Caring For Cashmere
So you finally splurged on that cashmere sweater you’ve been dreaming of all winter, and there’s no doubt you want to keep it looking good for many years. Today we’ve got some advice on how to keep your beautiful cashmere investment looking brand new for years and years.
If the label says, “dry clean only,” then for goodness sake have it dry cleaned! If the instructions say to hand wash, here are some guidelines for washing, drying and storing.
Washing Your Cashmere
When hand-washing cashmere try using baby shampoo (like Johnson and Johnson) or a mild detergent (like Woolite). It is essential to make sure the detergent or shampoo is evenly mixed with the water before you put the sweater into it. Once you know the detergent is completely diluted in the water, put your cashmere item in the water/soap mixture and let it soak for about two hours. Do not scrub or wring it…just let it soak.
To dry, lay flat on a towel and reshape the cashmere to its original shape. Warning here! Make sure you reshape it precisely because it will dry exactly how you reshape it if there’s a wrinkle while wet it will dry with a wrinkle. Be sure to dry it away from heat or direct sunlight.
If you don’t know by now…NEVER hang cashmere, it can cause dimples and lose shape over time. Here are a few great tips on how to store cashmere.
To avoid lines down the middle of the sweater fold it like retail stores do by folding each side inward by a third, smooth the arms down and fold in half. It is best to fold in a piece of tissue paper; the paper will help prevent wrinkles, to make sure your cashmere sweater will last the test of time it’s best to store it in a breathable sweater bag or colorless box.
Treating Stains on
If your cashmere gets a stain, it is best to get professional help. Dry cleaners like Fashion Cleaners know how to care for cashmere and have special solutions and processes to care for special garments. If you do want to try treating it on your own, here are a few tips.
Immediately after something spills on you try to gently blot up the stain then use cold water and gentle stain remover. Then you want to wash the sweater as normal without extra attention to the stain.
Some Cashmere CareTips from the Expert Brunello Cucinelli
Although we consider ourselves experts on most all fabrics, when it comes to cashmere nobody knows more than Brunello Cucinelli, he has been creating luxurious cashmere pieces for over 30 years. He even has a closet full of cashmere himself, here a few tips from the master of cashmere, Brunello Cucinelli:
- Never dry-clean the cashmere unless you have a tricky stain or it is requested on the care label
- Don’t put cashmere in the washing machine (it ages the cashmere fibers much faster)
- Fill a container full of water to wash
- Warm water for solid cashmere pieces
- For printed pieces or pieces with more than one color use very cold water
- The soap, he recommends a tablespoon of gentle hand soap or detergent that’s made for knitwear (like Woolite) and dilute with about 1.3 gallons of water
- If you need to use a softener try a natural one like white vinegar (chemicals can alter the fabric of cashmere)
- Let the cashmere soak for 2-3 hours in the water- don’t move it in the water!
- Gently squeeze out the water until all the soap and water are gone
- Don’t twist! It may take some to get it all out, so repeat as necessary, If needed lay garment between two dry towels and roll it up and press until the towels have absorbed all the water. Repeat with new towels as needed.
- Lay on a soft towel to dry
- If you need to iron the sweater (don’t let it touch the cashmere directly) use another piece of cloth between the iron and the cashmere
- Cucinelli prefers to store cashmere in a colorless cardboard box with cedar disks inside
- A lightweight fabric bag also works, but a box he says, “gives material more room to breathe, and the cedar disks deter moths while adding a subtle scent”
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