Are you thinking of buying cashmere? Perhaps, you already own one. Either way you need to be aware of the ideal ways of taking care of cashmere. It is a luxurious fabric, and it can be a worthwhile investment, if only taken care of properly. So, here's the best way to do so. Trust us, it's easier than you think.
How To Wash Cashmere?
When it comes to washing cashmere clothing, it is more important to remember the don'ts than the dos. There are always those questions at the back of the mind - Is it okay to dry clean cashmere? Can I machine wash my cashmere? Let us clear that up for you. Absolutely not!
Unless the cashmere is heavily stained or your washing machine is not equipped with wool or hand wash program, dry clean and machine wash is not ideal. They may cost you your beautiful cashmere! At times even the label on your cashmere recommends dry cleaning. But most often dry cleaning turns the cashmere stiff in the first dry clean itself. Similarly, the hand wash program of your machine may not be gentle enough.
That is why, it is always better to gently hand wash cashmere at home with a mild shampoo or detergent. Cashmere pieces, be it cashmere sweaters, coats or scarves, should be washed in lukewarm or cold water without stretching, rubbing or wringing. Moreover, washing 100% cashmere is a delicate process compared to blends.
To Dry Or Not To Dry Cashmere?
Drying cashmere can be a conundrum. Leaving out freshly washed cashmere to dry is an invitation of feast to moths.
The direct heat of sunlight is damaging too. So, drying cashmere is risky. But there are a couple of ways around it.
After washing cashmere, first gently squeeze it to rinse water. Then place it on a towel to let it soak any excess water from the cashmere.
At this stage, you can either roll cashmere in the towel or flat dry it. If you hang cashmere to dry, it will lose its shape. So, it is important you either lay it flat on a towel or a drying rack.
You will have to check on the cashmere garment and reshape quite often while it is drying. If you are using a towel, you should replace it with a dry one as and when needed.
Dealing With Cashmere Piling
Piling occurs when the cashmere fabric rubs against each other or another coarse surface. It could be near the arm pits or the sides of the sleeves where the chance of friction is high. Regardless, it can be heartbreaking to see your beloved cashmere garment lose its beauty.
Pills and lint cannot be avoided altogether. But surely if you let the cashmere apparel rest in between wears, the frequency of piling will reduce. Pills and lint can be removed easily as well from cashmere.
Don’t pull at them and try to detach them with your fingers. Remove them gently with a de-pilling comb. Don’t press the comb too harshly. Simply sweep gently and your cashmere will be as new as ever.
Best Ways to Store Cashmere
It is possible to store cashmere for days, weeks and even months and years. If you are storing cashmere for a short period in between wears, then either use a wooden chest or a zip lock bag or a cotton garment bag.
If you are storing for a longer duration, then make sure to put moth balls in the closet or the chest. Also, store it in a place that is dust-free and well ventilated.
With these practices, your cashmere is bound to last for a long time in a pristine condition. Here are some more general tips to protect and care for your cashmere:
- Don’t wash your cashmere too often.
- When you wash, make sure you rinse till the detergent residue is completely removed.
- Don't hang it to dry. When storing your cashmere as well don’t hand rather fold. It will not lose shape and will be able to avoiad wrinkles or damage.
- Always remove dust and hair from the fabric.
- Vermin are attracted to cashmere. So, to protect it from vermin use cedar wood or moth balls. For storing, never use cardboard boxes. They attract vermin.
- Try to avoid ironing your cashmere. If you must iron, place a cotton cloth in between, use low heat and turn your cashmere inside out. Prefer steaming as it can soften your cashmere as well.
- Lastly, don’t store for more than 3 months at a stretch especially if you are using a plastic bag.