4 of the World’s Rarest Fabrics and Why They’re Worth the Cost
If you are like most shoppers, your clothing choices in terms of fabric are mostly centered on cotton, polyester, hemp, bamboo, and their various blends. These common fabrics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the world of materials used by fashion designers and clothing brands. Rare fabrics are used by top design labels dedicated to high fashion, and they tend to cost more because of their exclusive nature. Let's take a look at four examples.
Mostly sourced from the Peruvian Andes, vicuña is a fleece traditionally associated with Inca culture. At the height of the Inca Empire, this fleece was considered to be as valuable as gold, and the garments made with vicuña were mostly worn by members of the Emperor's family, shamans, and wealthy traders. The process of harvesting, curing, and spinning vicuña into fleece yarns takes about two years, and it is closely monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture for sustainability.
Quality cashmere only comes from a few high-altitude regions of Central Asia. While it is true that quite a few cashmere garments are made in the United States, the fabric is invariably imported. The incredibly soft fibers of cashmere provide warmth in the coldest winters, and the material is known to be extremely durable. Cashmere pea coats used to be awarded to British Royal Navy officers upon retirement.
Designer sweaters for men are traditional gifts during the holiday season. They are often made with Merino wool, which is typically imported from Australia. What makes this fabric rare is a combination of high demand and the labor-intensive production process. This process is similar to vicuña in the sense that the sheep take a long time to develop their coat and they need to be kept healthy, happy, and well-fed before shearing.
Cotton Silk Satin
This blend of two natural fabrics results in a luxurious textile that is not commonly found in garments made for ready-to-wear fabric. Most of the satin you see on the racks of clothing stores is spun with synthetic fibers because pure satin is even more delicate than silk, thus reducing its durability. When silk is reinforced with cotton, what you get is the best of both natural fabrics. This means that your garments or linens will not only feel great but will also last for many years.
Whether you are looking for luxury sweaters or silky sheets, there is a good chance that you will fall in love with rare fabrics. While garments made with these fabrics tend to cost more, they are worth every penny.