21 Most Expensive Fabrics in the world : A tale of Luxury

by | Apr 25, 2024

The most expensive fabrics often come from the rarest materials. From the high mountains of the Himalayas to the dense jungle of Madagascar, we left no stone unturned in the hunt for rare fabric ingredients. This is the story of the most expensive fabrics. It is a tale about how extreme we took our efforts to make the most luxurious fabrics in the world.

Clothes and fabrics are our second language. It talks a lot about our personality, culture, and history. The price of a fabric can not be judged based on its appearance and features. The way a fabric makes you feel inside is where the real value comes from. No price is too high for a fabric if you feel great wearing it. 

The most expensive commercially available fabric is Vicuna from Peru. But actually, there are several other luxurious fabrics that you might not get just with money. 

Receive greetings from team Muslin Dhaka. We are a group of fashion and fabric experts sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm with the world. We got really deep to find out about the most luxurious and expensive fabrics in the world. 

Stay with us and be ready to be surprised!

Table of Contents

What makes a fabric expensive?

There are 3 main characteristics for a fabric to be luxurious. Let’s explore the ideas.

  • Story matters

Most luxury has a trail of a long tradition. If not, at least have a great story. As a social being, very few things motivate us more than a compelling story. For example, Vicuna fabric has a long tradition and a story of hardship producing it. The elites use the most traditional luxury fabric. This also contributes to the luxury of a fabric.

  • Rare material

The materials of the most expensive fabrics often come from weirdly difficult places. To harvest the materials months of human labor is required. Some are so difficult, it can be compared with counting the hair of one head.

  • Unique

Luxury fabrics come with some unique features and appearances that are impossible to replicate. Those fabrics are also very hard to produce and require subtle craftsmanship. For their complicated method, luxury fabrics are often handmade. These can not be produced in bulk. Even after having a huge demand, only a small amount can be produced. To balance the demand and limited products, along with amazing features and stories, the price can reach unimaginably high!

However, some of the fabrics in the list are simply too rare, we call them antiques. Also, note that some luxury fabric has cheaper versions. We just ignored those discussions for our relevancy.

21 most expensive fabrics in the world

Here are the twenty one most expensive fabrics that are discussed below :

Vicuna Wool

Vicuna Wool

Fabric name: Vicuna

Cost per yard: $1,800 to $3,000

Purpose: Winter clothes such as sweaters, overcoats, shawls, scarves and socks.

Location: Peru, northwestern Argentina, Bolivia, and northern Chile.

Availability: Commercially available.

A fabric that’s more expensive than gold, vicuna fabric stretches the boundary of luxury to its actual limit. It’s from a wild animal called a vicuna. Vicunas roam the mountains of Peru, northwestern Argentina, Bolivia, and northern Chile. Vicunas look like long-neck deers. But they are more related to camels. 

Vicuna wool is the finest. Fabrics made of vicuna are soft, lightweight, and unimaginably warm. It’s even called the fabrics of the gods!

Price: A kilogram of vicuna wool price is about 400$ locally. But once it’s traded and clothes are made, the price goes way high. One standard Vicuna overcoat price starts from 6000$. The price can reach very high depending on brand and quality.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Vicunas live at altitudes of 3,200- 4800 meters. That’s enough to cause altitude sickness to you and I. Vicunas are fast and they can not be domesticated. They run about 50 kilometers per hour at that altitude. So you can imagine how hard it is to catch them.

Native communities are specially trained to catch. Don’t worry, vicunas are protected animals. It’s illegal to harm or kill vicuna. The vicuna harvester communities work in large groups and chase a vicuna hard with motorbikes. They chase and direct the hard to a direction where they will be trapped with borders. Once the vicunas are trapped, they are trimmed with sensors or trimmers. Each vicuna can be harvested once in two to three years. 

Vicuna wool is measured in microns. Their wools are astonishingly delicate, 13 microns. Only baby chambres are comparable to that quality (about 14 microns). 

When we consider quality, we may find one or two comparable materials. But when it comes to rarity, vicuna has no comparison. 

So, what makes it so expensive? Rarity, hard harvesting process, and outstanding beauty and with comfort make it expensive. 

History and Cultural Significance

Vicuna fabric has been around for thousands of years. They have been hunted by the vicuna harvesters throughout history. The fabric actually originated from ancient Peru. Peruvians used to create the fabric. They supply it to kings and apostolates of different parts of the world. 

The fabric was one of the significant items for the Inca civilization. Incan royals wore it with great respect and value.

Once several millions of vicuna roamed around Peru, Bolivia, and nearby areas. But due to continuous hunting throughout history, their number dropped to 100 thousand today. However, their population has been rapidly increasing recently. Thanks to protection steps and strict laws.

