Counterfeit cashmere is usually made of a mixture of sheep’s or yak’s wool, or even acrylic (a type of synthetic fiber that is very soft to the touch). So how do we know that we are dealing with non-original material? Here the elements come to our aid – fire and water.
In many cultures there exists the so-called fire test in which the daredevils walk over red-hot coals. It’s usually a kind of test or proof of faith. You can also conduct the fire test on cashmere, which proves its authenticity. It is enough to burn a few strands since when cashmere wool burns, the smell resembles burnt hair, leaving only ash, which comes off easily. If the material has an admixture of synthetic fibers, there are distinct chemical notes in the smell, and when the flame is blown out, something like a bead remains, attached to the fabric.
Fire is not the only source of truth about cashmere. To verify the authenticity of cashmere wool, you can also slightly moisten the material with water and smell it. The smell of cashmere brings to mind the smell of a wet animal (but it is not unpleasant).