We always recommend Drycleaning your Cashmere on the care instructions sewn inside your Hideseekers garment. Often our Cashmere is embellished, screen-printed or trimmed, so it needs careful and meticulous attention when laundering to prolong the life and quality of your garment. A lot of our customers prefer to leave this to the professionals. If you do have the time and inclination to proceed with washing your Cashmere at home, here is how it’s best done.
Firstly only ever wash your Cashmere in tepid lukewarm water, in a clean sink or plastic basin, and never expose it to direct heat from the hot tap. Heat is the enemy of wool and leads to shrinking. Use a small amount of wool wash or a gentle baby shampoo (Cashmere is goat hair after all), and ensure it’s fully dissolved in the water before you immerse your Cashmere and begin washing.
Second, never wring or stretch your Cashmere when wet. Wool is wonderfully elastic, but it can be pulled out of shape permanently if handled carelessly while being washed. Almost all woollens fare best when washed by hand rather than in the machine, because the fibres are covered in microscopic scales that tend to lock together when sweaters tumble in the washer. Cashmere fibres, which have fewer of these tiny scales, can be washed in a lingerie bag, on your machine’s ‘Dedicates’ or ‘Wool’ setting, if you have a good quality newer model washing machine. But they’ll last longer if washed by hand.
When you have the Cashmere immersed in the water gently squish and press the soapy water around your garment to clean. Carefully lump the Cashmere up to lift from sink or basin, do not pick up sweater by shoulders as this will cause stretching. Remove garment and discard washing water.
Rinse thoroughly, using the same temperature water as you used to wash with – lukewarm only.
After squeezing out water, lay the sweater on a white towel on a flat surface (a white towel prevents dye transfer from towel to sweater). Gently roll the towel and sweater together to remove moisture, squeezing and pressing as you work (like a sausage roll).
Dry woollens flat to keep them from elongating, on a moisture-resistant surface, a drying rack or similar, which lets air circulate. Keep it away from sun and heat. Coax the sweater back into its shape, squaring the shoulders, placing the sleeves parallel to the body, and squaring the hem.
To de-crease, iron inside-out on the lowest heat setting using a damp cloth between the cashmere and the iron, keeping it moving. Or, if you can, steam it using a hand-held steamer. Never iron directly onto any screen-print or Leather Trim.
And finally tempting as it may be, try to avoid wearing the same garment too frequently. Allow the garment two or three days’ rest after a day’s wearing. A good reason to buy that second colour!
MOTHS LOVE CASHMERE
Moths eat only on natural fabrics and consider stained Cashmere a delicacy! Mothballs and cedar chips will help protect against moths, as will storing in dry clear plastic boxes (just check regularly to ensure there is no moisture inside box).
If you have already found these nasty pests, remember that the lifecycle of a moth is about 21 days. So every month it is a good idea to give your cashmere a good shake out. The moths hate being disturbed and don’t like the light, so briefly airing the garments in day-light then shaking and refolding should remove any pesky larvae that may be lurking.