There are good clothes, there are designer labels, and then there are merchandises of luxury that cost a king’s ransom! Do you know what separates them? Or why do they have such a stark difference in their price? Apart from the obvious factor that brand name brings prestige and hence the high prices, it is not for nothing that they are deemed the most luxurious fabric that money can buy.
The material used in weaving, in some cases, is so rare that only a limited number of pieces can be manufactured per year. Although, once you read about them in detail and get to know the process of procurement and weaving, you will agree that they are well-deserving of the crown of the most expensive fabrics used in the fashion industry.
- Vicuna Wool
The Vicuna Wool from the Vicuna sheep of Peru. So rare is this fabric that the wool required to weave it can be shorn off the sheep only once in 3 years and even then they don’t produce a sufficient quantity for mass production. Every sheep can make up only as much as 500 grams of wool in a year.
The rearing of the sheep is not the only difficult part, the hand-looming of Vicuna Wool is not only time consuming but also very expensive (part of the reason for its high prices). Such is the rarity of this fabric that in the past it was reserved for the Incan Royal family and common folk could not use or wear it.
- Baby Cashmere
The fiber for making it comes from Mongolia in Northern China. It is shorn from the underbelly of baby Hircus goats. At most, every goat can produce a maximum of 80 grams of this wool, and out of that 80, it is only 30 to 40 grams that can be used after processing.
Cashmere was known as the fabric of Kings and Queens and even in modern times, it has managed to uphold its reputation as royalty amongst fabrics. The title rests on its claim to being the softest and finest fabric that there is. Baby Cashmere is 20% softer than your average Cashmere (it seems a farce, using average with Cashmere).
- Mulberry Silk
Silk is known for being the finest fabric that there is, Mulberry Silk ups the game even further. Crafted from Bombyx mori moth silkworm’s cocoons which are fed only mulberry leaves till the time they are ready for harvest, they produce a texture and color that is above and beyond and previous standards.
Having said that, the special nature of its weaving and manufacture means that it also requires special attention for its maintenance. Being one of the most sought after fabrics in the world, it fetches a price in the vicinity of USD100 per yard.
Coming from the coat of the Red Deer of New Zealand, Cervalt is almost as soft as Cashmere but is even rarer. What makes it even more special is its ability to keep you warm even in the presence of the harsh cold winds blowing in from Antarctica. But what makes it rare and so incredibly expensive is the fact that only a mere 20 grams can be collected from a deer every year.
It is used very selectively amongst tailors. Italian specialists are the ones to bring it to the world stage. Even after so many years in circulation and public knowledge, Cervelt remains so rare that its clothing is always manufactured as limited pieces, numbering in the hundreds only.
Shahtoosh should be first in this list in terms of quality and price as it is probably one of the most exclusive fabrics. Shawls made from this king of fine wool can fetch a price upwards of USD 15000. BUT it is illegal to purchase or sell! And this claim rests not only on the back of the rare nature of its wool coming from the hair of the Tibetan antilopes but also on the fact that the traditional weavers of Kashmir are the only tailors who can handle it. Admire but not touch in this case for the sake of the beautiful animals threatened with extinction.