Cashmere – soft, expensive and luxurious, it’s not a fabric to take for granted! Which is why the way we care for our cashmere is of the utmost importance.
When it comes to washing your cashmere items – be it a jumper, scarf or coat – you need to keep in mind the delicate nature of the fabric. If you were to wash it in the same manner as your cotton or polyester clothing, you’d be sure to do some irreversible damage.
So how do you wash cashmere?
We’ll start with a caveat – it’s always safest to send your cashmere to the dry cleaners. As seasoned professionals, they’ll be able to give your cashmere items the level care they require, with a much lower chance of accidentally shrinking or damaging an item.
However, some people still prefer to wash their cashmere at home, and in this case, there are a few tips you can follow.
1. Pretreat spots
When you wash cashmere, you always need to do so with very gently. Therefore, any spots or stains will need to be loosened beforehand with a pretreatment.
Soak you cashmere item in a container with a gentle stain-fighting solution for 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to wash it, and you’ll increase the chance of removing stains fully.
2. Hand wash or use the lowest machine setting
If you want to wash your cashmere at home, it’s best to opt for hand washing. This way, you can fully control the temperature of the water, the amount of detergent added and the level of vigour used.
Always use cold water when washing cashmere, as hot or warm water can damage the fabric. Utilising detergent made especially for delicate fabrics, you can use your hands to clean the items in a clean basin.
Afterwards, let it soak for about 20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly, but be mindful never to wring out your cashmere.
If you’re determined to clean your cashmere in the washing machine, then you’ll need to be hypervigilant. First, ensure that you’re using the lowest, gentlest setting available.
Often, the washing machine will have a ‘Wool & Cashmere’ setting, or something labelled ‘Delicate’. This is the best option, as it will use cold water and gently wash your items.
3. Opt for a special detergent
It’s best to wash your cashmere on its own, and when doing so, use cashmere-specific detergent.
Usually made with a gentler formula than regular detergent, using cashmere detergent will help you guarantee that your items are washed safely.
4. Use a mesh bag
If you’re going to use the washing machine for your cashmere items, it’s best to place them all in a mesh bag made especially for this purpose.
By placing them in the mesh bag, you’ll guarantee that they don’t snag on anything in the drum whilst the cycle is in progress.
5. Never use the dryer
Even if you use the washing machine, you must never use the dryer for cashmere items. This is sure to shrink and ruin the delicate fabric, making it impossible to wear in the future.
Instead, let your items air dry on a flat surface. Avoid handing up your cashmere jumpers when drying, as the hanger can leave indentations in the shoulders of the jumper.
As previously stated, it’s always safest to send your cashmere to the dry cleaners.
But, if you’re insistent of washing it at home, follow our tips above for the best results!