As we all know washing cashmere must be done with care, so here’s some top tips from the experts at Harpers Bazaar on how to avoid ending up with a sweater that would fit your two year old.
1. Rules for machine washing
“I never hand wash cashmere because too much water is left in the garment and that can ruin the fibres. I machine wash them on the wool programme, which is a gentle cycle, using only organic laundry liquid for clothes. Remember, cashmere is a natural fibre and chemicals ruin it by draining it of its natural oils,” Lili di Michele, Delam
“Wash in a wool-wash programme, no more than 30 degrees with no more than 800RPM spin. Put cashmere in a netted washing bag first, as this protects the garment from being overspun. I use Johnson’s baby shampoo. It’s very mild and inexpensive,” Marielle Wyse, Wyse London
2. Rules for hand washing
“We recommend hand washing using a pure soap shampoo. Never hand wash in hot or boiling water or using a classic washing powder – and never twist or dry on a hanger,” Design team, Barrie
“Squeeze the suds gently through the garment, then rinse several times in water of the same temperature,” Rosie Sugden, Rosie Sugden Scottish Cashmere
3. How to dry it
“Try rolling your jumper in a towel to squeeze out the water,”Design team, Barrie
“Don’t wring or squeeze hard, just lay the garments flat on a towel and ease back into shape. Dry naturally away from direct heat such as radiators or sunlight. Do not tumble-dry,” Rosie Sugden
4. Fold, don’t hang
“The easiest way to keep cashmere looking and feeling luxurious is to avoid hangers. We advise our customers to fold items, as hanging products can cause them to lose shape over time,” Alan Scott, the creative director of Johnstons of Elgin
Harper’s Bazaar fashion team recommendation: Once cashmere is completely dry, fold it up and store in a zip-lock bag. This will help your cashmere avoid any moths too.
5. Dealing with pilling
“With the softer cashmere, always use a cashmere comb (not a shaver or a de-bobbler machine) and a pony-wool comb. After a few wears, comb to remove initial pilling,” Marielle Wyse.
6. Store carefully
“Moths seem to love cashmere as much as we do, so we recommend mothballs, cedar balls and lavender-oil sachets to deter them. Including a lavender-oil sachet inside an individual, breathable, cotton storage bag alongside your cashmere is a great way of keeping the moths away,” Alan Scott
“Why not try freezing your cashmere garments? Simply put them in a plastic bag and freeze for a day or overnight. Then defrost them slowly and this should kill anything including moths and moth larvae. This may sound to be a strange route but has been proven to work,” Rosie Sugden
“Moths don’t like light and being disturbed. Their life cycle is 21 days, so every month, open your drawers and give your cashmere pieces a good shake. To be extra safe, you can air out your clothes in the sun as larvae are strongly repelled by light and will fall from clothing,” Design team, Chinti & Parker
Harper’s Bazaar fashion team recommendation: Total Wardrobe Care’s lavender-oil diffusers do a great job here.