Uses

Vicuna is used for making winter dresses. The fabric is not as thick as normal wool fabric. But it is very warm and cozy. Sweaters, shirts, tops, hand gloves, scarves, overcoats, and other expensive clothes are made with vicuna.

How you can get it

Some luxury brands sell high-quality luxury vicuna. Alpaca Collections, Lora, and Piana are some of the great brands for vicuna clothes.

Cashmere clothing

Baby Cashmere

Fabric name: Baby Cashmere

Cost per yard: 500 usd per yard

Purpose: Sweaters, jackets, scarves, shawls, and winter clothes.

Location: China, and Mongolia.

Availability: Commercially available.

Baby cashmere is the second most delicate wool product after Vicuna. It has a thickness of 13.5 microns. Cashmere winter clothes are already very popular for their comfort and lightweight. But baby cashmere is even more cozy, soft, and delicate.

Baby cashmere comes from white mountain goats from places that have a really harsh winter. But don’t worry, the baby goats are not harmed by the process. 

Price: A baby cashmere jacket price starts at around 6000$.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

To survive really low temperatures, cashmere goats have really warm fur. Their fur has 2 types of coat: Upper coat and lower coat. The upper coat is thick and long. On the other hand, the lower coat is short and extremely soft and warm. If an adult goat produces 4 pounds of wool, only about 250 grams of it will be from a lower coat.

That 250 grams of lower coats are used to make cashmere fabric. The process is already quite hard. But baby cashmere takes it to another level.

Baby cashmere comes from baby goats of 6 months old. And you can collect fur from them only once. From one baby goat, only 80 grams of premium wool is collected. It takes 4 baby goats’ fur to make one baby cashmere scarf.

Although the goats are farmable, the difficulty of the process makes it one of the rarest animal based textiles of all.

History and Cultural Significance

Cashmere has been around for more than 5000 years. Ancient Mongolia, China, Nepal, and Kashmir produced cashmere fabrics and traded with the world. The best grade of cashmere wool, which is baby cashmere, was traded to elites. For those countries, cashmere wool kept a great role in their economy throughout history. It’s a part of their rich culture as well!

Uses

Baby cashmere is known for its superior insulation. Luxury sweaters, jackets, overcoats, shawls, and scarves are common products with baby cashmere.

How you can get it

Loro Piana is one of the trusted brands for baby cashmere products.

 

Dhaka Muslin

Time Required to make: 6 months.

Cost per yard: Unavailable.

Purpose: Clothes.

Location: River banks of Dhaka.

Availability: Very rare.

Dhaka Muslin is a luxury fabric made with delicate cotton yarn almost similar to spider weave. It’s not only soft, sheer, and delicate, but also a cultural heritage. The fabric was stopped producing due to colonialism about 170 years ago. Recently the fabric is revived may be purchasable in the near future.

Price: Dhaka Muslin saree price starts around 5500$

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Dhaka muslin is made with a special type of cotton, phuti Karpus, which only grows at the river banks of Bangladesh. The fabric is made with plain weaving techniques. The yarn used to weave the fabric is thinner than human hair. Only a few can make such delicate yarn. It requires a soft touch & extreme skill. Also required specific humidity.

The weaving process is so slow that after long days of work, only a few inches of fabric is produced. It can take over six months of hard labor to craft a single piece of muslin saree.

History and Cultural Significance

Muslin is so old, it was found in the pyramids. Its beauty won the hearts of people around the world throughout history. Ancient Bangladesh and some parts of India produced muslin. But the best quality muslin belonged to nearby parts of Dhaka, called Dhaka Muslin!

In the Middle Ages, Bengal’s economy was stronger than the rest. Exporting Muslin had a vital role for that. Mughal empires facilitated the production of dhaka muslin. But British colonial companies destroyed the art of muslin in their own hand. They tried to create a market selling their own cheap fabric. 

Exotic muslin was lost long ago, but a type of cotton fabric is still called muslin fabric. The fabric we call muslin today is not even close to the quality of original muslin, let alone Dhakai Muslin!

Recently, the technique of creating exotic muslin is revived. The Bangladesh government is working to open it commercially. But the price is enough to leave a hole in your bank account.

Uses

Luxury Muslin fabric is used to make sarees, tops, ladies’ gauze scarves, exotic dresses, and more. 

How you can get it

There is still no reliable source to get luxury muslin. But don’t worry, we muslin Dhaka team are working on Muslin. Try to launch the very first exotic Dhaka muslin collections!

Leopard

Leopard Wool 

Cost per yard: Not applicable.

Purpose: Home decor and dress.

Location: Asia and Africa.

Availability: Extremely hard.

Throughout history, there was nothing so luxurious as having dresses or home decor items made from big cats’ fur. Leopard fur is special for its unique patterns and aesthetics. They are one of the most ferocious animals on this planet. Some people have special fantasies about having such items. If you are familiar with games, they are like legendary skin in real life.

