Cashmere Care Guide

We believe a good collection of cashmere sweaters is an essential of every well-edited wardrobe. Wearable all year-round, cashmere is a sought-after textile for good reason - if taken care of, it lasts forever. Cashmere is one of the world’s finest and most delicate natural fibres. Look after your cashmere pieces properly and it will continue to feel even more soft and luxurious after each wash.

Cashmere Care Guide

To ensure you take the best possible care of your cashmere pieces, it helps to get familiar with the full cashmere care process, which includes washing, drying, storing, de-pilling, keeping moths away, and repairing if needed. It's easier than it sounds, and if done regularly, it helps keep your cashmere soft and wearable forever. Read on for a step-by-step guide.

WASHING AND DRYING CASHMERE

Hand washing will always produce the best results for washing your cashmere garments. Cashmere is a protein fibre, much like our own hair and responds well to the same gentle washing approach. Ensure you wash your cashmere sweaters every 3-4 wears, even if not visibly stained, as moths will flock to sweaters, which have any remnant of debris.

1. Preparing For The Wash Wash with specialist cashmere wash, baby shampoo, or a gentle, low-alkaline detergent. The more alkaline a detergent is, the harsher it will be on your cashmere. If you’re washing more than one item, separate pieces into two piles, one light and one dark, and start with the lightest-colour styles first. Use tepid water.

2. Washing Soak for at least 15 minutes and then just swish and lightly squish the sweater around in the soapy water.

3. Rinsing Press out the excess water, but do not wring the sweater and take care not to stretch the fabric. Avoid rinsing under hard running water, which can stretch delicate cashmere weights. Very wet cashmere can take up to days to dry, so to cut the time in half, use a large salad spinner to rid off any excess water. Try a spinner with a pull cord, as they're more effective.

4. Rolling to Remove Excess Water Place a clean white or light-coloured towel that’s large enough to accommodate the whole sweater on a flat surface. Lay the item on a towel and reshape it as it dries. Simply roll the sweater with a towel to get any more excess water out. Starting at the top of the garment, roll the towel and the garment together, gently pressing down on the roll to help the towel absorb the water in the garment. Unroll.

5. Lay Flat To Dry Lay the item flat to dry in its natural shape, so the style keeps. Do not iron, as it will damage the yarn. You can also place your cashmere pieces on a mesh drying rack until they’re completely dry.

6. Getting a Stain Out of Cashmere Treat stains immediately with cold water and apply a stain remover. After the stain remover has penetrated, wash your sweater as normal as per above. As a last resort, or if you haven’t been able to get the stain out, take the cashmere piece to a specialist dry cleaner.

STORAGE AND MOTH PREVENTION

Never put cashmere away dirty. Sweat, hair and stains attract moths and make it more likely for female moths to find the perfect place for their eggs to hatch.

Storing Store your cashmere in a drawer or storage box with cedar balls or lavender sachets, which are your best armour against moths as they don’t like the smell. You may also consider getting a cedar chest for your cashmere pieces for optimal protection. Each season, ensure cashmere is clean when stored and refresh your cedar balls or lavender sachets. You can also loop cedar balls around your hangers to keep the moths at bay. They are made using lavender, rosemary, clove or cedar wood and moths will stay away, as they find these scents repelling. However, remember to replace these products each season as the smell fades.

If you are thinking of storing your cashmere over a longer seasonal period, you can also consider getting plastic zip storage bags so moths can’t penetrate.

Check-In Moths don’t like light and being disturbed. Their life cycle is 21 days, so every month open your drawers and give your cashmere pieces a good shake. To be extra safe, you can air out your clothes in the sun as larvae are strongly repelled by light and will fall from clothing.

If You Suspect An Infestation If you have that terrible moment when you see a moth flying around, and you suspect that it’s been near your cashmere, it’s not too late to take preventive measures. The first thing to do is to try and kill the larvae and any eggs so that they can’t do any more damage. The easiest way to do this is to put the affected items into a sealed plastic bag and place them in the freezer for three days. Then, take the bags out and let them return to room temperature, wash and lay flat to dry.

PILLING AND REPAIRING CASHMERE

The fuzzy little balls that take form are a natural occurrence. Referred to as "pilling", they are not indicative of bad quality - it is an inevitable consequence of the delicate processing of fine cashmere.

De-Pilling Cashmere Take a razor, electric de-bobbler or cashmere comb to the sweater. By removing the pills in this way, as opposed to pulling them off, the sweater will actually soften even more. If cared for properly, your cashmere will maintain its original luxurious quality.

Repairing Holes in a Cashmere Sweater Whether it has occurred due to a moth or a snag, holes in cashmere can be repaired. If the hole was created by a moth infestation, make sure you freeze the piece first. You can then send it to Love Cashmere Care Service in Hawick, Scotland. They’ll return your cashmere pieces as good as new.

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