How to Wash, Dry and Store Your Cashmere Clothing

Cashmere is a fine fabric, and so there are really only three options when it comes to washing it. You can wash it by hand, using the ‘hand wash’ setting on a good washing machine, or you can take it to a dry cleaner.

How to care for cashmere clothing and fabric

How to Wash Cashmere by Hand?

This is normally considered the best way, as there is attention and control throughout the process. Gentle soap (like baby shampoo), cool water (30°C) and proper drying techniques are key.

Check for any stains that might need additional treatment. Assuming there are none, lay your garment flat on a table or similar surface. Brush the garment (or shave it using a wool-shaver) to remove any pilling, both inside and out. Some people use a lint roller to remove any excess fluff.

Fill a washbasin or (very) clean sink with water up to 30°C in temperature. Leave room for the garment; don’t overfill. Add a capful of cashmere wash or baby shampoo per item. A second basin or sink filled with clean water makes the process much quicker, if available. Otherwise, you will need to drain, rinse, and refill your basin or sink in order to rinse the garment.

Wash your garments, starting with the lightest-coloured one if there are several, by gently swishing each one around in the soapy water – be careful not to stretch it. About five minutes should do it. Once this is done, put it in the rinse basin, or in a safe place while you change the water in your sink or basic. Don’t rinse under the tap, as this will stretch the garment out of shape. Repeat the rinsing process until all soap is out of the garment. A gentle swish through the rinse water will assist in this process.

To dry the garment(s), gently press excess water from it (you may use a towel for this if you don’t have a drain basin) – but never wring them. Lay your garment out on a towel and gently roll towel and garment up together until the entire garment is covered. Apply gentle pressure. Once this is done you can unroll the towel and garment, and lay the garment out flat on a dry surface. Stretch it into shape if need be. Avoid direct sunlight or surfaces that may leech colour into the garment during drying.

Once dry, fold and store your garment. Do not hang it, as this will cause stretching.

How to Was Cashmere in the Washing Machine

This can be quicker than hand washing, but slightly increases the risk of damage to your item.

Check the label to ensure that the garment can be machine washed. Avoid using a top-loading machine, as side-mounted drums are easier on the fabric. Treat any stains before washing, and shave or comb the garment as discussed above. Turn the garment inside out and put it in a mesh bag to protect it from snags and stretching. If in a bag, it can even be washed with similar items rather than alone. A capful of a suitable cashmere detergent and that’s all you need.

Use a ‘delicate’ or ‘hand wash’ type cycle, no hotter than 30°C, and a short spin cycle.

The drying process is the same as for hand washing.

Using the Dry Cleaners for Cashmere

This requires little explanation, but be sure to request a gentle detergent and be clear that it is a cashmere garment.

 How to clean cashmere hats

Frequently Asked Questions

Can all cashmere products be machine washed?

No. Some manufacturers recommend avoiding machine washing.

Can I use fabric conditioner on cashmere clothing?

No. Some specialist products, like Woolite, may have a small amount of softener in them, and adding a single drop of vinegar can increase softness, but do not add anything else.

Do I have to dry clean cashmere clothing?

No. Dry cleaning is the easiest way to clean cashmere garments, but is hard of the fabric. It can lead to stretching and fading. Hand washing is best. Proper machine washing is next best.

What temperature is best to wash cashmere?

The ideal is 30°C. A little lower is fine, but we do not recommend going higher than 30°C. Colder water is less effective at removing stains and discolouration, while hotter water can make colours bleed and cause garment to shrink or warp out of shape.

Should I iron cashmere clothing?

You can iron cashmere, but never place the iron directly against the cashmere garment. Instead, turn the item inside-out, use a damp cloth over the item, and the lowest heat. Even then, move the iron over the garment quite swiftly, avoiding lingering over a particular spot.

If cashmere is washed and dried correctly, ironing should not be necessary, but if for some reason wrinkles are apparent this technique should do the trick.

How should I store cashmere clothing?

Storing cashmere in a breathable bag is the best way to keep it clean and dry. Cedar balls or lavender can help to keep moths away and avoid damage. Avoid using plastic bags and cardboard boxes, as these can fade the colours of your cashmere item.

How do I get rid of wrinkles in my cashmere clothes?

There are two ways to get rid of wrinkles in your cashmere item.

The first is to use a garment steamer.

If you don’t own one, you can iron your item – but you’ll need to be careful. Never place the iron directly against the cashmere garment. Instead, turn the item inside-out, use a damp cloth over the item, and the lowest heat. Even then, move the iron over the garment quite swiftly, avoiding lingering over a particular spot.