On the other side of the coin is quite dark. With its extreme luxury, it may be related to insane cruelty. (especially, if you buy it illegally). There are legal, ethical, and environmental concerns, and concerns from the heavens and hells are related to it. But, surely, there may be legal and ethical ways to get it, such as buying antique ones or from a dead leopard from the zoo or somewhere. 

Price: Depends on who you are sitting within the auction.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Leopard fur is removed from leopard and processed for making dresses and home decor. Because of the extreme rarity, people’s fascination, and legal complications, its price has no limit. 

History and cultural significance

Leopards fur is in mythology, and cave paintings. They were in the walls of kings and rulers. They are worn by the most beautiful ladies. They hold a feeling of glory and superiority. That’s what caused leopards endangered. They were killed by thousands, just for their fur. Now, this species is strictly protected. But the cats are still in threat due to low population & poacher.

Uses

Dresses and wall hangings.

How you can get it

Buying from antique collections or from other sources if you are lucky.

Shahtoosh

Shahtoosh 

Cost per yard: Not applicable.  

Purpose: For making a warm shawl.

Location: Tibet, Kasmir.

Availability: Illegal.

Shahtoosh is a wool that comes from the undercoats of Tibetan antelope. Those deers ( some called Chiru) live over 4500 meters high in the hills of Tibet. Shawls made of shahtoosh are extremely luxurious due to their scarcity with uniqueness. It has extraordinary features. The wool is one-fifth of a human hair. It makes the shawl feather-like soft, warm, and comfortable. 

A very small amount of wool is received from every antelope. And the process includes insane cruelty. Most times they are killed before trimming the wool. One shahtoosh shawl causes the death of 3 antelopes. The shawl’s extreme popularity caused the death of millions of poor animals throughout history. 

Early in the 21st century, their number declined dangerously. At last in 2002, shahtoosh hunting was declared illegal, any shahtoosh product trading was banned.

Price: Antique.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

There was a community centered on shoosh production, and weaving. They made thin yarns, weaving them as shawls. After its ban, they had to move to other occupations. As shahtoosh is rare, unique & very hard to make, people bought it as a luxury product.

History and cultural significance

In the past, shahtoosh was an iconic product of Kashmir and Tibet.  They made it for thousands of years. Supply it to the royals and aerostats through the famous Silk Road. The shawls were inherited through generations as an exotic item.  

Uses

Shahtoosh wool was basically used for making shawls.

How you can get it

By keeping an eye on antique traders and auctions, you may get a chance to have it. But even then there might be legal issues.

Golden Spider Silk

Golden spider silk

Time Required to make: 3 years.

Cost per yard: Unavailable

Purpose: For cap and shawls.

Location: Madagascar

Availability: Not available.

Golden spider silk fabric is probably the hardest fabric ever that can ever be made in history. Different spiders create different types of silk. Those silks are also distinct in features. Tricho Nephila clavipes is one of the spiders that have silk. We can make fabric from that. 

But to make the fabric, you will have to milk the spiders. (sounds so weird) Lots and lots of spiders.

For example, it took 1.2 million golden spider’s milk to make a golden cap. About 80 people collected spiders for 3 years for the project. The golden spider silk cape was displayed in the American Museum of Natural History. 

Price: It’s not something you can buy in the open market.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

For making the fabric, golden silk spiders are collected from the wild of Madagascar. The spiders are put in a machine to keep properly. And then silk is spun from the liquid of their abdomen. This is the milking process of the golden silk spider.

After milking enough spiders, you can start weaving the spider silk yarn. After sharing the process, I don’t think there is any point in explaining why it is so expensive. It’s nearly impossible to get a spider silk shawl or cape today. 

I hope with genetic engineering and technological advancement, this process can be easier in the future.

History and cultural significance

Only a few people actually dare to do such things. Recently I watched a documentary about making guitar strings from spider silk. The spiders and milking process is somewhat similar. Check out the documentary if you are interested.

Uses

For making capes and shawls.

How you can get it

It’s hard to tell for now, call me if you want to start a spider farm!

Burmese lotus silk

Burmese Lotus silk

Time Required to make: 2 months for a scarf.

Cost per yard: Hard to find.

Purpose: Similar to silk fabric.

Location: Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.

Availability: Commercially available.

As the name suggests, Burmese lotus flower silk is made from a specific type of lotus flower. The fabric is very delicate, soft, elastic, and beautiful. But tragically, it needs very hard labor to produce. However, compared to the list above, it is actually not that extremely hard & rare.

Price: A small lotus silk scarf costs about 250-450$

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

The lotus flower silk-making process starts with collecting lotus leaves from the waters of nearby places. The specific size and quality of lotus flowers are usable for making the silk. After washing and processing the leaf, the yarn-making process starts. Every collected leaf must be turned into yarn within 24 hours.

