Maria Loizou

Guest Editor



How to Care For Cashmere

A cashmere jumper is one of the most luxurious garments a person can own. Stylish and wearable all year round, a good quality cashmere jumper or cardigan should be a staple in everyone’s wardrobe.

Cashmere is a delicate type of wool that is made from the neck hairs of goats that are found in the Gobi Desert. While cashmere is a sartorial staple for every season, it can often seem like a commitment. Worries of shrinking, damage from moths, or endless pilling can cause concern, but a good quality cashmere garment must be carefully looked after. That's why Karen Millen has collaborated with Clothes Doctor, an eco-friendly clothing care company, to provide you with a complete cashmere care guide.

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How Often to Wash Cashmere

The first thing to know about cashmere is to avoid washing it too much. The more frequently it’s washed, the more wear and tear on the garment. How often cashmere is washed is down to personal choice, but the less washes, the better it is. A couple of washes per season is good enough.

If thinking of washing cashmere in order to avoid odours, utilise a deodorising spritz that is like dry shampoo, but for clothes. This will help to cut down the number of washes while keeping cashmere fresh and clean.

How to Wash Cashmere

Karen Millen How to Wash Cashmere

For when a wash is unavoidable, try to wash your cashmere by hand - a machine hand wash setting is fine (as long as it is a cold and low spin), but handwashing is always better.

Before starting, be sure to turn the cashmere garment inside out to protect the outer fabric fibres. Fill a basin, tub, or a sink with warm water (no more than 40 degrees). Add in 2-3 capfuls of specialist cashmere detergent and allow to mix for five minutes. Clothes Doctor has an Eco Laundry Detergent specifically to care for your cashmere, which is delicately scented with Himalayan Cedarwood and Orange Oil.

Be sure to wash each garment separately, in order to avoid colours mixing. When the water is ready, submerge the cashmere and let it soak for 30 minutes.

To complete a hand wash for cashmere, rinse out all the detergent in your garment with clean cold water, take care to not to pull at the material to avoid any mis-shaping.

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How to Dry Cashmere

Karen Millen How to Dry Cashmere

Cashmere must be dried with care to preserve its quality and shape. Most importantly, it should be noted that cashmere should never go into the tumble dryer, as this will shrink the piece.

Instead, air dry cashmere, following the below steps.

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    Never wring out the material as it will ruin the shaping and pull the fabrics. If there is excess water, roll a towel with the sweater inside until most of the moisture is gone.

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    Place cashmere on a dry and hard flat surface whilst still damp and reshape it. Be careful not to pull the fabric, just gently mould it back into its shape.

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    To finish the process, place the cashmere on a fresh towel, leave it out of sunlight, and let it air dry naturally in a warm space.

How to Avoid Pilling

Pilling is caused by the cashmere fabrics rubbing whilst being worn; and it is more likely to happen around the elbows and sides of a jumper.

To keep on top of cashmere pilling, there are two key steps. Firstly, when washing cashmere there are many ways to prevent any bobbling, and then secondly if any bobbling does still occur there are easy measures to get rid of it.

A lot can be done in the washing stage to prevent pilling. Handwashing piece by piece limits the amount of friction with the fabrics and thereby avoids pilling. When washing cashmere, always use cashmere specific detergents as they protect the delicate fibres more.

Then finally, a good general practice to help avoid pilling is to rotate wearing pieces to allow the fabric to rest between wears and reduce any friction.

How to Store Cashmere

Karen Millen Store Cashmere

While your knitwear is more likely to be stored away for seasons at a time, cashmere can be worn all year round. So remembering these storing tips throughout the will keep cashmere looking new and free from holes.

To prevent moths becoming attached to cashmere, there are a few storing tricks that help to deter them. Firstly, make sure cashmere is clean when putting away as moths love stained and soiled garments. Then, to prevent any more getting into the wardrobe, use Clothes Doctor’s Natural Moth Repellent Bags, these keep moths at bay and also make cashmere smell amazing.

To keep your cashmere in great condition, never hang your garment and instead always fold it as this maintains the structure and shape of your jumper.

If putting your cashmere away for a long period, store the garment in a cotton bag to eliminate the moisture around the cashmere that helps moths thrive.

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