Although this test will be subjective, as not everyone knows what cashmere should feel like, the fabric is notorious for its softness.
It is a good idea to rub the item on your cheek or with your fingers. If it feels scratchy or itchy, it is unlikely to be cashmere.
Of course, you should also be aware of anything that feels overly soft, as some manufacturers add chemicals into their wool to increase softness. In this case, after rubbing the garment between your fingers, see if they feel slick. This could be an indication that chemical additives have been incorporated into the material to give an artificial feeling of softness.
If you can, try to stretch the item slightly. A good-quality cashmere product will retain its shape when you let go, while one that is made from a blend of wool is more likely to remain out of shape.
When stretching it, take a look to see whether the fabric is tightly woven together. A close-meshed structure is a clue that it is genuine cashmere, while one that appears to have holes when stretched is possibly a fake product.
The flame test
Although we don’t recommend you set items you are considering buying alight, one of the best ways to tell whether it is made from cashmere or not is to do just that.
Pick a few fibres from the garment and light them with a flame. If they burn quite slowly and give off the scent of burning human hair, this is likely to be real cashmere.
However, synthetic fibres tend to burn faster, give off a big, bright flame, and typically smell of burning plastic. You will also notice a black smoke that continues to burn after the flame goes out.
You don’t need to get out your lighter for assurance our 100 per cent cashmere gloves, wraps or jumpers are the real deal. Once you feel them on your skin, they will definitely pass the touch test.