Cashmere is one of the finest natural fibres in the world and is combed from the undercoat of Chinese and Mongolian goats. Knitwear made from this precious and delicate fibre is luxurious to wear but requires a little more care and attention than products made from coarser wools.
Is cashmere hard to care for?
No, but cashmere is a luxury fabric that’s meant to last, so it should be treated with care. Hand washing is the best way to keep your cashmere looking new. Follow our easy step by step care guide and your cashmere will last longer.
How to hand wash your cashmere.
Turn your garment inside out. Prepare a basin or bowl, making sure it is clean and free from any chemicals from previous use. Fill with tepid water plus a generous capful of specialist cashmere washing detergent or a mild detergent for delicates. Submerge, swishing gently with your hands before leaving to soak for around 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly using the same method as washing, press out the excess water, but do not wring. Saturated garments should not be lifted before excess water has been gently squeezed out, as they may stretch. A short, light spin in a washing machine will remove most of the water. Lay your knit out flat to dry, away from sunlight. Reshape while damp – never hang your cashmere as it will distort the shape and fit.
Can you machine wash cashmere?
We don’t recommend machine washing, but if time is precious then our advice would be: turn your garment inside out in a wash bag and choose the most delicate setting for wash and spin – at 30ºC/86F. Re-shape while damp and dry flat.
What is the best way to store cashmere?
Caring between washing and wearing is also important. Always store when it’s freshly cleaned, so it’s free from perfume, body oils and deodorant. Gently fold your cashmere and place in a breathable bag.
Keep Your Cashmere Free From Moths
There are a variety of ways, the most effective is to prevent their arrival in the first place.
1. Never put clothes away dirty. Sweat, hair and food stains attract moths and make it more likely for the female moths to find the perfect site for their eggs to hatch.
Wash your cashmere with a mild washing detergent. If you are thinking of storing your cashmere for the summer then do so in zip storage bags in a clean cupboard until the next season.
2. Moths hate light and being disturbed. Their life cycle is about 21 days, so every month open your drawers and shake your clothing. You might even consider airing your clothes in the full sun as larvae are strongly repelled by light and will fall from clothing.
3. It may sound strange, but try freezing moths out, a method that works particularly well with cashmere. Wrap the cashmere in acid-free tissue paper and put it in a plastic bag. Freeze overnight, then defrost slowly. This will kill anything, including moth larvae.
4. Use anti moth products such as cedar balls, hanging sachets and infusers and put these in your drawers or loop them round your hangers to keep the moths at bay. They are made using ingredients such as lavender, rosemary, clove or cedar wood and as much as we love this smell, moths absolutely hate it. However, remember to replace these products every season.
5. Keep your wardrobes clean. Make a habit of completely clearing them out, vacuum and then clean using water and all-purpose detergent.
What is pilling?
After wearing your new cashmere garment for the first times you might find small balls of fibre forming on the surface. These small balls or “pills” are caused by some of the loose fibre tangling together as areas of your garment are rubbed during wear.
The “pilling” is not indicative of inferior quality – it is an inevitable consequence of the careful processing of this fine fibre. Pills can be easily removed by hand or by using a cashmere comb.
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.