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International Standardization of Method for Identifying Fake Cashmere by DNA Analysis-Japan’s applied technology issued as an ISO standard!-

In December 2015, “Textiles -- Identification of some animal fibre by DNA analysis method -- Cashmere, wool, yak and their blends,” proposed by Japan, was approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and was issued as an ISO standard. This is a method, proposed by Japan, for precisely identifying cashmere by applying DNA analysis technology. This method is expected to prevent cashmere from being counterfeited and to internationally promote fair trade.

Many cases in which products indicating that they are made of 100% cashmere but are actually fake have been occurring because there is a great consumer demand for cashmere products in spite of their high prices. A method for distinguishing cashmere from other animal fibres such as wool had not been adequately established, which can also be considered the background against which it has been difficult to prevent cashmere from being counterfeited.

Therefore, Japan newly proposed a method for identifying cashmere in which DNA analysis technology is applied as a replacement for conventional visual verification with optical microscopes, through which is difficult to identify fake cashmere products, and in December 2015, this method was issued as an ISO standard.


Figure 1: Standardized testing procedure for identifying cashmere

When formulating the proposal for this method, the outcomes obtained through standardization projects conducted by entities including the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)* were utilized mainly by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Furthermore, Japan also played a role as an organizer for the meetings of the ISO Technical Committee 38, Textiles, which held discussions on this standard.

The global dissemination of testing methods based on this ISO standard is expected to improve the accuracy of the identification of cashmere and to drastically decrease fake products in the secondary markets of all countries.
In Japan, it is thought that such dissemination will improve the authenticity of distributed cashmere products and contribute to the protection of the interests of consumers who require cashmere products.

Standard number Standard name Summary
ISO 18074 Textiles -- Identification of some animal fibres by DNA analysis method -- Cashmere, wool, yak and their blends Testing method to identify some animal fibre such as cashmere by DNA analysis

*Note: Standardization projects conducted by entities including METI

  • Ÿ Standardization regarding a Testing Method to Identify Cashmere (FY 2010), a project for promoting strategic international standardization conducted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
  • Ÿ Project for Joint Research and Development on International Standards: Standardization regarding a Testing Method to Identify Cashmere (FY 2011 and 2012), a project commissioned by METI

Release date

January 15, 2016

Division in charge

International Standardization Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau

Related Information

International Standards

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