One of the most prized and luxurious of textiles, cashmere is loved the world over for its softness and beautiful look. And cashmere is not just elegant. It has excellent insulating properties whilst also being lightweight, which makes it great for layering or wearing for those occasions when you want something cosy but not bulky. Timeless, classic and effortlessly chic, cashmere remains one of the most exquisite fibres for clothes and home textiles. It’s not cheap, especially if you buy high quality, well sourced cashmere rather than inferior fast-fashion products. Which means it’s even more important to know how more about cashmere care.
To keep your cashmere throws, sweaters, scarves and other garments looking and feeling their best, follow these simple guidelines:
1.Follow care instructions
Some cashmere garments will be dry clean only, but many can be successfully hand washed. Check each item’s individual care instructions before you embark on cleaning.
2.For hand washing cashmere
Large items like cashmere throws can be spot cleaned by dabbing the affected area with a wet cloth soaked in gentle detergent, and repeating with a clean wet cloth to rinse. To hand wash a smaller garment, first turn it inside out, then place in a clean tub filled with a solution of gentle wool detergent and cool water. Baby shampoo is a great alternative if you can’t get a specialist laundry detergent. Submerge the garment in the water and gently squeeze. Don’t rub as this can cause shrinkage. Soak for up to 10 minutes if necessary. Then simply rinse in clean, cool water until no more soap suds are visible.
Once your garment has been washed it is essential to dry it correctly. Firstly, lay it on a clean towel and roll up along the shortest width of the towel. Press the water out – make sure you don’t wring. Some people use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water. Once all the excess liquid has been removed, lay the item flat on a dry towel and air dry, out of direct sunlight.
4. Storing cashmere
Be patient – cashmere can take a long time to dry, but it’s important that it is completely dry before you try to store it in order to prevent damage and moths. Fold it carefully and avoid folding along prominent areas in case you create a visible line. Use tissue paper if you are storing your cashmere away for some time. Place into a sealed storage bag to keep moths out, and use cedar balls or homemade moth repellant bags to be extra safe. Store flat, rather than hanging, which can distort the shape of cashmere garments.
A lint roller or wool comb will get rid of pilling. These nobbly bits are common with cashmere, and not necessarily only in cheaper yarns. It’s just an unfortunate characteristic of this yarn. Use combs sparingly to avoid making holes or weakening the fibres too much. If you are unlucky enough to find a hole, send your precious cashmere to be repaired as a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to replacing it.