Many people love the elegant look and soft feel of cashmere fabrics. If you own apparel made from cashmere, it’s important that you properly care for your garments. Understanding the properties of cashmere can help you preserve the quality of your clothing.
Cashmere Fabric’s Properties
Fibre made from the downy hair of a Kashmir goat is known as cashmere. The goat’s fine hair produces a soft, warm fabric used for various luxury garments, from coats and shawls to cashmere jumpers. Cashmere absorbs dyes well, and cashmere fabrics are often vibrantly coloured. However, authentic cashmere is challenging to produce and may cost more than other fabrics. Therefore, when purchasing quality cashmere goods, look for materials with longer, thicker fibres.
Benefits of Wearing Cashmere
Cashmere has several advantages over other types of knitwear. For example, cashmere is an excellent insulator, which means even a lightweight jumper can keep you warm. Cashmere fabrics tend to be softer and less itchy than wool. The fibres are more elastic and less stiff than some other common knits; thus, cashmere garments tend to drape well. Furthermore, cashmere is a resilient fabric, and when cared for properly, it can last for years.
How To Clean Your Cashmere
Some people choose to have their cashmere items, particularly accessories and outerwear, cleaned professionally on a seasonal basis. However, you can clean your favourite cashmere apparel at home as well. Cashmere should be washed in cool water. Washing by hand is the best method if you want to prevent wear and tear, but you can use your washing machine’s delicate cycle to clear your cashmere, too. For a hand wash, submerge the cashmere in cool water and swirl it around gently. Don’t wring it out or clean it roughly. Afterwards, you can let it soak for about 30 minutes before beginning the drying process. You should wash with a specialty wool detergent or a gentle hair cleanser like baby shampoo. Never use bleach on your cashmere.
Proper Cashmere Drying
You should avoid using a heated dryer or hanging your cashmere clothing to dry, and instead place the drying garments on a flat surface. Dryer machines can damage cashmere clothing, and hanging your cashmere jumper could result in stretching and loss of shape. If you need your cashmere to dry more quickly, you can carefully roll it up with a dry towel to absorb excess water. Also, try to dry your cashmere away from direct sunlight to prevent the colour from fading.
Treating Stains and Wrinkles
If you have a stain on your cashmere, you should treat the area before washing. Using your fingers, gently massage a stain remover into the affected area. Take care not to rub the stain too vigorously, or you could damage the fabric. To treat wrinkles, you can use a steamer or a low-heat iron with a layer of pressing cloth between the iron and the cashmere. You should never use a hot iron directly on your cashmere.
Storage and Preventing Damage
Most cashmere garments should be folded and not hung. For example, hanging a cashmere jumper can alter the garment’s shape and proportion, stretching out the sleeves and shoulders. If you need to store your cashmere for an extended period, consider using a garment bag that can prevent moisture and pests from damaging your items. Friction can cause cashmere to pill or form tiny fabric balls. You can de-pill your cashmere clothing with a comb made for knitwear. Always brush the cashmere in one direction and never use a cashmere comb on damp fabric.
Caring for cashmere can seem difficult, but with the right tools, you can properly clean, dry and store your favourite garments made from this luxurious fabric.