Fashion Faux Pas: Confiscated Cashmere Clothing in Italy Actually Made of Rat Fur

Christina Silvestri February 6, 2014 0

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.

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