Taking good care of your cashmere is essential if you want to maintain the beauty and softness of your garments over time. But how should you take care of it?
First of all, let's dispel the myth that cashmere must be dry cleaned. Except in special cases where dry-cleaning is highly recommended, e.g. when a garment is finely worked or elaborately embroidered, cashmere can be washed either by hand or in the washing machine!
Having said that, all that remains for us to do is to start off with these 7 tips for maintaining the quality of your cashmere:
1) Do not wear it for several consecutive days
If you want to keep the quality of your cashmere garment intact, the first rule is: do not wear it for several consecutive days. Why? You will run the risk of overstressing the fibres and speeding up the appearance of pilling, which we will discuss in point 6.
2) Wash it inside out
This rule applies to both hand washing and washing in the washing machine: whether it's a sweater or a cardigan, it doesn't matter; wash it inside out! It is important that the garment does not flap around too much during washing in order to maintain its quality. If you need to wash a scarf or pashmina, you can put it in an underwear net before putting it in the washing machine.
3) Do not use fabric softener
Fabric softener is not recommended for cashmere because the ingredients flatten the fabric and the garments wear out: use a small amount of mild detergent instead!
A trick? Using a tablespoon of mild bleach when washing your cashmere garment sanitises the fibres without damaging them!
4) Dry it carefully
The best way to dry cashmere items is to lay them on a drying rack with a dry, absorbent towel underneath: shake them lightly and leave them to dry freely away from direct heat sources.
Avoid wringing and twisting the garment: tumble drying is not recommended! Instead, dab gently with a towel to help absorb the water from the fibres.
5) Iron at a low temperature
First of all, shape your garment with your hands: arrange the neck, the shoulders, the flounce, the sleeves.
Iron at a low temperature on a horizontal surface and possibly with a cloth to avoid damaging the fibres, always keeping the garment inside out.
6) Use a pilling comb
Pilling is a natural process caused by wear and has nothing to do with the quality of a garment: the finest threads loosen, rub against each other and form small balls.
To overcome pilling, use a cashmere comb to gently brush the garment. Forget about cashmere razors: there's too great a risk of tearing holes in the knitwear!
7) Put it back correctly in your wardrobe
Once washed and dried, you can insert tissue paper inside your cashmere garment before folding it to prevent moisture from damaging the fabric.
Before putting it in the wardrobe or drawer, be sure to put it in a non-airtight plastic bag with cedarwood or camphor balls inside to keep moths away; cinnamon and clove sachets will also do the trick!
Remember to change the moth-proof bags every 2 or 3 months, and your cashmere clothes will be ready to wear again next winter!