The feeling of pulling on super-soft cashmere layers when temperatures drop is one of life's little luxuries, but these cosy woollens can all too often come to a fast demise if you don’t look after them properly. If you've invested in some premium pieces courtesy of Stella McCartney, Alanui, Bottega Veneta or Cashmere in Love, now’s a good time to consider some best practices for looking after them. Here’s how to keep your cashmere jumper looking as sumptuous as the day you unwrapped it, from washing and shaping to protecting from moths and depilling.
How To Wash Cashmere
Skip the dry cleaners; When it comes to maintaining the quality of your cashmere, it’s all about hand-washing. If you’re using the hand-wash function on your washing machine, simply place your cashmere into a laundry bag (a pillowcase will also do the job) before washing.
If you’re not #blessed with a hand-wash function on your machine:
Fill your basin with cool water and add a mild detergent.
Turn your cashmere inside out and gently run water through the fabric, being careful not to wring or twist it to prevent it from losing its shape.
Soak for at least 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
When rinsing it out, follow the same process, ensuring this water is also lukewarm to avoid the fibers shrinking.
How To Dry Cashmere
However tempting, refrain from wringing out your cashmere sweater when it’s wet – this will twist and distort the fabric and your knitwear will lose its shape. Instead:
Wrap your freshly washed woolens in a towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess water before unrolling and reshaping by hand.
Once shaped, lie your cashmere on a clean towel and leave to dry flat naturally. Side note: keeping cashmere away from heat sources such as radiators and direct sunlight will help prevent shrinking and discoloration.
How To Store Cashmere
A word of warning: moths love your cashmere cardigan as much as you do.
Ensure your freshly laundered clothes are totally dry.
It’s recommended to put cashmere knits into a zip-lock bag and placing them in the freezer for 48 hours before putting them away. This kills any moth larvae and will protect your knits from moth eggs and holes.
When it comes to storage, it’s best not to hang cashmere, as this will affect its shape. Instead, embrace the art of the store-like fold and place on shelving to prevent any stretching.
How To Maintain Cashmere
Even the most premium-quality cashmere can be subject to pilling. And while it’s difficult to prevent pilling entirely, washing and storing with care will certainly help reduce it.
Keep a comb, bristle garment brush, or electric de-piller on hand to deal with bobbles – but use these with care. Lie your cashmere on a flat surface and brush in one direction to gently remove pills and keep your cashmere looking soft for as long as possible.
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