How to take care of cashmere
Style Edit15 Nov 2018 | Ask Sophie
Cashmere Guide – Everything you need to know
THE perfect investment piece for basically all year round: A cashmere sweater. If you have never purchased an item made of 100% cashmere, the number on the price tag might come as a bit of a shock. But what makes cashmere so special? Why is it so much more expensive compared to other kinds of wool? What can I do to keep cashmere in good condition for as long as possible? How to wash, dry and store this luxurious material? In this little cashmere guide, I’ll give you all the answers.
1. What is cashmere?
Cashmere wool comes from a particular goat species. They live in the highlands of Kashmir, an area located between India, Pakistan, China, and Nepal where the temperatures reach -40 degrees Celsius. To survive those extreme conditions they have a special coat structure: The outer hair is coarse and waterproof. The second layer, the undercoat is super soft and provides the goat with warmth – only this part is used in the production of cashmere.
2. Why is cashmere so expensive?
This is easy: the demand for cashmere is much higher than its production. The production level is not only limited to the area where the goats can be bred but also to a specific season. Apart from this, the wool is very labor intensive and the transport costs are high.
3. Cashmere – Dry clean only?
Contrary to the common belief, dry cleaning cashmere is not necessarily a good idea. The toxic chemicals used for dry cleaning can break down the fibers.
4. How to wash and care for cashmere?
Here are some tips on how to give cashmere the respect it deserves and how to keep it in good condition for many, many years.
Tip 1: Hand wash only! Use two capfuls cashmere shampoo or baby shampoo.
Tip 2: Fill your sink with cool water. Turn the sweater inside out, submerge it to make sure it is evenly soaped all over and massage gently with your fingertips. Now allow the garment to soak for 10-30 minutes.
Tip 3: Rinse your sweater with cool water until there is no soap left.
Tip 4: Gently press the water out without wringing! Just place it on a dry towel and roll it up. Now allow the sweater to air-dry!
Tip 5: Do not hang cashmere as it will de-shape your garment!
Tip 6: Do not to “overwash” cashmere! Only wash it a few times a season and use a freshening spray between washes.