The yarn producers must roll every inch of lotus fiber in a specific way to create yarm. If one person works for 2 months, he can make a small amount of yarn. With that, you get only one single scarf!

So you can understand how much time it takes? There is also a specific season for making yarn, as the lotus flower is not available all year.

Once you get enough lotus silk, the yarn is woven into beautiful golden fabric. The artisans also create embroidery and designs on the fabric.

History and cultural significance

Lotus fiber fabric was a very old practice in some parts of Myanmar. Recently few people are trying to build an industry around the fabric.

Uses

Designer clothes, shawls, tops, and scarves are made with luxury lotus silk fabric.

How you can get it

Some luxury brand shops started to sell lotus silk fabric.

Mulberry Silk

Mulberry Silk 

Cost per yard: Unavailable as yard.

Purpose: Fashion and bedding.

Location: China.

Availability: Commercially available.

Mulberry silk is the fabric that literally shaped human history. Mulberry silk comes from the cocoon stage of a moth named Bombyx mori. The moth caterpillars are fed with fresh mulberry leaves and that’s where the name comes from. 

There are different types of silk, but mulberry leaves have no comparison with other types. It’s soft, smooth and breathable. We often use metaphors like “it’s smooth like silk,” so you can guess how smooth the most premium silk will be. 

Price: Depends on quality and brand, there are countless.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Mulberry silk is a natural product that requires a lot of time and hard work. Hatching from an egg to a cocoon, it takes about 28 days of constant feeding of mulberry leaves. Then the cocoons are boiled and the silk is extracted mostly by hand. Even after the long process, not all silk is suitable for making premium products. 

To make one average silk shirt, it takes about thousands of cocoons, human labor and extreme hard work. This is why silk was and will always be a luxury product. Regular silk is expensive, but the best qualities can be worth more than gold!

History and cultural significance

Name a more popular, majestic, and more historical fabric than silk. You can’t, because that does not exist. Silkworms were first domesticated in China about 5000 years ago. After that, the world became a bit more smooth! 

China and nearby countries produced silk throughout history. With the revolution of silk, other fabrics, weaving techniques, and technologies were invented in ancient times. This part of Asia was many times ahead of the rest of the world for its beautiful fabrics like silks and muslin. 

All the fabrics traded from a common road to various ports. The road is called the “Silk Road.” The road had a major impact on the world economy, politics, and History. Lets not go deep here, if you want to read, visit our story of silk.

Uses

Dresses, beddings and more.

How you can get it

Most luxury brands have Mulberry silk products.

Guanaco wool

Guanaco Wool

Cost per yard: 300$

Purpose: Winter clothing

Location: South America, Peru, Chili, Argentina.

Availability: Commercially available.

Guanaco wool is known as the second most delicate, soft wool after vicuna. Guanaco are actually cousins of alpacas. But Guanacos live in the harsh mountains about 17000 feet higher than the sea level. Their undercoat is highly prized for its comfort and warmth.

Compared to vicuna wool, guanaco wool is not super luxurious. But still, its price can be quite high depending on the quality and brand.

Price: A luxury Guanaco sweater can be about 2000$

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Guanacos are caught and their wools are collected like vicunas. But there are a lot more guanacos in the wild than vicunas. Still, catching the wild ones required months of preparation,  manpower, and much equipment. This makes the price quite high. 

While guanacos have a really soft undercoat, its domesticated cousin alpaca wool is not much different in characteristics. Still wild guanaco wool makes one of the most luxurious products of all.

History and cultural significance

Guanaco was first domesticated about 5000 years ago. That’s the same time when wool was domesticated. But still, wild ones attracted people for their extra soft undercoat. Guanaco and vicuna wool share a similar history. But guanacos have an advantage as they can be tame. So they are less rare & expensive than Vicuna. 

Still, quality guanaco wool clothes are always regarded as luxury. Only the rich can afford them.  

Uses

They used to make shawls, scarves, jackets, sweaters, and other winter clothes. 

How you can get it

Brands like The Lamb Shop, Lora and Piana, and The Alpaca collections have awesome guanaco clothes. You can order from a marketplace like Etsy!

Cervelt

Cervelt Fabric

Cost per yard: 100$

Purpose: Winter clothes

Location: New Zealand

Availability: Commercially available.

Cervelt fabric is another super luxury fabric from a type of red deer. The undercoat of the deer has a similar thickness of vicuna, 13-14 microns. The wools are extremely soft, durable, and consistent throughout the length. It has a curly appearance.

Unlike other animal wool, red deer wool is a more recent invention. A company named Douglas Creek Ltd worked for 8 years to make the fabric. 

Price: A cervelt sock can price about 1500$ 

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

It’s easier to mine gold than harvesting red deer wool for carvel fabric.  From every red deer, you can get only 20 grams of quality wool. And for that, you have to catch them in a specific season when their wools are of the best quality. This hard process, rarity of the material make it one of the most valuable textiles in the world.

