How to: Care for Cashmere (At Home)
Soft, luxurious and oh so warm, what could be better than cashmere? You might have heard that this perfect winter staple is high maintenance and dry clean only but have no fear. Whether it’s for a sweater, for socks or for a scarf, here is the easiest way to care for your cashmere to keep it feeling soft.
When to wash cashmere
You might think that you need to wash your cashmere as often as your other clothes. Surprisingly, you only need to watch it every 2 to five wears to keep it nice. It’s made out of goat hair and actually gets softer with age so don’t worry about not washing as often.
Why to hand wash cashmere
Even though tags will usually suggest you dry clean your cashmere, hand-washing is nearly as easy and will prevent contact with unnecessary harsh chemicals.
How to wash cashmere
Fill a clean sink or a large bowl with cold water and mild detergent (we like Woolite or Laundress, but you can also use baby shampoo, seeing as cashmere is simply goat hair, after all). Agitate the water a bit before you drop in the goods.
Gently massage the soapy water through the sweater – think of it like you’re kneading bread – no pulling, tugging or wringing, or you risk changing the shape of the item. If you are washing a sweater, be careful to keep the item clumped together when handling it wet because the water adds weight and can stretch it out (if you hold it by one end). After massaging all the grime out, replace the soapy water with clean cold water and rinse.
How to dry cashmere
Press and rub out the access water. Again, do not wring or twist the water out. Just press press, blot blot. You can also lay the cashmere item flat out on a towel and then roll it up, squeezing the water out. After you’ve gotten most of the drips out, lay the item flat in the shape you want it to dry in. This is especially important if it’s a sweater because if you don’t flatten it right away it will be impossible to get unwrinkled unless you rewet it. Let the cashmere air dry and be sure to keep away from the heater because heat can make it shrink.
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