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Taste Test: Is Cashmere Really Worth the Extra Cash?

December 4, 2007 by SheFindsJennifer
shefinds | Style

When it comes to sweaters, cashmere is obviously the cream of the textile crop. It used to be that cashmere was always very exclusive and expensive and sold at only the most high-end stores. But now, any discount retailer has their own line of cashmere sweaters at very reasonable prices. So what is the difference? Why are some sweaters $1,000 and some only $100?

Well, as The Wall Street Journal educates us, the Loro Pianas and the Lands' Ends of the world are getting their materials from the exact same Mongolian goats, it is just that once sheared, the bundles of fibers travel to two very different worlds. The discounter's sweaters are being manufactured in China and in all of the sketchiness that surrounds their factory situation. The designer brand's cashmere is sent to Italy, where, who knows, it is probably hand knit by the descendants of Roman gods. Fine Italian craftsmanship doesn't come cheap, unfortunately, and as a result, the more expensive sweater usually has more interesting, intricate detailing and a more 'of-the-moment' style.

But that is not always the case. Take these two kimono-sleeve cashmeres. They are both simple yet stylish, but one is $600 dollars more than the other. One is made in Italy, and the other, well, isn't. Can you guess which is which?

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