History and cultural significance

Douglas Creek Ltd worked for 8 years to develop a way to create luxury fabric from red deer undercoats. After that, it is sold at a very high price as a luxury fabric.

Uses

Winter clothes, jackets, socks and shawls.

How you can get it

Douglas Creek Ltd sells carvel fabrics. It may not be readily available all the time. 

Brocade fabric

Brocade Fabric

Cost per yard: 50$-300$

Purpose: For luxury clothing and home decor.

Location: China

Availability: Easily available

Brocade is a fabric with silk and special materials. It comes with complex eye-catching designs. It has been produced and highly prized for thousands of years. Unlike damask, it has raised patterns and designs. In the past gold and silver strings were added to the fabric to enhance its luxury. Traditionally silk is the signature material for making brocade fabric. But other high-quality natural and synthetic materials are also used to make brocade nowadays. 

Brocade fabric is generally used to make home decor items and furniture covers. Traditional luxury clothes are also common with brocade fabric. Nowadays coats, jackets, and other fashion dresses are also made with it.

Price: Depends on material and pattern. Luxury ones can cost 50$-300$.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Brocade fabric is made with a special loom which creates raised patterns. Different combinations of warp and weft create beautiful and complex designs over the fabric. Usually, warp is made of silk or other quality yarn. And the weft yarns are made of other colorful materials.

Luxury brocade is the combination of the essence of high-quality silk with vibrant designs. All together, brocade is one of the most aesthetic, luxurious designer fabrics. 

History and Cultural Significance

It was invented and produced in ancient China and supplied to different parts of the world through the Silk Road. Brocade was one of the most luxurious silk fabrics loved by aristocrate.

Previously the fabric was handmade. After new technology appeared, the process became a lot easier. Still, brocade fabric remains among one of the most luxurious fabrics. 

Uses

Brocade fabric is used for upholstery, home decor, and traditional fashion clothes.

How you can get it

Brocade fabrics are widely available. But you may have to research a bit to get the luxury ones. 

velvet

Velvet Fabric 

Cost per yard: 50$-200$

Purpose: Upholstery, home decor, and fancy clothes.

Location: China.

Availability: Easily available.

Velvet is probably the shiniest and smoothest fabric of all. It comes with a unique character that has attracted people for ages. Traditionally velvet is made of silk. silk velvet has no comparison with any other types of velvet.

Cotton and other synthetic fibers are often used to make velvet fabric. Cotton velvet results in a matte color. It is also expensive.

Velvet is so smooth that the word ‘velvet’ is used as an epitome of smooth. It reflects the light uniquely, creating unmatched aesthetics. Throughout history, velvet was regarded as a sign of aristocracy and luxury.

Price: Depending on material and brand the cost can rise over 1000$ for a dress.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

The production process of velvet is similar to double weave. Two fabrics are weaved together one over another. Some weft cross both the fabric all over the weaving process. After that, the fabrics are separated from the center, and that creates soft, smooth, and shiny piles.

Because of its massive demand, unique features, expensive materials, and complex production process, it is one of the most luxurious fabrics in the world.

History and cultural significance

The first velvet fabric appeared about 6000 years ago in ancient Greece. The first trace of velvet fabric was found in ancient China about 400 BC. Velvet was always a luxury item for decoration and clothing. Only higher-class people could use velvet fabric. 

After the development of textile technology, velvet production became easier. Now different types of cheap materials are also used to make the fabric. Still, luxury velvet fabric has great appeal for decoration and fancy clothing.

Uses

Luxury velvet is used for dresses, upholstery, and home decor purposes. 

How you can get it

You can find luxury fabric in different branded shops both offline & online. Can order from Amazon , Etsy.

Damask fabric

Damask Fabric

Cost per yard: 50$ to 200$

Purpose: Decoration, upholstery, and heavy dresses.

Location: Syria

Availability: Easily available.

Damask fabric is another designer fabric like brocade. But unlike brocade, it has plain patterns and designs blended with the fabric. The designs are not raised from the fabric. 

Damask fabric is made in jacquard loom, traditionally made with silk. But, other materials like cotton, linen, and synthetics are also used to make the fabric. 

Price: Luxury damask dresses can cost over 500$.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Damask fabric is made with two types of weaving. Basic plain or twill weaving makes the fabric, while sateen weave makes the designs of the fabric. 

Luxury damask fabrics are usually handmade. Come with organic high-quality silk and outstanding quality.

History and cultural significance

Damask fabric was invented in China more than 2500 years ago. The fabric was produced with mulberry silk and reached different ports for trade. Damask fabric was popular in one of the main ports, the Syrian city of Damascus. The name Damask first appeared in Frans in the 1400s.

