Cashmere

4 Tips to Keep Your Cashmere Looking New All Winter

Cashmere is a soft, comfortable, and beautiful fabric. A quality cashmere sweater can last and look wonderful when cared for properly. Learn the simple secrets to keeping your cashmere sweater looking brand new all season long.

Wash Your Cashmere Sweater the Right Way

From plus size cashmere sweaters to petites, cashmere looks and feels great on everyone, but you'll want to keep it looking its best. The first trick to keeping cashmere looking new is to always wash and dry it correctly. Improper washing and drying can result in fading, stretching, shrinking, or other issues that will damage the delicate fabric. Keep in mind you only need to wash a cashmere sweater about every three wears. Begin by pre-treating any spots or stains with a gentle pre-treatment product that can be safely used on cashmere. After pre-treating, consider which method you want to use to wash your sweater. Appropriate methods for washing cashmere include:

  • Hand washing: Hand washing is an ideal choice for cashmere because it allows you to gently clean it. Fill a washbasin or clean sink with cool or cold water and a small amount of mild detergent (use ones designed for wool or cashmere fabrics; others can be too harsh). Use the directions on the detergent, which is often one to two capfuls. Soak the sweater in cold water and detergent as needed, but don’t exceed 30 minutes. Gently agitate the sweater with your fingers. Then drain the soapy water and refill with clean, cold water to rinse. Very gently, press the sweater into a ball shape to remove excess water. Never ring out your cashmere sweater.
  • Machine washing: You can wash your cashmere sweater by machine, but only with cold water on a delicates or woolen cycle. For best results, place your sweater in a mesh bag designed for washing delicate fabrics.

If you need to wash your women's or men's cashmere sweater and don’t have the proper detergent available, you can substitute a mild baby shampoo.

Dry Your Cashmere Correctly

Once your sweater is clean, gently lay it flat on a dry towel. Roll up the towel and press lightly to remove excess water from the sweater. Then, lay it flat on a fresh dry towel to air dry. You can also lay the sweater on a flat mesh drying rack to dry. Do not dry it in the dryer (which can cause shrinkage) or clothes hanger (which can cause the sweater to become misshapen). If you want your sweater to dry faster, place it near an open window, gently blowing fan or dehumidifier. Make sure to reshape your sweater as it dries. Allow adequate time for your cashmere sweater to dry—it can take at least eight hours or more under normal conditions.

Cashmere Sweater Storage Secrets

Another secret to keeping cashmere looking great all season long is to make sure you store it properly. During the fall and winter months when the sweater is being worn as part of your winter wardrobe, keep it neatly folded on a closet shelf in a dresser drawer. Avoid cramming too many clothing items nearby. While you might be tempted to hang your cashmere sweater, this is a big “don’t” because it will stretch the sweater out and cause it to lose its shape. In between washings, it’s a good idea to lightly spray the sweater with a wool and cashmere spray to keep it fresh. For long term storage, place the sweater in a breathable garment storage container. Use cedar chips or balls to ward off moths and keep it fresh. You may also want to wrap the sweater in acid-free tissue paper to help prevent it from wrinkling while it’s in storage. Store the sweater in an area that is cool and dry to keep it like new. Remember to wash your cashmere sweater and make sure it is completely dry before you pack it away until next season.

Dealing with Special Cashmere Concerns

Delicate fabrics like wool and cashmere are beautiful and durable, but they have some special care concerns.

  • Pilling: Even the highest quality cashmere sweaters tend to pill over time. Following the correct washing and drying practices will help cut down on pills, so that’s your first line of attack. Good quality sweaters will pill less than low-quality designs, but it is still likely you’ll have to deal with pilling at some point. To combat this, examine the sweater for pills in between wearings. Use a sweater comb to gently remove the pills. Only comb in one direction. Do not use a razor or scissors to remove pills as this could damage the fabric.
  • Keeping cashmere soft: Cashmere naturally softens over time, which leaves it feeling even better after multiple wears. Washing and gentle lint removal also helps increase its softness. Follow correct practices for washing, drying, and storing cashmere, and let time work its magic. Avoid using fabric softener, as this will leave a film on the fabric and actually make it less soft.
  • Prevent damage: Since the fabric is so delicate, cashmere sweaters are more likely to get a snag. To prevent damage, keep them away from rough items like metal parts on purses, zippers, jewelry, and so on. Avoid hanging cashmere cardigans for women or men on metal hooks or hangers.
  • Keeping cashmere pristine: Cashmere sweaters for women also have some special aspects to consider. To keep your cashmere sweater pristine and reduce how often you’ll need to wash it. avoid letting it come into contact with substances like deodorant, lotion, perfume, or cosmetics. Allow deodorant and perfume to dry completely and make sure any lotions are completely absorbed into the skin before putting on your sweater.

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