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

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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