Once the fabric was among most luxury fabrics. However, after the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the jacquard loom, it became fairly common. 

Uses

Damask fabric is used to make clothes, accessories, home decor, and upholstery Items.

How you can get it

Luxury damask fabric is easily available in branded shops. You can order it from Amazon & Etsy!

Georgette fabric

Georgette Fabric

Cost per yard: 50$-100$ 

Purpose: Sheer clothes. 

Location: Italy and Switzerland.

Availability: Easily available.

Georgette fabric is a sheer and delicate fabric made of silk. The fabric has unique texture that feels soft and a bit rough. The twisted silk yarn gives it a unique subtle rough and soft texture. Georgette is usually twill weave, which is often unusual for silk fabric. With its unusual weaving technique, it gets really unique characters loved by many people.

Price: Georgette fabrics’ price can cross a few hundred to thousands depending on the brand.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Luxury georgette fabric is made with high-quality silk. The process involves complex machinery and human labor. The demand for great quality georgettes is always high in the market. Other factors like complex production, material, intense labor make it one of the most expensive fabrics.

History and cultural significance

Georgette fabric was invented by Madam Georgette de la planet. She was a French dressmaker. The fabric excelled in quality and aesthetics, regarded as a luxury fabric. Initially, it was made of high-quality silk. Nowadays, cotton and different types of yarns are widely used to make this fabric.

Uses

Georgette fabrics are used to make sarees, evening wear, blouses, tops, and fancy dresses.

How you can get it

You can find luxury georgette fabric in different fashion houses, boutiques, markets, and in stores. Can order easily from Etsy & Amazon!

Chiffon fabric

Chiffon

Cost per yard: 40$-50$

Purpose: Fancy Clothing

Location: China

Availability: Easily available

Chiffon is a luxury fabric made with different types of fibers. It is made of natural fiber like silk & cotton, semi synthetic fiber like rayon, synthetic fiber like polyester, etc. Chiffon is soft, transparent, and has a rich texture. 

This fabric is traditionally made of silk. But now cotton, linen, nylon and polyester are also used to make it. Mainly silk, cotton blend chiffon considered luxury in this time. Though chiffon is losing luxury status for cheap materials!

Due to the chiffon’s grand look, it was one of the most pricey fabrics in the past. Only elite people use it that time.

Price: A luxury chiffon wedding dress can cost up to 1000$.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Chiffon is another luxury fabric with silk and from China! The fabric is made with a plain weave. The production process of the fabric is very slow, often handmade. There are chiffon weaving machines too. But the machines were also slow, minimizing damage to the delicate fabric. 

Due to its labor-intensive slow production process, quality materials, and unique features, its expense can get really high.

History and cultural significance

The term chiffon means chiffe in French which means rags. The fabric was invented in China in the 17th century. It gained massive popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries in Europe and other parts of the planet. Now it is one of the iconic fabrics in the fashion world.

Uses

Chiffon fabric is used to make wedding dresses, hijabs, lingerie, scarves, blouses, Sharee, and fashion clothing.

How you can get it

Chiffon fabrics are easily available in fashion houses, boutiques, brand shops, and luxury clothing shops. You can order from Amazon & Etsy!

Chenille fabric

Chenille

Cost per yard: 30$-300$

Purpose: Home decor, clothing.

Location: Scotland

Availability: Easily available

Chenille fabric is a leno-weave fabric used to make dresses, home decor, and household items. The fabric is thick, soft and contains piles. The piles give it a fuzzy appearance. However, the appearance depends a lot on the raw materials. Silk, cotton, wool, and other synthetic materials are often used to make the fabric.

Depending on the appearance, features, and materials of chenille fabric, the price can rise pretty high. We can consider it modern luxury fabric.

Price: Luxury chenille fabric can cost up to 300$ per yard. 

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

The production process of chenille fabric is quite complicated. The better the quality the more effort and attention it requires. Therefore high-quality chenille fabrics can cost many times more than regular ones.

History and cultural significance

Chenille fabric is kind of a modern invention. It was first produced by a Scottish guy named Alexander Buchanan. It became popular in the United States in the twentieth century. Because of the fabric’s extreme versatility, it has many uses in different clothing and household purposes.

Uses

Chenille is used to make dresses, home decor, carpets, upholstery, and designer clothing purposes.

How you can get it

You can get the fabric in branded cloth shops both online and offline. Can order easily from Amazon & Etsy!

crepe fabric

Crepe 

Cost per yard: 20$-100$ 

Purpose: Dressing

Location: France

Availability: Easily available.

Crepe fabric is a unique fabric with a curled structure. It can be made of silk, wool, and cotton. But other synthetic fibers are also used to make crepe fabric. We have been using crepe fabric for quite a while. The fabric was worn and loved by the elite throughout history.

