Cashmere is such a wonderful textile to have. We’ve spent a lot of time highlighting how warm and soft it is, how it is durable and long lasting, and how cashmere can be sustainably and ethically sourced! For all its wonderful qualities, there is one area in which it understandably intimidates people. With maintaining cashmere, people get tense! We understand why! The reason people get stressed over maintaining their cashmere is because it doesn’t wash like regular clothing can. Cashmere is not a synthetic textile like polyester is. So it doesn’t do well with things like heat (which will cause it to shrink, ALOT). So below, we’ve compiled six tips and tricks for you to help relieve your worries and fears about Cashmere Maintenance!
This is a common sight to see, especially with new cashmere pieces! Cashmere fibers pill wherever there is a point of friction. This is essentially the excess fibre being moved around on the sweater until it is in a little round pill! Places like the lower back, and under the arms are where most pilling will occur. To preserve your sweater’s look, use a pilling comb or fabric shaver to remove these every so often.
Don’t Wear and Wash
A part of fast fashion trends is that we wash our clothes way too often. This means that our clothes will wear out and lose their color faster. Unless you’ve spilled something on your cashmere, or you had a sweaty day, you do not need to wash your cashmere! The general rule is to wash every three wears, but you can extend this if you’ve been wearing a base layer and air your clothing out properly (gentle air fresheners may help here too!). Strategically washing is a key part of cashmere maintenance.
Dry-Clean Only? No Thanks!
It is very common to consult your clothing’s label to find out the best way to take care of them. With cashmere, it is often said to only dry clean. However, this simply is not true. We can wash cashmere clothing with a gentle soap in cold water. Hand washing is the best way to keep your cashmere fresh, but you can also have a gentle cold cycle in your washing machine (cashmere, separate from other clothing) and it should be okay too! Afterwards, lay it out on a towel to ensure it doesn’t stretch and lose its shape!
Avoid using detergent. It is best to use baby soap or some gentle shampoo. (Remember, it’s hair!).
Don’t wring out your cashmere or hang it when it is wet. Wet fibers are when it is the most fragile. Unfortunately, it takes some time to dry!
Fabric Softener? Why Bother!
We often see fabric softener as a necessity to help keep your clothing fresh and soft. However, it often has the opposite effect when dealing with cashmere clothing. The best cashmere maintenance is to just let it be! Cashmere fibers get softer with time. So while it may take a couple of days to dry after a washing, you do not need to worry about making sure it stays soft! Cashmere does that best on its own!
Never Hang Your Sweater
Although it saves space, hanging your sweaters is a terrible way to preserve them. Hangers can create wear on the shoulders since that is a prolonged friction point as things get shuffled around in your closet every day. In addition, the sustained “hang-time” may cause your sweater to lose its form or become distorted. The safest way to store your cashmere is to fold it and leave it in a nice, dry space.
References for Your Reading!