Are So-Called 'Affordable' Cashmere Shawls Truly Made from Cashmere?

In the world of shawls and wraps, the term "cashmere" holds a certain allure and prestige. However, with the rise in popularity of less expensive cashmere shawls, it begs the question - are they truly made of authentic cashmere?

When it comes to luxurious fabrics, cashmere is the epitome of elegance and comfort. But with its hefty price tag, many people are on the lookout for more affordable alternatives that claim to be cashmere but cost a fraction of the price. Are these less expensive shawls truly made of cashmere, or is it just a marketing ploy? In this article, we will delve deeper into this topic and explore the authenticity of these affordable cashmere alternatives.

Understanding Cashmere: A Touch of Luxury

Cashmere is a type of wool derived from the soft undercoat of cashmere goats. Known for its exceptional warmth and exquisite softness, true cashmere is considered a luxury textile that is highly sought after. Its fibers are finer, longer, and more insulating compared to regular sheep's wool.

 Cashmere, known for its softness and warmth, is traditionally sourced from the undercoat of cashmere goats. These luxurious fibers are carefully woven into exquisite shawls that have become synonymous with luxury and elegance.

This material is known for its exceptional warmth, softness, and durability. Genuine cashmere is often more expensive due to the intricate process involved in its production.

The Intricacies of Cashmere Production

Authentic cashmere shawls are crafted with meticulous care and expertise, often originating from regions such as Kashmir in India or Nepal.

After the cashmere goats are carefully combed during the molting season, the harvested hair undergoes an extensive sorting and grading process. Skilled artisans separate the long, fine fibers from any coarse ones, ensuring that only the best quality is used in the production of cashmere garments.

Spotting Authentic Cashmere: The Telltale Signs

When shopping for cashmere, it is essential to distinguish between the genuine article and imitations. While less expensive shawls may claim to be made of cashmere, they often fall short in terms of quality and authenticity. Here are some key indicators to help you spot real cashmere:

Spotting Authentic Cashmere: The Telltale Signs

When shopping for cashmere, it is essential to distinguish between the genuine article and imitations. While less expensive shawls may claim to be made of cashmere, they often fall short in terms of quality and authenticity. Here are some key indicators to help you spot real cashmere:

Affordable/ Cheap


Fiber Length and Thickness

Cheaper imitations often have shorter fibres or a mix of other fibres.

Genuine cashmere fibers are longer and finer, measuring around 36mm in length.

True cashmere fibers are considerably thinner than other wool types, giving it unparalleled softness.


Inferior quality shawls tend to pill excessively and lose their softness quickly.

Cashmere garments may naturally pill over time, but it should be minimal.

Cashmere possesses an unmistakable velvety touch, providing a unique sensory experience.

Warmth and Softness

If a shawl feels scratchy or lacks insulation, it's likely not made of genuine cashmere.

True cashmere provides unparalleled warmth and an unmatched soft touch.

Authentic cashmere garments offer exceptional warmth and insulation, making them perfect for colder climates.


Inferior quality shawls do not last even half the time a genuine one would.

Due to its fine and strong fibers, cashmere can retain its shape and quality even after years of use.


While cashmere can be pricey, it is important to be aware of extremely low-priced options. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Authentic cashmere comes at a cost due to the extensive production process and the limited availability of high-quality materials. 


The Rise of "Cashmere-Like" Shawls

In recent years, the market has seen an influx of shawls marketed as "cashmere-like" or "cashmere-feel" at lower price points. These shawls are often made from blended fibers, such as viscose, acrylic, or polyester, that mimic the softness and appearance of cashmere.

While these alternatives may provide a similar aesthetic, they lack the true qualities and benefits of genuine cashmere. They may not offer the same level of comfort, warmth, or durability that comes with authentic cashmere.

Misleading Marketing Strategies

Unfortunately, some manufacturers exploit the allure of cashmere by misleadingly labeling their shawls, scarves, or blankets as "cashmere" when they are not. They often mix cashmere with lower-grade fibers, compromising the quality and authenticity of the product. Dishonest practices like these aim to deceive consumers seeking genuine cashmere goods at affordable prices.

Identifying Genuine Cashmere Brands

To safeguard yourself and make an informed purchase, look for reputable brands known for their commitment to producing authentic cashmere products. These brands often prioritize transparency, provide detailed information about their sourcing and manufacturing processes, and offer certificates of authenticity. By opting for trusted brands, you can be confident in the quality and integrity of your purchase.

The Cost of Authenticity

Authentic cashmere products may appear more expensive compared to their counterfeit counterparts. This elevated price tag reflects the quality, craftsmanship, and sustainable practices involved in the production of genuine cashmere. While it may be tempting to choose lower-priced shawls, keep in mind that the longevity and luxurious experience genuine cashmere offers makes it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Choosing Quality Over Price: The Value of Authentic Cashmere

However, in recent times, there has been an influx of shawls marketed as "cashmere" at a fraction of the price. These affordable alternatives often claim to be made from synthetic materials or blends that mimic the feel and appearance of genuine cashmere.

Investing in authentic cashmere is not just about the luxury it offers. It is a long-term investment in quality, sustainability, and supporting traditional craftsmanship. Genuine cashmere products can last for decades if properly cared for, making them a timeless addition to any wardrobe.To ensure that you are investing in authentic cashmere, it is advisable to purchase from reputable sources that provide transparency regarding their sourcing and manufacturing processes. Look for certifications such as the Cashmere Mark or consult with experts who can guide you in making an informed decision.

It is important for consumers to be aware that not all shawls labeled as "cashmere" are created equal. To ensure authenticity, one should look for reputable sellers who provide detailed information about their sourcing and manufacturing processes. Additionally, genuine cashmere shawls may bear certifications such as "Pashmina" or "Kashmiri," indicating their origin from specific regions renowned for producing high-quality cashmere products.

While less expensive shawls called cashmere may tempt you with their lower price tags, it is crucial to remember that true cashmere is a rare and valuable material. The high cost of authentic cashmere reflects the craftsmanship, time, and resources required to produce this exquisite fabric.

When shopping for cashmere, ensure you look for telltale signs of authenticity and prioritize quality over price. By doing so, you can enjoy the unmatched luxury and durability that come with genuine cashmere.