Few things in fashion are as luxurious and beloved as cashmere.
This luxe natural fiber is one of the warmest, softest, and most insulating yarns in the world. And, because cashmere is also is incredibly fine (even finer than human hair), it offers superior warmth without any bulk.
To be sure, there is a price to be paid for this cozy goodness. But, because cashmere is long-lasting, you can enjoy your favorite pieces for years with proper maintenance and care.
First thing first.
"A cashmere knit is like a book. It is something to save and go back to time after time. It is the feeling of an embrace." –Brunello Cucinelli
Buy better. Cashmere production is laborious and requires great attention to detail. Rushing and/or adding chemicals to processing breaks down the natural fibers, rendering them prone to breakage and shorter lifespans.
Sadly, there are also fraudulent goods that are labeled 100% cashmere, but are actually laced with fur from….well, you don’t want to know. All this means that if you find a product that claims to be cashmere for a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ price, chances are it is indeed too good to be true.DO NOT dry clean only.
Ignore the label. Dry cleaning involves harsh chemicals, which will break down natural fibers over time. (In a pinch - sure, but use a trusted cleaner.)
The best way to clean your cashmere knits is to hand wash them. Yes, I said hand wash. And unless your washing machine has a ‘hand wash’ setting, do not be tempted to use the ‘delicate’ setting. Over-agitating cashmere fibers will cause them to shrink and break. Alternatively, gentle hand washing will make your cashmere fluffier and more lustrous over time.Ready, set, handwash.
Don’t panic - There is absolutely no need to wash your fine knits every time you wear them. In fact, don’t. Assuming you have avoided major stains or excessive sweating, you can wear your cashmere three or four times before washing (or even more if you wear a base layer underneath).When you are ready to get to hand washing, pick one night each month and follow the step-by-step guide from our our guru’s at The Laundress.
- Pre-Treat any stains with The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar. Be sure to give pre-treatment to the underarm, neckline, and cuffs as well.
- Turn your knit inside out and separate into same or like colors for washing.
- Fill a clean sink with cool water. (And I mean cool to cold. Any heat while washing will cause the yarn fibers to shrink.)
- Add two capfuls of The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo. It’s pH neutral, which means it will protect your delicate yarns over time.
- Submerge like and same color knits and lightly (hand) agitate in the soapy water to evenly distribute the detergent.
- Soak for 20 - 30 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water until the water runs free from soap bubbles.
- DO NOT ring out. Press your (now) clean knits against the side of your sink to release the water.
- Lie flat on a drying rack or clean towel. To speed the process along, lay your cashmere knit on a towel in its original shape, and roll up in the towel to help remove excess water.
Now that you’re committed to hand washing your fine knits, go the extra mile to keep them in the best possible shape for seasons to come.
Steam clean in between washings. Or hang in the shower for about an hour post wearing.
De-pill your knits. Natural fibers will form fuzz balls in areas where friction occurs. To remove them, I recommend The Laundress Sweater Comb to keep yours fuzz-free and to release natural oils that rejuvenate yarns.
Fold to store. But remember, natural fibers need to breathe. Fold all clean, aired-out knits and stack them no higher than five to a pile.
Until next time,