Price: A luxury crepe gown can cost 500$-1000$

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Crepe fabric is made with the hard twist technique. This technique has been around since the Middle Ages. In the process, the yarns are tighter & manipulated by twisting to get different textures. 

Silk crepes are the most beautiful types of crepes. Luxury crepe fabrics often come with outstanding textures which are not easy to create. Quality material, complicated processes, and amazing features make it a unique luxury fabric.

History and Cultural Significance

Crepe fabric was first invented by accident in 13th-century Brittany, France. A housewife drops some hot food on the cooktop by accident. The accident caused the cloth to become curled. From there the crepe fabric is invented. It was valued as one of the most precious fabrics in history. 

Now there are a lot of cheaper versions of Crepe. China and Australia are the largest producers of this fabric. 

Uses

Crepe fabrics are used to make tops, gowns, scarves, and home decor items.

How you can get it

Crepe fabric is widely available in fashion shops, online and offline. 

lace fabric

Lace

Cost per yard: 200$-300$

Purpose: Clothing

Location: Italy

Availability: Easily available

The lace fabric is a transparent fabric with intense and complex designs. The fabric can be made of different natural and synthetic fibers. Silk & linen are traditionally used. Luxury lace fabric can contain other precious metals like gold and silver.

Lace has always been a precious fabric in history. It was a symbol of beauty and elegance for the royals. Now, lace is not as popular, but luxury ones can still be super expensive.

Price: Luxury lace fabric can cost 200$-300$ per yard.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

The lace fabric comes with unique aesthetics. Each fabric is a piece of art. Often comes with complex designs. In the past, all the laces were hand-crafted, which made them one of the most complex, time-consuming fabrics. 

But today, most of the fabric is made of automated machines. This reduced the time & cost significantly. However, people still love hand-crafting awesome laces. 

History and Cultural Significance

The history of lace fabric can be traced back to ancient Greece. A similar type of fabric was even found with mummies in the pyramids. Lace fabric also appeared in Flemish and Italian paintings. So we can predict that one of those nations can invent the fabric.

After technological advancement, the fabric can be produced like printing paper. This made the fabric less artistic. However, beauty and hardship are still valued by few people!

Uses

Lace fabric is used as art, accessories to make bridal dresses, women’s undergarments, home decor, and fancy dresses.

How you can get it

Any good fabric shop. You can order from Amazon & etsy!

Organza

Organza

Cost per yard: 50$-100$

Purpose: Apparel

Location: China

Availability: Easy

Organza is a sheer plain weave fabric with high-quality silk. It comes with a luxury and premium feel. Other materials like cotton and linen are also used to make it. But the most expensive ones are made of mulberry silk. It is used to make traditional clothes and fashionable dresses. The fabric also has uses for home decor.

Price: Can cost up to 100$ per yard.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Organza is a plain woven fabric made of silk, an expensive textile material. The fabric is so delicate, you can’t produce it fast. Because of its high production cost, slow production, and lovely features, it can cost quite a lot.

History and Cultural Significance

Organza was another fabric that was invented in China. Seems like we are actually writing about the history of Chinese fabric! However, organza fabric was produced on the bank of the Yangtze River in China. The fabric was traded to the world through the grand Silk Road.

Uses

The fabric is used for clothing, curtains, lampshades, and as different home decor items.

How you can get it

Organza fabric is easily available in fabric shops, boutiques, fashion hubs, etc. You can easily order from Amazon & Etsy!

Taffeta fabric

Taffeta

Cost per yard: 50$

Purpose: Clothing

Location: China

Availability: Easily available.

Taffeta is a plain woven crisp and smooth fabric usually made with silk or rayon. The fabric is mainly used for super fancy clothes.  Taffeta has unique shape retention traits. That makes it perfect for some fashion clothing. However, taffeta fabric can easily damage. So, the fabric is used occasionally in parties and special events.

Price: Depending on brand and design, a taffeta dress can cost way more than 1000$.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

Taffeta is made with twisted yarn and plain weave. The best taffetas are made of silk. 

As we mentioned, taffeta clothes are mostly used for special occasions. So those clothes are unique in design. Naturally, it costs a large amount of money.

History and cultural significance

It’s hard to know the origin of taffeta fabric. But it was mentioned multiple times in history. It’s sure that taffeta has been around for at least a thousand years. In the 20th century, the fabric became more popular as party dress. Still, the fabric has great appeal as a fashion fabric.

Uses

Wedding dress, party dress, fancy clothes, attire, curtains, and home decor items.

How you can get it

Fabric market, fashion house, and similar places. You can order in Amazon & Etsy!

Japanese Denim

Japanese Denim

Purpose: Jeans

Location: Japan

Availability: Commercially available.

Original Japanese denim/jeans are considered the king of denim fabric. With amazing detailed craft, excellent materials, durability, and handmade luster, it is one of the most appealing fabrics in the world. 

