How to wash cashmere
Cashmere: the king of natural fibers. Nothing is softer, lighter, or warmer. But how do you wash it?
Over the years, we have accumulated tips, guidelines, ideas, dos and don'ts. Most of all, we've learned that a little TLC goes a long way and that, with the proper care, a cashmere garment can last a lifetime.
We'd now like to pass our experience on to you.
When it comes to washing cashmere, the safest and most delicate option is certainly by hand. It is, however, necessary to follow a few simple precautions. Here is our step-by-step guide:
1 Prepare the essentials
To hand wash your cashmere garment, you will need a basin or washbowl and mild detergent. You may want to remove pills before washing, as illustrated here.
Fill your basin or washbowl with clean water. In order to avoid color bleeding or shrinking, use only cold or lukewarm water to wash your cashmere garment.
3 Add detergent
Add a small amount of mild detergent and swirl the water with your hand until suds form. Tip: pick a low-alkaline detergent, such as baby shampoo.
4 Wash your garment
Dip the garment in the basin and gently massage. If the are stains, pat the area with detergent. Avoid rubbing the garment against itself, as this may cause pilling.
5 Rinse to remove soap
Rinse by dipping in clean cold water and pressing softly, without wringing the garment. Change water and repeat if necessary, until all detergent has been removed.
6Remove excess water
Excess water may be removed by rolling the garment in a towel on a flat surface and pressing gently. This will allow your garment to dry more quickly.
7Lay flat to dry
Lay your garment on a flat surface to dry, avoiding direct sunlight or other heat sources. Turn your garment over at least once, allowing it to dry well on both sides.
For more details, watch this short video:
Contrary to popular belief, as long as the proper precautions are observed, it is indeed possible to machine wash your cashmere garments without damage. Here are a few of our tips:
1 Protect your garments
We suggest protecting your cashmere garments by placing them in a laundry bag or white pillowcase. Make sure each garment has its own bag and that every bag has been properly closed. For more protection, throw a few towels into the washer to serve as a "cushion". Avoid adding anything that may cause damage (jeans, shirts with appliques of any kind, etc.) and, of course, wash only similar colors together.
2Use only mild detergent
It is important to select a mild detergent, made for delicate fabrics. It is not necessary to use a cashmere-specific detergent: any delicate laundry soap—or even baby shampoo—will clean your garments without damaging them. We suggest avoiding the use of fabric softeners.
3 Pay attention to water temperature
Use only cold water for both wash and rinse cycles. Hot water will not only make colors bleed, but it will damage the delicate cashmere fibers and cause them to shrink.
4 Select a gentle cycle
In order to avoid stretching or excess wear of your cashmere garments, always set your washing machine its most delicate cycle. If your washer also offers the possibility to choose a spin cycle, make sure to select the shortest available.
5 Do not machine dry
Never machine dry your cashmere. Instead, once your garments have been washed, lay them on a flat surface to dry. Make sure to avoid direct sunlight or other heat sources which may cause damage. We suggest turning your garments over at least once to allow them to dry well on both sides.
How to iron cashmere
If properly washed, dried and stored, cashmere does not tend to wrinkle and can generally be worn without ironing. However, we all know that it is sometimes necessary remove creases. Should that be the case, listed below are two methods you may use to safely iron your cashmere garments.
1 Using a fabric steamer
This is the best option for cashmere garments. Prepare your garment by laying it on a flat surface if you own a hand-held steamer, or simply hang it if you own an upright steamer. Steam from a slight distance, without touching the cashmere fibers. We suggest allowing your garment to cool before wearing or storing it.
2Using an iron
If you don't own a fabric steamer, don't worry: it is possible to use a standard iron. Prepare your garment by turning it inside out, placing it evenly on your ironing board, and covering it with a light-colored cloth. Set your iron to its lowest setting and gently press it to the cloth, using smooth strokes. Always keep the iron moving, making sure it never directly touches the cashmere fibers.
How to store cashmere
An important part of cashmere care is proper storage. Listed below are a few simple guidelines which will help ensure your garments last a lifetime.
1 Choose a proper storage area
The area you select should be clean, free from damp and unexposed to sunlight or other heat sources; closet shelves and drawers make perfect storage areas.
2 Fold, don't hang
Hanging your cashmere garments will cause them to stretch out and sag, especially in the shoulder area. Instead, carefully fold and place them in your storage area.
To keep your cashmere garments fresh and avoid moths and mildew, we suggest storing your them with cedar wood balls, a natural alternative to other anti-moth remedies. Make sure to replace the wood bals at least once a year.
Over the spring and summer, it is a good idea to put your cashmere into long-term storage. Clean your garments and place them in breathable, zip-up plastic bags, with a few cedar wood balls to keep them fresh. Then, place them in your selected storage area. Keep in mind that temperature changes over time may cause condensation, so we recommend not keeping your garments in their plastic storage bags for more than three months.
How to remove pilling
Even the finest cashmere garment sooner or later is likely to pill. This is not an indicator of the cashmere's quality, but simply part of its nature: in fact, pilling occurs when shorter fibers come loose and rub together. Pilling will reduce with each wash but, in the meantime, it is important to de-pill your garment to keep it in perfect condition. Listed below are a few helpful tips.
1 Never de-pill a garment while wearing it
Lay your garment on a flat surface to remove pills. This will prevent damage and allow you to better locate the pills you wish to remove.
2Certain areas of your garment are more likely to pill
When locating the areas which need de-pilling, pay special attention to areas which are subject to rubbing, such as the elbows, underarms, and shoulders.
3Remove pills with cashmere comb
Use a cashmere comb to gently brush the garment's surface wherever you see pills forming. It is possible to use an electric fabric shaver, but it is very important to be careful in order to avoid damage.
More about cashmere
If you would like to know more about cashmere and it’s history, visit our website:
What Is Cashmere
Who we are
We founded our first company in 2005 and have been producing fine cashmere knitwear from the very beginning. We have since launched our online shop Maison Cashmere, a new way to buy quality cashmere products.