Easy Caring: 11 Tips for Perfect Cashmere Care
Delicate, cuddly and elegant. Few other natural fibres are more fascinating and popular than cashmere. Anyone who has touched or worn cashmere even just a single time, falls for it at once and remains loyal to it forever. To make sure that cashmere stays soft and beautiful long after the purchase, label founder and creative director Andrea Karg here reveals a few basic maintenance tips. For starters: it’s best to just banish fabric softener from your laundry room right away.
1. Do cashmere products require special care?
Yes, cashmere is a very soft material that requires special care. The good thing: it is easy for anyone to care for cashmere at home.
2. How often should I wash my cashmere jumper?
That depends on how often and for how long you wear it. My rule of thumb: cashmere should go into the laundry after the fourth time of wearing at the latest. High-quality cashmere actually gets better with every wash. It is only with time that the wonderful fluff will form on the surface that makes a cashmere jumper so incredibly soft and cuddly.
3. What about fabric softener?
Fabric softener is not recommended for cashmere! The ingredients will flatten the surface structures, and the clothes will wear out. If you want to do something good for your cashmere piece, use a commercially available hair conditioner or our Allude Condition. It is added after every tenth wash to the wash cycle. This extra bit of care makes the jumper luxuriously soft again. By the way: A jumper that feels especially soft is not necessarily of high quality. If it is somewhat grippable and not too fluffy, you can assume that it has been handled with care. In most cases it will then retain its wonderful quality for many years.
4. Does cashmere need to be dry-cleaned?
By no means! Only in exceptional cases, for example when a piece of cashmere clothing is extremely finely knit, elaborately embroidered or woven, may dry-cleaning be recommended.
5. Can you put cashmere into the dryer?
I wouldn’t do that. The fine scales of the wool hair will snag and stick together. The cashmere fabric will shrink and the wool will felt.
6. What is the best way to dry cashmere jumpers?
Lay them flat on a laundry rack with a dry, absorbent towel underneath. Instead of stretching the garment in any direction, shake it out briefly and let it dry loosely in a slightly scrunched-up form. Put up the sleeves and press the cuffs slightly, so that the fabric stays elastic.
7. What can I do if the cashmere knit is no longer soft and cuddly? Dampen your garment, pack it in a freezer bag and then put it in your fridge’s freezer compartment for one to two hours. Then let it dry flat. Straight knitwear may be steamed gently with a steam iron. Make sure the iron does not touch the fabric but is held above it at a safe distance. This process causes the hairs to stand up so that the wool feels cuddly soft again.
8. How do I prevent pilling?
You can’t! So-called pilling is a natural process that is caused by wearing – usually on especially exposed areas such as the elbows or cuffs. It has nothing to do with the quality of a product. The reason for pilling: fine hairs get loose, rub against each other and form small balls. Consistent treatment with a special cashmere comb promises remedy. Use it to remove the loose hairs, wear the jumper and then wash it. Repeat the procedure two or three times. This should stop the annoying pilling and your favourite jumper will look like new again. I would advise against cashmere shavers. The danger of tearing holes into the knitting is too great.
9. How do you remove stains? Absolute don’ts: soaking or brushing, which will only cause the wool to felt. Better: Pour some Allude Cashmere Shampoo onto the stain and put it in the laundry! Make sure that the water is not hot because the dirt could possibly adhere to the material.
10. What is the best way to store cashmere?
Store cashmere lying flat in a wardrobe or chest, which should be dark, cool and dry if possible. At the end of the season, clean all garments and store them in a spacious wardrobe with ample room. Avoid high and tight-pressed stacks, where jumpers etc. are squashed together. Better: stack all sweaters before you fold them. This will prevent wrinkles. To play it safe, best stack according to weight, with heavy pieces at the bottom and lighter ones on top.
11. How can I keep cashmere safe from cloth-eating moths?
The material we love so much is preferred by moths as well. Human body odours, dandruff and hair in cashmere products downright attract these pests. That’s why you should not keep worn, unwashed clothing in your wardrobe for extended periods of time. It’s best to wrap clean clothes in linen or fabric bags. Hang up a scent bag filled with lavender, thyme, cedar or sage, which will keep away those pesky moths.
Make sure to rearrange your wardrobe at least twice per season in order to prevent the clothes moths from settling in permanently. Air out your wardrobe thoroughly once a week. If it is too late and you notice small, irregular holes in your garments, the only solution is to thoroughly clean the wardrobe and all of the clothes within. Because cold kills the voracious larvae, it can be helpful to shake out the infested pieces and store them packed in a bag in the freezer for a week.
If your favourite cashmere product is substantially damaged after all, a visit to a specialist is recommended. In Allude’s in-house Cashmere Clinic our experts process your treasures professionally and care for their welfare. No matter whether it is small holes or unsightly pilling that are at issue, or you simply want to give your garment a boost with special shampoo and conditioner: The Cashmere Clinic offers the right solution for every problem.
A comprehensive chapter with further recommendations for daily care is also included in the Allude Cashmere book. A must-have for every cashmere aficionado.