The most expensive fabrics in the world
• Have you ever wondered why some items of clothing cost so much? It depends on the fame of the name and the level of creativity of the designer, but mostly the answer lies in the fabrics.
• Their quality and comfort are second to none. Not to mention that they are produced by some of the world's largest manufacturers, which also affects the pricing policy.
Do you want to know about the most luxurious and expensive fabrics in the world? We will tell and show everything.
10. Japanese denim
• Regular denim is not a very expensive type of fabric, but its Japanese variety is something special. It enjoys a high reputation among denim fans due to several factors:
- high-quality raw materials from long-staple cotton. There are also such exotic raw materials as a mixture of cotton and sugar cane, cotton and hibiscus, cotton and bamboo.
- Dyed with natural indigo. Synthetic indigo is also used, this makes it possible to reduce the cost of production.
- Using vintage machines that run at low speed. This allows you to increase the strength and wear resistance of the fabric.
- Careful anti-shrink, mechanical and chemical post-processing of the finished product.
• An improved version of Japanese denim is bought by brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci. And the price of expensive trousers made of this type of fabric (for example, G001-T Gold Label Momotaro) can reach up to $ 2000.
9. Burmese silk from lotus flowers
• Lotus silk (or kyar chi), originally from Myanmar, is an extremely rare and soft fabric created by chance. Legend has it that a century ago a girl plucked a lotus flower to present to a monk. But then she noticed a strand of thread where the stem had been cut and wove it into a garment for her beloved monk.
• The process of creating a lotus fiber is long and tedious, and it is done only by hand. It takes tens of thousands of lotus stems to produce 1 kilogram of yarn. Therefore, kyar-chi is one of the rarest and most expensive fabrics in the world. For example, a Burmese silk scarf costs from 100 to 120 dollars, and this is if you buy it directly at the factory.
8. Silk Mulberry
• This is a real elite in the world of silk, the highest quality fabric and the corresponding price. Mulberry silk is extracted by hand, from silkworm cocoons, which are grown on specialized farms, with controlled temperature and humidity, and the larvae are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner exclusively with mulberry leaves.
• When processing silk, no chemicals are used, so all the properties of the material are preserved in full. The resulting fabric has hypoallergenic qualities, as well as an extremely uniform texture and color.
• One meter of Mulberry silk costs about $100, which makes it very expensive compared to other silk fabrics.
7. Fabric brand Cervelt
• The material obtained from the wool of the New Zealand red deer is known as Cervelt – a fabric as soft as cashmere, but very rare, since only 20 grams of down per year can be obtained from one animal.
• To get an idea of its rarity and exclusivity, know that in 2014 Harry's of London offered a limited edition of 100 servel socks. Each pair cost $1500.
6. Cloth with diamond grit
• In 2001, the Scabal textile factory introduced a unique fabric consisting of microcrystalline diamond grit mixed with merino wool and silk.
• The factory's designers have also created many other expensive fabrics, including 24 carat gold, platinum and lapis lazuli. The technology for creating a miracle, called the Diamond Chip, remains a mystery, but the cost of products from it is not a secret. In 2011, a two-piece suit made of "diamond" material was asked for £7000. Now the price should be even higher.
5. Baby Cashmere
Cashmere has always been a favorite of many celebrities and most powerful people in the world. It is not for nothing that it is called "soft gold". It takes time and patience to make yarn from the undercoat of cashmere goats and then fabric from this yarn.
• There are several different types of cashmere. The most exclusive is baby cashmere, produced in Mongolia and northern China, from the undercoat of kids up to 1 year old. Each kid can give no more than 30-40 grams of material, and since the undercoat grows slowly and is needed to protect against the cold, it will not work to cut the animal for the second time in a year.
• The result is a very fine fiber, and the final product is a fabric that is 20 percent softer than regular cashmere.
• Shakhtush from Nepal and India is a fabric woven from the fluff of the Tibetan antelope (chiru). Delightfully warm and soft, the material is considered the king of fine wool and is therefore used in luxurious shawls that can cost up to $5000.
• The shawls are only woven by the master weavers of Kashmir, who are known to be the only ones who can do it. They create products so light and soft that they can be passed through the ring.
• The downside of the high cost of this fabric is that the chiru are endangered, mainly due to poachers. One shawl requires wool from 2 to 5 animals, depending on the size of the product.
• This elite fabric is obtained from the wool of the representatives of the camelid family of the same name living in South America.
• These animals prefer a spartan lifestyle – in the cold wind, in harsh mountainous conditions. Therefore, their coat is surprisingly warm, and at the same time soft and delicate to the touch.
• From one adult animal you can get no more than 1200 grams of wool. Because of this, and also because of the lack of animals, and the laborious process of separating the coarse guard hairs from the downy undercoat, guanaco fabric is very expensive. For example, a women's long jacket can sell for between $25000 and $35000.
• Vicuñas are the smallest and most graceful members of the camelid family, and their fine and silky coat is warm enough to allow them to live in the mountains at a freezing altitude of 5000 meters in the Peruvian Andes.
• Vicuñas literally starve themselves in captivity, which is why Peruvian law requires them to remain wild. Of course, with the exception of those cases when they are driven into pens to cut off part of the wool (all of it is impossible, otherwise the animal will die from the cold).
• Vicuña is not only the lightest and warmest fabric in the world, but also one of the most expensive. A single vicuña coat costs over $50, while a scarf made from this material will cost around $000. Only the very wealthy can afford this luxury. Prince Charles, for example, has been sporting a vicuña wool coat in public since 4000.
• It is also the best natural fiber in the world – each hair is only 12 microns in diameter. For comparison, the diameter of a human hair is about 50 microns, and a merino hair is about 24 microns.
• Only the undercoat is suitable for making fabric, and the outer hair has to be removed manually. This is a rather laborious process, which also affects the cost of the fabric.
• After cleaning from 250 grams of wool, only 120 grams remain. And if you clean it by machine – then only 60 grams. To make a small scarf, it is enough to cut one animal, but if you need a coat, then from 25 to 30 vicunas are required to be driven into an impromptu “barbershop”.
• The unique softness, lightness, warmth and creaminess of this material, as well as the difficulty of obtaining it, ensure that vicuña will long remain the second most expensive fabric in the world.
1. Spider web fabric: the most expensive in the world
In 2009, a unique item was exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York – a cape dress made entirely from the threads of orb-weaving spiders.
• It was the result of a joint project between Simon Pierce, a British textile art historian, and Nicholas Godley, his American business partner. The work took five years to complete and cost over £300 (approximately $000).
• The spiders whose threads Pierce and Godley used to make their fabric are known as roundworms (Nephila inaurata). Only the females of this species produce silk, which is woven into nets. An interesting feature: the web of roundworms glows in the sun.
• It took the labor of a million spiders to make one dress, as well as 80 people, whom Pierce and Godley hired as an assistant. The result of their joint efforts was the only in the world, the thinnest and lightest golden dress made of spider silk. It is currently in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, valued at $500, and is not for sale.