Ah … cashmere. Is there anything more luxurious? It’s soft, warm, and beautiful. It even gets softer with age! With some tender loving care, you can keep your women’s cashmere sweater looking beautiful for years to come — and the perfect accompaniment to your dress pants, skirts, and jeans. Let’s look at some important tips in caring for your cashmere.
Cashmere is made from rare goat fibers. They are soft and lightweight and can be up to three times as warm as sheep’s wool. High-quality cashmere costs, but it can also last for decades and is an excellent staple for your wardrobe. You may even consider passing it down to a daughter, niece, or granddaughter someday.
The key to properly laundering your cashmere is to be gentle. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your cashmere, but if it suggests dry cleaning, think twice before you act. Dry cleaning is convenient and good for many garments, but the process uses chemicals that can gradually erode your cashmere. For a safer alternative, handwash your cashmere using a gentle laundry detergent in cold water.
Even if you have other women’s sweaters that you prefer to hand wash, keep your cashmere separate. Avoid sudden moves with your cashmere. Instead, wash it slowly and gently as though you are massaging the fibers lightly to get them clean. Make sure to use fresh cold water for rinsing. Do not wring your cashmere as it can change the shape of the sweater. When you have thoroughly washed and rinsed it, press any extra water from it and lay it out (in its original shape) on a thick towel or sweater rack to dry.
Yes, your cashmere needs shaving. If you have worn your cashmere a few times, you may have noticed little fuzz balls which have formed on its surface that detract from the beauty of your sweater. This is normal. One of the advantages of cashmere is that you can remove these with a sweater shaver or a clean razor. Shave lightly and against the grain of the sweater to remove the fuzz balls. Be careful not to shave too deep, or you could damage the fabric. Some battery-operated sweater shavers have automatic guards built in, which can help to keep you from shaving too deep. Whatever tool you choose, use it gently to avoid the possibility of making a hole in your sweater.
Whether you are just putting your cashmere sweater away briefly or storing it for the summer, be careful not to stretch or crush it. Don’t ever hang up your cashmere sweaters on hangers. Instead, fold them neatly and make sure that they are not underneath other heavier clothing like women’s jeans or a heavier women’s cardigan on a shelf or storage container.
Treat your cashmere like you would a valued keepsake. You want to keep it as close to room temperature as possible, so don’t store it in an attic or any other area where it can be subjected to extremes in temperature. Likewise, you want to keep it in a dry location, so avoid basements or cabinets that are adjacent to bathrooms where steam is likely to collect. Make sure there are no other fabrics or other objects that touch your cashmere that could stain the color. Sometimes dark fabrics that are new have enough dye left in them that they can “bleed” onto other clothes.
Another advantage of cashmere is that it is timeless and comes in classic styles that you can wear for decades. Not only that, but when you are done with your cashmere, you can gift it to a sister, daughter, niece, or granddaughter. For the best outcome, take good care of your cashmere while you are using it, making sure to follow the suggestions outlined in this blog.
Also, keep in mind what colors will be flattering to the recipient of your sweater. Maybe blue undertones look great on you, but yellow undertones look great on her. Be flexible. Also, recognize that although you may consider sharing your beautiful cashmere to be a lovely gift, not everyone else loves cashmere (it’s shocking, but true — lol). Sometimes even preferences for classic styles can “skip a generation” when it comes to being appreciated. If you would like to share your cashmere, make sure to take the opinions of others into account. Maybe your daughter won’t want that sweater, but your niece or a friend will think it’s divine.
With some tender loving care, your cashmere sweaters can last for many years to come. Take good care of them, enjoy wearing them, and then enjoy passing them along.