Cashmere Moves on, and Scotland Feels a Chill

For decades, the Scottish Borders region has sustained an active cashmere industry, producing lusciously soft scarves and sweaters for high-end consumers. Now, however, Chinese textile manufacturers are displacing Scottish producers from large swaths of the market. Chinese producers "are having their day as far as manufacturing goes," says one industry analyst, "and they have the raw materials, so they control the whole shooting match." For now, however, Chinese are mainly producing cashmere goods for the lower-end of the market. To remain viable, Scottish cashmere producers aim to capitalize on the brand and quality advantages they still hold. "We have a history of being a specialist with small runs,'' says one producer. It seems that their customers may indeed value that special history: "I do think there's a big cachet in the made-in-Scotland label," says one London boutique owner. "I don't think the majority of my customers want to buy Chinese cashmere." – YaleGlobal

Cashmere Moves on, and Scotland Feels a Chill

Allan Cowell
Saturday, March 27, 2004

Click here for the original article on The New York Times website.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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