Price: The cost can be between 300$-2000$.

How is it made? Why is it so expensive?

The production of Japanese denim is done by people who have decades of experience. The materials are worth like gold. Plus, reaching the perfection of Japanese denim takes a long time with hard labor. Only a limited number of the products are produced. But the demand is sky-high. So, the price easily gets many times higher than regular jeans naturally!

History and cultural significance

After the Second World War, some of the US military sold their jeans to the second-hand market of Japan. Japanese love jeans, the demand is high. They tried to make their own denim. For that, they had to figure out a way to make it.

Eventually, they made the fabric, but their quality exceeded the real ones! A small district called Kojima in Okayama became the center of Japanese denim. After that, the Japanese denim industry did not have to look back. 

How you can get it

You can get Japanese denim from branded Japanese denim shops. Order online from Rakuten, Amazon & Etsy.

Are expensive fabrics sustainable?

At first glance it may seem like luxury fabrics are not that sustainable for the environment. Yes, something seems true. But if we compare it with industrial fabric production, the image looks a bit different. Industrial fabrics cause many times more harm to the environment than expensive fabrics. 

It’s true that many expensive fabrics cause direct harm to wildlife. Again people are raising their voice against cruelty products. Many countries stopped that successfully with laws.

There is another aspect of luxury fabric worth discussing. Usually, the more expensive a fabric is, the more attention it gets from lawmakers and environmentalists. Therefore, most expensive fabrics are more compliant with sustainability practice .

Still, it’s our responsibility to be a conscious consumer. We should avoid fabrics & fashion that endangered wildlife. What can be worse than spending so much money on something that is not sustainable and cruelty-free?

Ethical considerations of Luxury fabric

There are ethical concerns around a lot of luxury fabrics. If you think about it, many things seem quite complicated. Ethically speaking. 

First let’s say, “Is it okay to spend that much on a fabric?” 

Well, if you can afford it, love it, be happy about it, just go for this luxury. But not before considering some basic factors.

  • Are you buying from a legitimate seller?

If you buy some rare animal fashion from unusual places, let’s say, the black market. There is a high chance that it is involved with cruelty. Plus you will never know how and where it came from. 

It’s always better to get your luxury fabrics from an established business. 

  • Are expensive fabrics cruelty-free?

No, at least not all. Especially animal products like guanaco wool or leopard fur caused the death of millions of animals. But those animals are protected now. Other wool products might not cause the death of an animal, which seems a bit cruel. For example, vicuna wool. If you are buying from a good brand, a part of your money will go to protecting them. 

How do you buy luxury fabric ethically?

Here are some rules of thumb to follow-

  1. Research the brand
  2. Find out how they collect the materials.
  3. Verify certifications.
  4. Fair labor practices
  5. Environment friendly
  6. Not from endangered species, and minimize cruelty.

If you were mindful about your purchase, consider those factors. You did everything on your part. These little changes and attention will take us to a better world.

Some of the best brands to buy luxury fabrics

As we have come this far, why not discuss some luxury fabric brands? Here are some of the best luxury brands you can check out for most luxury fabrics. 

Note that luxury brands may also have their downsides too. Some may be overemphasizing their brand. Some are overpriced. Keep in mind that big brands are not your only option!

There are many smart SMB are selling expensive specialized products.

Ermenegildo Zegna: Zegna is a luxury wool product brand with great innovation, quality, and style. It was found in 1910 in Italy. It has a great history of selling luxury fabrics. Highly maintains sustainable and ethical practices.

Loro Piana: Loro Piana is a famous luxury fashion brand based in Quarona, Italy. The brand was established by a guy named Pietro Loro Piana. From the early times, the brand has really focused on rare fabrics like Vicuna, cashmere, and other expensive fabrics.

Scabal: It is another specialized brand of luxury clothing. They have an international reputation for bringing the finest fabric. They are also really amazing with their craftsmanship and environmental sustainability steps.

Muslin Dhaka : Why not shout out for us? At Least we can tell the truth about ourselves best. By researching, giving authentic information & working on the best luxury fabric like Dhaka Muslin (26 times higher price than silk!). Now we are going to deliver very few specialized products for our die hard fans. Enjoy!

In the End

We are right at the end of our journey exploring the most expensive fabrics. We are really happy to experience thrill, awe, and surprises together. Now you know the basics about most luxury fabrics on earth. If that’s not amazing, what is?

Fabrics that are from majestic mountain deers, attached expensive stones, sewed with gold strings, much more. Get the most expensive fabrics in the world!

Shariful Alam

Shariful Alam

Shariful Alam Pavel, A fashion lover, passionate marketer. Love to share wisdom based on real life experience to enrich knowledge.
Founder of Muslin Dhaka, a brand, speaks the truth about royal muslin and fashion. Explore the digital fashion universe with organic cotton muslin and much more!

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