If you’re building a cashmere collection (or just taking extra-good care of a few pieces, like our Fairley Cashmere Sweater), you’ll want to know how to keep your garments looking like new for as long as possible. let’s take a look at ways to keep your cashmere looking luxe for longer while at home.
Washing cashmere at home
Luckily, you shouldn’t have to wash cashmere as often as you might with acrylic sweaters, because of the way wool repels smells. When you do need to wash, consider spot cleaning. Washing risks pilling, and spot cleaning can help keep wear on your fabric to a minimum.
But when it’s time, it’s time! The next best option is hand washing. Hand washing your cashmere sweater is important. Even more important: keeping it out of the dryer.
First, fill your sink or tub with lukewarm water, get your mild detergent (cashmere shampoo, or even baby shampoo…but skip the fabric softener), and gently agitate the water. Empty your sink and refill with cold water for rinsing. Afterwards, to get rid of excess water, you’ll want to press or fold the sweater into a ball. Avoid wringing it–wet cashmere is delicate and needs to be treated carefully. Air dry flat on a dry towel or drying rack, avoiding direct sunlight. Hang drying can stretch the delicate fibers.
And finally, here’s our tip on machine washing. If you’re going to go for it, use a mesh bag set your machine on the gentle cycle, and use cold water. And make sure nothing goes in the dryer by accident.
For storing cashmere garments to add longevity and prevent wrinkles, see our other post on how to get wrinkles out of cashmere. The other big concern with wool, of course, is moths. We’ve had various degrees of success with different moth repellents: the only sure-fire way to keep them out is to keep your cashmeres in a separate, sealed storage spot. You may want to consider having a separate plastic divider.
Using a cashmere comb
Over time, some pilling is inevitable with cashmere. You’ll want to have a cashmere comb or shaver on hand to remove pilling, lint, and fuzz. This de-pilling process gradually removes a portion of the fibers. With a cashmere comb, quick repeat motions over the fabric should detach the pills from the sweater. There is a more heavy-duty tool out there called a sweater shaver. These rechargeable or plug-in tools can help get your pilled knitwear looking brand new and are especially indispensable if you have a bigger collection.