Cashmere is one of my favourite fabric.
Not only it is light and soft but it keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer.
However, a good cashmere is expensive and therefore must be handled very carefully when washing, storing and removing pilling.
How to wash a cashmere:
I used to ask my mother to wash my cashmeres but it wasn’t fair for her to wash them every time I visited and it wasn’t fair for me to wait to wear them again. So I decided to begin to wash them myself (about time!).
However, before I washed them for the first time, I gave my mother a call to be sure about the instructions, in order to avoid a potential and irreversible desastre.
I had to read some articles in English to find the right words for this post and this is how I found an article from Martha Stewart using exactly the same steps than my mother. So if my mother AND Martha Stewart say the same, it should be the only way to do!
Normally, a cashmere should be washed after 3-4 times of wear.
To wash a cashmere, you need:
– A soft detergent
– 2 towels
– A sink or a basin
Fill the sink or basin with cold water.
I chose the basin method today because I share an apartment with 5 guys and even if I clean the sink, I will never be confident that it’s 100% clean (if you see what I mean…).
Add some soft detergent, the softer the better.
Immerse the cashmere.
Swish gently but make sure not to stretch it.
Soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
You have here 2 possibilities:
Either you put the cashmere under the running water (cold).
In that case, the pressure must not be too strong or it could stretch it.
Or you refill the basin with clean and cold water.
Swish gently to rinse.
Repeat until all detergent is gone (no more bubbles of soap in the basin).
Then, in both cases, ball up the cashmere and squeeze out all the water without stretching or twisting.
Lay the cashmere on a towel on a flat surface.
Roll the towel and the cashmere together.
Squeeze it as much as you can to remove the moisture. Personally, I walk on it, even if I’m pretty sure that it’s not the conventional method.
Put the cashmere on another towel on a flat surface to dry.
If you hang it, the weight of the water will stretch it out of shape. Keep it away from heat sources like sunlight and heating.
How to store a cashmere:
I’m obsessed by moths so I put moths killers in all my storage areas. I particularly put some near my cashmeres until the famous French brand of cashmere, Eric Bompard, gave me some mothproof breathable bags to store them.
Fold your cashmere neatly.
Put it in a breathable bag if possible.
Lay it flat in a drawer or on a shelf.
Never hang it or it might stretch and lose its shape.
How to prevent and remove pills on a cashmere:
I hate when my cashmeres pill.
Apparently, it’s not a question of quality. However, cashmeres with short fibers are more subject to pilling that cashmeres with long fibers.
So far, I only have one cashmere that doesn’t pill. It’s one of the less expensive I bought and I love it so much that I call it my “travelling cashmere” because it follows me everywhere.
Pilling is mostly caused by rubbing and friction on the fabric surface so try to avoid to wear rough clothing, jewelry or straps when wearing a cashmere.
However, if pilling appears nonetheless, there is a cure. You can remove the pills with a debobbling comb or even with a razor blade. But be careful not to cut the fabric.
I don’t really like how the cashmere looked like where pilling has been removed but I have to admit that it becomes softer.
To buy a cashmere is an expensive purchase that can turn in an excellent investment. Indeed, if you treat your cashmere with care, you’ll keep it for ages.