Care Secrets: Tips from Cashmere Nurse Dilek Can
Since the launch of the Allude Cashmere Clinic, a truly unique care and service concept, unrivalled at least in Germany, Dilek Can has served as the “head nurse” at Christophstraße 6 in Munich Lehel. After a little more than a year we interviewed her for the Allude online magazine, asking her about her daily experiences at the clinic and her secret tips on cashmere care at home. By the way: the Cashmere Clinic does not only treat cashmere pieces by Allude. Find out more here. But now straight to the interview with Dilek Can:
How many cashmere pieces have you treated so far?
Since the opening we have accepted and treated more than 2,200 “patients” at the clinic alone. In addition, more than 2,000 further “problem children” have reached us by online order, not only from Germany but many other European countries.
What has been your most difficult case so far?
The biggest challenge was a heavily matted jumper that we were asked to save. It was a thick-knitted sweater by Chanel, which unfortunately had been spun too fast and had come out of the drum as stiff as a board and two sizes too small. This tends to happen with heavy sweaters in particular, because they are often still dripping wet after the wash, and it is tempting to spin them a second time. But that would be fatal! Instead I recommend washing a heavy jumper together with a towel, in order to compensate for the unbalance mass in the washing machine.
How did you manage to save the patient?
When matting has occurred due to incorrect care, there’s often no cure, because the scales on the surface of the wool fibre have interlocked. In some cases it can help to wash the affected “patient” with the Allude Conditioner – several times is best—which is like a deep conditioning hair treatment for the wool fibre.
A real insider tip: Depill the dry garment afterward, very thoroughly and carefully, with a high-quality cashmere comb. With a bit of luck and patience this will help remove the matted uppermost layer and return its elasticity to the wool. In the case in question the customer’s favourite piece was almost as good as new after it had been steamed (wool loves steam!). We were quite proud of the result!
Most often our customers come to us because of moth holes in all sizes. In addition it turns out that squirrels, dogs, cats, carpet beetles and rose thorns also belong to the natural enemies of cashmere. Another daily occurrence is holes caused by rubbing against trouser buttons, belt buckles, zippers and jewellery. We reinforce worn-out elbows at an early stage mesh by mesh, but later on and in the long term, the only thing that helps are leather patches, which we gladly apply on request.
Do men come to your clinic as well?
In fact it is the gentlemen who need our help even more often than the ladies. It’s not rare for us to hear: “I know the Allude Cashmere Clinic through my husband’s recommendation.”
What was the most touching reaction to a successful treatment?
We get to hear kind and enthusiastic words almost daily. “You’re fantastic!” “True artists” or “Incredible! You can’t see anything!” Some clients also thank us for saving their treasured pieces with a box of pralines or a bar of chocolate. One gentleman was so happy about the repair and care of his favourite jumper that he came back to the clinic the next day with a giant bouquet of flowers. I was very moved.
What are absolute no-go’s when it comes to cashmere?
In no circumstances should you store cashmere clothes on a hanger, as this will cause them to lose their shape! Additional hazards are open wardrobes, humid conditions in the wardrobe, and leaving worn garments lie around for longer periods of time. All this will attract moths, cashmere’s worst enemy. During the summer it’s best to store the clean garments in protective plastic covers (available also from Allude), put in a lavender sachet, and move them once in a while.
Some other things that will do a disservice to your favourite pieces: spinning them too fast, washing them in too hot water, and using the wrong laundry detergent. We recommend a maximum temperature of 30 degrees when washing in the machine and spinning at a speed of 600 rpm as well as using a high-quality cashmere detergent. If you simply don’t dare caring for your cashmere pieces yourself, feel free to bring them to us, where they’ll be in good, experienced hands. We’re looking forward to seeing you!
You can find all facts about the Allude Cashmere Clinic, including a price list, and, of course, more about our fantastic cashmere care series right here on our website.