How To Make Cashmere Knitwear Last Longer

  • Carrie Jackson
Cashmere, renowned for its opulence and timeless beauty, stands as a symbol of luxury in the fashion industry. When treated with care and respect, this exquisite fabric can withstand the test of time, granting you decades of highly insulating, feather-soft service. However, the longevity of cashmere often depends on the way in which it is stored and laundered. There are, indeed, a firm set of do’s and don’ts when it comes to handling high-quality cashmere. Read on to find out how you can make your cashmere knitwear last longer.

Wash Your Cashmere Infrequently

Overwashing can quickly ruin your cashmere garments. Unless your knitwear is stained or visibly dirty, washing it after every wear is unnecessary. As a rule of thumb, limit washing your cashmere knitwear to every seven to ten wears. You can always spot clean minor stains using a gentle, diluted detergent, baby shampoo, or a specialised product explicitly formulated for stained cashmere. Simply apply your chosen product to the affected area with a cotton swab, rubbing gently to loosen the stain. Leave it for around 30 minutes before rinsing it in cool water.

Hand Wash In Cool Water

When the time comes to wash your cashmere knitwear, following the correct procedure is vital to preserve its quality. The number one rule of laundering cashmere is to never put it in the washing machine or dryer. Instead, hand washing in cold water using a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics is recommended. Steer clear of harsh detergents or bleach, as they can cause irreversible damage to fragile cashmere fibres. Similarly, washing cashmere in hot water can cause shrinkage, so be mindful of the temperature.

Lay Flat To Dry

Unfortunately, there is no quick way to dry cashmere. After washing, gently press the moisture out of your garments - never wring them, as this can damage the fibres. Once damp rather than soaking, the best method of drying your feather-soft knitwear to preserve its quality is to lay it flat on a towel in an airing cupboard - this process will take around 24-48 hours. It is also crucial to avoid hanging your cashmere garments on clothes hangers, particularly when wet, as this may result in stretching, warping, and even tearing.

Shave Your Cashmere Regularly

Over time, you may notice your cashmere garments becoming fuzzy or forming small balls of fabric known as pills. You can avoid this untidy appearance and keep your garments looking as good as new by shaving them. While this may sound eccentric, gently shaving your cashmere with a clean razor will quickly remove the halo of fuzz that accumulates on the surface of your garments. Avoid pressing too hard, as this may damage the fibres. Alternatively, you could use a product specifically designed for this purpose, such as a cashmere comb.

Store In A Cool, Dry Environment

As mentioned, storing cashmere knitwear on clothes hangers isn’t advisable and may result in stretched misshapen clothing. To safeguard your cashmere items, choose a cool and dry storage location away from direct sunlight, such as a cupboard or drawer. Fold or roll your garments carefully and place them into protective canvas storage bags. Avoid using plastic bags when storing cashmere, as they can trap moisture and lead to fibre deterioration. Careful storage will keep your cashmere hoodies, sweaters and scarves soft, supple and fresh.

Avoid Mothballs

Mothballs can be an excellent method of deterring the pesky, winged insects hellbent on chewing your garments to pieces. However, the chemicals in mothballs can damage delicate cashmere fibres. Fortunately, there are numerous alternative moth repellents you can try, such as cedar chips or cedar balls. You can also make your own moth repellent by adding dried lavender and rosemary to an organza bag. Not only do these herbs help to keep moths away, but they will give your garments a delightful subtle fragrance. Here is a recipe for an effective DIY moth repellent.

Handle With Care

Above all, treating your cashmere knitwear with care and respect is the best way to keep it in good condition for longer. This luxurious fabric is known for its delicate nature, necessitating a gentle touch. Avoid any rubbing or tugging on the material, as this can lead to tearing and pilling. Handling your garments carefully will ensure you get years of wear, making them worth every penny.

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