Luxury has always been represented in terms of a person’s possessions. Big house, nice car, huge yard, and jewelry are all examples of luxury but one type of item always takes priority. Those being clothes, the most prominent and easily spotted indicator of somebody’s wealth and prestige. Cashmere clothes are one such type of clothing, usually coming in the form of a scarf. Cashmere’s extremely soft, smooth, and delicate feel makes it stand out as a material while the lengthy process required to turn it into clothes makes it difficult enough to obtain to make it a luxury.
However, where there’s money to be made there will always be scams. Buying a fake cashmere scarf is a real possibility with the current market as imitations, false advertising, and impure cashmere are often peddled to those looking for this style of luxury. Thankfully, there are ways you can check the authenticity of cashmere. There are tests you can apply to make sure what you are buying is the real deal.
What is cashmere
Before we discuss how to figure out whether cashmere is real or fake let’s talk about the process of making cashmere. Cashmere is only obtainable once a year when cashmere goats shed. Due to their undercoat being the only source of cashmere, each cashmere goat generates about 8 ounces of the material each year.
This minuscule amount means that multiple cashmere goats’ shed undercoat needs to be combined for even a single item of clothing.
Additionally, each wrap of cashmere takes days to prepare for proper use. The delicate nature of the material also makes it impossible to mechanize the production of cashmere. It has been attempted before but the only way any significant results were made was by mixing in other fabrics. These impurities compromise the texture and quality of the item, rendering it far less impressive than real cashmere and providing a steep price for something extremely ordinary. A multitude of ways one can produce a fake makes the following tests rather important for anybody who’s invested in beautiful fabrics.
1. The softness test
One of the prominent characteristics of cashmere is its softness so it figures that one of the tests would be based on softness. The unique soft feel is far removed from any other fabric we usually encounter. Cashmere fibers are very fine and delicate.
All you have to do to enact this test is run the scarf along your neck or chin. These areas are prone to chaffing and irritation from fabric like wool, which is usually used for scarfs, and as such are great for testing how genuine cashmere product is. If the product irritates you in some way, such as itchy skin, you can immediately assume it’s fake. As already discussed, cashmere is incredibly soft and doesn’t cause these issues so an item that does cannot be legitimate.
2. Label test
By law, official sellers need to confirm the contents of their items. For cashmere scarf sellers’, official items should have “100% cashmere” on their label.
However, this isn’t the most accurate indication as they can slip past proper purity tests so you should take additional care. It’s usually best to purchase these items from certified sellers. These can be found on the internet as well with sites such as Ovcio.com offering not only legitimate cashmere scarfs but free shipping. On their site you can also find guides that’ll help you keep your scarf clean and healthy.
3. Burn test
The fact that cashmere is a natural fiber makes it possible to identify through its interactions with some elements. In this case, you use fire to enact a burn test on the cashmere scarf to confirm legitimacy.
The first thing to do is take a few fringes of your cashmere scarf and roll it up into a ball. Put the ball onto a hard surface and slowly burn it. The authentic cashmere will burn slowly and shrink away from the flame. The burnt cashmere will smell like burning human hair and turn into ash after burning up. However, if fake the fringes will burn with black smoke and let out a burning plastic type of smell. These materials will also burn very fast, while cashmere will take a while to burn.
4. Glowing test
Another way of determining the authenticity of your cashmere scarf is by putting it under some decent lighting. Exposing the item to light can tell you whether some synthetic fabric has been used.
The way this process works is by checking whether the fabric gives off a glow or not. Natural fibers such as cashmere do not glow at all. Meanwhile, synthetic materials will reflect light causing the scarf to glow. Too much of a glow indicates that the scarf is heavily impure or completely fake.
5. Pilling test
Pills appear on fabric when small and broken fibers tangle up into a ball, creating a pill. This occurs naturally, from wear and tear, although it can be caused by scraping. This occurrence can help us identify a legitimate cashmere scarf as well, especially if it’s a second-hand one.
This test is very simple if scarf pills it’s more likely to be legitimate and if it doesn’t it definitely isn’t. If you have a cashmere scarf at home and even after years it hasn’t pilled it may be impure or fake.
6. Bobble test
Another test that you can apply to cashmere is a bobble test. Bobbling is similar to pilling, with fibers forming into little balls on the scarf. It’s very useful to identify whether a scarf that saw some use is real cashmere.
The bobbles will form after prolonged use if the item is made of natural fibers. However, if it’s instead made out of synthetic fibers it either won’t bobble or will barely bobble. The fake cashmere scarves will sometimes end up becoming matted rather than bobbling, so if your item has become matted that may be due to its impurity.
Utilizing these simple tests is very important in confirming that the item you are buying is legitimate. After all, when purchasing an item we want to make sure our money will be paid back in quality. A cashmere scarf is an item of utmost comfort and elegance, signified by its steep price. This makes it doubly important to reaffirm the item we are getting is the real deal. Even if you go through all of these tests it doesn’t hurt to check the legitimacy with somebody who has experience with fabrics before buying a cashmere scarf.