6 Cashmere Care Tips You Need to Know
If it’s not starting to cool off where you are not, cashmere sweater weather is just around the corner. And if you haven’t stocked your wardrobe with a few new cashmere pieces yet, it’s time to start shopping. Cashmere is one of the most versatile, luxurious and longest lasting items you’ll have in your closet, however, it’s also one of the most delicate. It’s easy to ruin a beautiful cashmere sweater by not treating it with care so here are a handful of tips to help you make your new favourite wardrobe piece stay soft and shapely.
1) Mind Your Jewelry Choices
Cashmere is delicate, especially when it’s the finest knit. If you are someone who always likes to have something around their neck or wrist, you may want to re-think your choices. A pendant necklace with a chain could easily get snagged on your cashmere. The same goes for a bracelet, especially if the links are small. Pearls and cashmere are a beautiful pairing, provided and less likely to cause any snagging.
2) Avoid Shoulder Bags
Most of us have one or two favourite fall bags that we like to sling over our shoulders and fill with everything but the kitchen sink. The issue with that, is that rough materials like leather or even vegan leather can rub against the cashmere and either cause pilling or thinning on the shoulder. You may want to consider a clutch or wearing your handbag over your coat so it’s not rubbing directly against the cashmere.
3) Avoid Machine Washing if You Can
Cashmere is likely not something you’re going to wear every day, so it’s probably not getting so soiled that it would need to go through a machine wash. Yes, there are plenty of high end washing machines on the market, complete with all kinds of fancy settings, but the truth is, your clothing pieces are still being ‘agitated’ and cashmere needs a delicate touch. Hand-washing is the best way to clean and care for your cashmere. All you need is a clean sink or basin, a teeny bit of washing liquid and a gentle tousel.
4) Always Lay Flat to Dry
One of the golden rules of caring for cashmere is to never put it in the dryer, but to always lay it flat to dry. Cashmere can easily become misshapen if it is hung up while wet. Lay it flat, on top of a soft towel, and be patient. It does take longer to dry this way, but it's the only way to keep the integrity and shape of your cashmere.
5) De-Pill Before Washing
Again, you’re not wearing your cashmere daily, in fact, you may not even be wearing it weekly, so there is nothing wrong with doing a little maintenance after each wear. It’s best to use a ‘knit comb’ which is a specialized comb that gently removes the tiny balled up pieces of cashmere that form on the surface of your sweater. There are plenty of DIY hacks to de-pill regular wool sweaters, but they’re not great for cashmere. De-pilling before it goes in the wash is the most effective way to get rid of them.
6) Store Your Cashmere Carefully
You may cram those merino wool sweaters into a giant plastic vacuum bag and shove them in your basement in between seasons, but you guessed it, cashmere needs a more thoughtful home. Wherever you’re storing your cashmere, it needs to be away from direct sunlight, dust and dampness. Because cashmere is a natural fibre, it will easily degrade if it sits sealed in wetness. Fold them and keep them in tissue paper, or, use cotton bags made specifically for delicate knits.
Your cashmere is one of the most precious things in your wardrobe, it’s a beloved investment. The more care you put into it, the more enjoyment you’ll glean from it, and the longer it will last.