With Winter looming I thought it was about time I did a post on cashmere care so you all know how to preserve and look after your cashmere to ensure it lasts a lifetime.
Cashmere is the finest commercially available natural fibre in the world,it is in restricted supply and is expensive.It therefore warrants being looked after – so here are a few simple tips to follow to get the most out of your cashmere.
Cashmere is one of the most delicate natural fibres in the world and when you invest in one of our pieces you should look after it with care and love. Cashmere knitwear can be hand washed or dry-cleaned. We recommend hand washing frequently following these simple guidelines:
Cashmere should be washed with good quality wool or cashmere shampoo or a similar detergent. Be sure the soap powder is completely dissolved before putting in the garment. Squeeze the suds gently through the garment, then rinse several times in water of the same hand warm temperature.
To dry… don’t wring or squeeze hard-just lay the garments flat on a towel and ease back into shape – dry naturally away from direct heat such as radiators or sunlight. DO NOT TUMBLE DRY.
When dry press lightly with a cool iron.
Certain cashmere garments are best dry cleaned by a reputable cleaner. With proper washing and care a cashmere garment’s handle will actually improve.
After the first few times you’ve worn your Cashmere garment you might find small balls of fibre forming on the surface. These small balls, known as “pills”, are caused by some of the loose fibre tangling together as areas of your garment are rubbed during wear. This aspect is akin to the fuzzing that takes place on a new carpet that has just been laid and used. In time the fibre will settle and the fuzzing disappears.
The “pilling” is not symptomatic of inferior quality but rather an inevitable consequence of the careful processing of this fine fibre. Pills can be easily removed by hand or by using a ‘de-bobbler’ comb available from most haberdashers.
You will find that, removing the pills in this way, the garment will actually consolidate and soften in handle and touch. Like fine wine, cashmere will improve with age if cared for properly, and will last for years.
These are a hazard for most natural fibre garments. There are several ways to keep your cashmere moth-free:
A great method to keep them away from your wardrobe is to use scented deterrents such as cedar balls, or hanging sachets of lavender, rosemary or clove. Although they might smell lovely to us moths in fact hate the smell. To help keep the moths away hang the cedar balls around your hangers or dot them around in amongst your folded cashmere.Do remember to replace these products when their smell diminishes.
Another possibility is to freeze your cashmere garments. Simply put them in a plastic bag and freeze for a day or over night. Then de-frost them slowly and this should kill anything including moths, and moth larvae. This may sound to be a strange route but has been proven to work.
The lifecycle of a moth is about 21 days so every month it is a good idea to give your cashmere a good shake out. The moths hate being disturbed and don’t like the light, so if you suspect that you have moths it may also be a good idea to air your garments in day-light as the larvae are repelled by this and will drop off your clothing if there are any.
However the principle rule of habit is to also keep your wardrobe clean and clear it out properly every now and then, making sure you don’t store dirty garments.
I hope you find this helpful! Further reading can be found here: Telegraph Fashion
Photo by Simen Johan.