Knitwear has year-round wardrobe appeal, which is why an investment into sumptuously soft, cashmere is often worth making. Whether in the form of a cashmere jumper, a cardigan or even for luxuriating at home in premium loungewear, there’s a multitude of options to add to your repertoire. As with caring for leather and silk, it’s important to ensure that you properly look after your cashmere clothes so that they last, whilst still ensuring that the quality remains - which is why Karen Millen has curated the ultimate guide to ensuring your cashmere stands the test of time.
How to Wash Cashmere
Whilst cashmere is a delicate material and should always be washed with care, more modern cashmere pieces have been pre-washed, meaning they can be used in the washing machine without worry of coming out shrunken or completely ruined. However, it’s vital to always ensure that the temperature is set to less than 30 degrees, with the programme set to a gentle spin. When it comes to what type of washing detergent you should use, whilst there are now specialist offerings, it’s best to use non-biological powder – and you should never use fabric softener or conditioner with cashmere, as it coats the fibres, as well as flattening the surface structures which wears the clothes out.
How to Hand Wash Cashmere
Hand washing cashmere is a relatively simple task, however it’s important to again remember the importance of keeping the water at a lower temperature. Look to a mild detergent to mix with the water, before submerging your cashmere in the basin for approximately five minutes before gently rinsing clean.
How Often Should you Wash Cashmere
Due to cashmere’s more delicate nature you should avoid washing it too frequently. It’s recommended that you do wash it approximately every four wears. If you’re conscious of over washing, this period can be extended if you wear a cashmere product layered over another piece, and of course, if you come across a stain this should be treated sooner rather than later.
How to Dry Cashmere
Looking after your cashmere throughout the cleaning process is important and drying with precision ensures your pieces are in a high-quality condition when you decide to wear them. Air drying a cashmere knit is the best way to do this, which is placed flat on a surface for up to 24 hours. If drying a hand-washed piece, when removing excess water it’s imperative that you don’t wring out the product as this may stretch the material, instead roll your cashmere jumper or other piece into a ball whilst laying it flat on a towel.
How to Store Cashmere
Keep your cashmere looking beautiful for longer by properly storing, especially during the summer months when you’re wearing it less frequently. Cashmere should always be stored folded, be it in a drawer or on a shelf as the gravity from hanging can pull it out of place. When folding a cashmere jumper you should fold the arms under the jumper then horizontally fold it in half to keep any creasing lower.
If leaving your cashmere for a longer period of time you can store it in a cotton or linen bag with a proper closure. This allows the air to still get in, whilst avoiding the risk of moths ruining your pieces. Always store in a dry, cool place.
How to Stop Cashmere from Pilling
‘Pilling’, a name given to small balls of lint that form on the surface of clothing, provoked by friction from different surfaces, or even just on itself is sadly inevitable, no matter how good the quality of your cashmere is. All is not lost - by simply putting some attention in you can ensure pilling is kept at bay.
Investing in a cashmere brush to lightly remove any pilling is one remedy for this, after washing once you have lay down your cashmere piece you can gently brush it to remove this. Additionally, steaming can help your clothing to retain its structure, minimising the chance of extra pilling. Spreading out wears is an extra solution for this, allowing the fibres time to revive themselves. Plus, by taking the actions to wash and dry your cashmere with care, this will all work as one to reduce pilling and ensure your cashmere lasts.