Could your favorite cashmere sweater actually be made of rat fur?
On Monday, police in Italy found rat fur in more than a million counterfeit clothing items that they seized from Chinese-run textile firms in Rome and Livorno.
The clothes were labeled as cashmere and distributed to a wholesaler near Florence. According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the cashmere clothing items contained “a mixture of acrylic, viscose and fur from rats and other animals.”
The raid ended a year-long investigation into the factories, where 14 Chinese-born workers may face fraud charges.
So, how do you know that the cashmere you’re buying is truly 100% cashmere and not rat fur? Consider these tips:
- Look for a tight knit – “The looser the cashmere is woven or knitted, the more suspicious you need to be,” Kathleen Raub, a spokesperson for the Scottish Cashmere Club, told Real Simple.
- Shedding or pilling is a red flag, while slippery fabric may indicate over-processing.