As temperatures start to drop we always reach for a cashmere scarf or sweater. One of the most sought after fibers in the world, cashmere is lighter, stronger, finer and approximately three times more insulating than sheep's wool. The result is featherweight warmth without the bulk and itchiness of traditional wool. Properly cared for, the signature softness of this miracle material can last for years.
Skip the Cleaners
Cashmere can actually be handwashed, so long as it’s in cold water and with mild detergent. Hand washing is actually gentler and more eco-friendly than dry cleaning when it comes to cashmere. Several companies make special wool-washing detergents that can be used. Simply soak the item for about 20 minutes to clean your garment. If time is of the essence, placing your item inside out in a garment bag on the delicate cycle should work as well.
Let it Dry (Slowly!)
Heat will cause cashmere to shrink, so air-drying is a must. If you need a cashmere scarf to dry quicker, place it on a towel and gradually roll the towel to press out excess moisture. Never wring to dry!
Moths are the number one enemy of cashmere. Keep them from nibbling on your treasured cashmere by storing it in a tightly fitting drawer. Cedar blocks can offer added protection against moths, plus they smell great!
Pilling occurs on delicate garments when they brush against areas of friction. Fabric shavers or small scissors can be used to trim pills that form on cashmere. To avoid pilling, always keep cashmere safely away from surfaces that may abrade the fabric.
The Last Resort
Okay we get it—it might not be realistic to handwash everything. Only dry clean cashmere items with embellishments or other materials that can’t be placed in water. Dry cleaning tends to leave cashmere stiff, whereas a wash will leave it even fluffier.
A re-weaver can actually reknit your cashmere garments if you find a hole in your favorite piece. These services are generally pricey, but it could be worth it if it’s for a beloved staple. Kits are also available if you would rather chance the repairs yourself with the help of a felting needle.