Tips: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for your Cashmere
As we anticipate the cooler weather in Dublin, we find comfort in the return of our beloved cashmere season at Theo + George. While the nostalgia of summer lingers, there's an undeniable satisfaction in wrapping ourselves in the cozy luxury of autumn's staple—cashmere.
With the changing seasons, we often notice an uptick in inquiries from our valued customers seeking advice on the best care practices for their cashmere garments. In light of this, we're revisiting some practical tips to ensure the longevity of your wardrobe essentials over the coming months.
How to wash your cashmere
- Pick the right cleaning solution! You need a product that doesn’t strip away the softness of the fibres. I suggest using baby shampoo as it’s not as harsh on fabric and you still have that softness like you just bought it yesterday! Use about 1 tablespoon depending on how much cashmere you are washing. If you use a fabric softener it will only flatten the fibres.
- Just the right temperature! Fill up your sink or whatever is preferred with lukewarm water. Wash it thoroughly but be gentle with the garment! Make sure to leave the cashmere in for at least 5 minutes. Do not scrub the cashmere side by side.
- Rinse that Cashmere! Drain the sink and fill it with new warm water. Getting rid of the excessive shampoo.
- Remove the cashmere! Once the cashmere is removed from the sink cup it into a ball squeezing out any excess water from the garment.
- Pat Dry! Place the cashmere on a dry towel and fold it into small sections (upward motion), drying out the cashmere.
- Finishing Touches! Leave it flat on a rack to dry with a towel underneath it. Turn it every day for quick drying time. Have in mind that cashmere can take days to dry. For a faster finish. Turn the cashmere inside out and place it in a dryer on a low heat for 2 minutes max, letting it dry after.
If you feel your cashmere needs a more intense wash! (i.e you’ve food on your cashmere)
- Turn your cashmere inside out and place it in a pillow with other towels to cushion the cashmere in the washing machine.
- Tie a knot in the pillow cash to secure the clothes don’t fall out.
- Use a very small amount of baby shampoo as a substitute for detergent.
Note: Just make sure your machine doesn’t have an agitator. Use front-loaded washing machines only!
Comb Your Cashmere: Tackling Pilling with Ease
After the initial wears of your cozy cashmere sweater, you may notice the appearance of small, fuzzy balls on the fabric's surface—this is known as pilling. Fear not, as this is a completely normal and expected phenomenon with cashmere.
Why does pilling occur? Pilling happens when loose fibres on the surface of the fabric intertwine and form tiny balls. This is a natural part of the wearing process, especially with softer and more delicate materials like cashmere.
How to address pilling:
Gentle combing: Invest in a fabric comb or a cashmere comb specifically designed for this purpose. Gently run the comb over the pilled areas, using short strokes to lift and remove the fuzz. I personally love the cashmere shaver by Steamery.
Light pressure: Ensure you use light pressure while combing to avoid damaging the fabric. The goal is to delicately lift the loose fibers without causing stress to the underlying material.
Regular maintenance: Make combing your cashmere a part of your regular garment care routine. By addressing pilling early, you can keep your sweater looking fresh and well-maintained.
Wash with care: Follow the recommended washing instructions for cashmere, using a gentle detergent. This helps minimise the occurrence of loose fibres.
Avoid friction: Be mindful of abrasive surfaces, as excessive rubbing against rough textures can contribute to pilling.
Storage matters: Store your cashmere items folded rather than hanging to minimise friction and potential pilling.
Don’ts for cashmere
Dry cleaning isn’t always better: Since researching online and from previous experience, I have found that dry cleaning can be more hard on cashmere fibres due to dry cleaners using harsh chemicals. This will, in turn, wear down the fibres of your cashmere. (Plus you're saving a money!)
Be careful: Never hang your cashmere it will only lose it’s shape and begin to stretch over time. *If you have a thick cashmere jumper you can hang it on padded hangers. Just remember ever so often to readjust the jumper so it doesn’t stay in the same shape on the hanger.
Resting your cashmere: Don’t overwear your cashmere. You must let your cashmere sit between days of wearing. On days of rest, the fibres have time to shape back into original position. Making your cashmere last longer.
Do’s for cashmere
Always fold: Fold your sweater placing arms tucked behind. To avoid lines running in your cashmere jumper.
Storage Matters: Place your cashmere in a ziplock bag and store in a plastic box. When storing your cashmere put no more than 3-4 pieces on top of your cashmere. Any more garments will be too heavy thus losing shape.
Keep cashmere clean: Before storing your cashmere away for the summer (Irish people this doesn’t relate to you) remember to always have clean cashmere. This prevents the attraction of moths. If you do have a moth problem. The best way to get rid of them is to wrap the clothing in a plastic bag and place it overnight in a freezer. Let it thaw on a towel the next day.
Tip: To keep your cashmere smelling fresh place cedar chips in your storage box.
Not sure if you can tell but we love cashmere here at Theo + George! We recognise the value of preserving your wardrobe essentials with sustainability in mind. While the care process might seem meticulous, it is an investment in the longevity of your clothes—pieces that transcend fleeting fashion trends and become timeless staples in your collection, all while respecting the planet we call home.