 

How to Remove Bad Stains from Cashmere Clothing

How to remove bad stains from cashmere sweater

When you’re out, looking good and feeling better in your beloved cashmere jumper, it can be a moment of sharp panic when you first see that dribble of red wine or dot of chocolate sauce hit the beautifully-soft surface, but it needn’t be the end of its useful life. It is possible to remove stains from cashmere, and you can even do it at home, rather than going through an expensive trip to the dry cleaner.

Removing Red Wine Stains

Let’s take a look at how to remove red wine stains from cashmere. The keys are to act immediately, have the right items on hand… and don’t panic.

  1. Act immediately - As soon as you detect the stain, treat the spot immediately. The longer the substance is allowed to soak in and dry, the more difficult the stain will be to remove. Wait long enough, and it may be there permanently.
  2. Turn it inside out - The theory is that the stain has less distance to travel out of the garment if it is inside out when being washed. We’re not sure about the physics of this, but it seems to help, so why not try it? In any case, since we would normally wash cashmere in an inside-out position, doing so here will protect the outer surface of it from damage just like any other wash.
  3. Assemble your equipment - Anything that stains is probably partially or mostly made up of a liquid. If the stain is water-based, treat it with clean water (about 30°C) and pH-neutral washing up liquid. You don’t want to use harsher soaps or detergents, as the alkalinity of these products will cause the stain to set, rather than removing it.
  4. Wash your garment - Dab the stain with a sponge – never rub or scrub it – and frequently rinse the garment with cool (not freezing cold) water. About 30°C is best. Rinse gently, keeping the garment away from water running directly from the tap, as this will cause damage and stretching.
  5. Dry your cashmere - Once the stain is gone, it’s time to dry the garment. First, gently press excess water from it (you may use a towel for this if you don’t have a drain basin) – but never wring it. Lay your garment out on a towel and gently roll towel and garment up together until the entire garment is covered. Apply gentle pressure. Once this is done you can unroll the towel and garment, and lay the garment out flat on a dry surface. Stretch it into shape if need be. Avoid direct sunlight or surfaces that may leech colour into the garment during drying.

Removing Coffee Stains

This technique should work for coffee, tea and even fruit juice stains.

  1. Act immediately - As for any stain, the more quickly you treat it, the better the chance you will get the stain out. Don’t wait.
  2. Turn it inside out - The theory is that the stain has less distance to travel out of the garment if it is inside out when being washed. We’re not sure about the physics of this, but it seems to help, so why not try it? In any case, since we would normally wash cashmere in an inside-out position, doing so here will protect the outer surface of it from damage just like any other wash.
  3. Assemble your equipment - Anything that stains is probably partially or mostly made up of a liquid. If the stain is water-based, treat it with clean water (about 30°C) and pH-neutral washing up liquid. You don’t want to use harsher soaps or detergents, as the alkalinity of these products will cause the stain to set, rather than removing it.
  4. Wash your garment - Dab the stain with a sponge – never rub or scrub it – and frequently rinse the garment with cool (not freezing cold) water. About 30°C is best. Rinse gently, keeping the garment away from water running directly from the tap, as this will cause damage and stretching.
  5. Dry your cashmere - Once the stain is gone, it’s time to dry the garment. First, gently press excess water from it (you may use a towel for this if you don’t have a drain basin) – but never wring it. Lay your garment out on a towel and gently roll towel and garment up together until the entire garment is covered. Apply gentle pressure. Once this is done you can unroll the towel and garment, and lay the garment out flat on a dry surface. Stretch it into shape if need be. Avoid direct sunlight or surfaces that may leech colour into the garment during drying.

Remove Chocolate Stains

Chocolate can be one of the worst stains to deal with, but as with the others, the situation is not hopeless.

  1. Act immediately - Act right away. The longer the substance has to soak in and dry, the harder it will be to get it out. Eventually, it will be there permanently. Don’t wait.
  2. Remove excess chocolate – Without rubbing it in further, remove any excess chocolate. Tipping the surface of the garment upside down may cause some to fall free, and using a spoon or butter knife to loosen some of it (best while upside down) can help too. Once your efforts are spreading more than they’re removing, go to the next step.
  3. Turn it inside out - The theory is that the stain has less distance to travel out of the garment if it is inside out when being washed. Maybe this is true, maybe not, but since we would normally wash cashmere in an inside-out position, doing so here will protect the outer surface of it from damage just like any other wash.
  4. Wash with water - Chocolate stains seem to come out well with water. Dab the stain with a sponge – never rub or scrub it – and rinse the garment with cool (not freezing cold) water at about 30°C. Rinse gently, keeping the garment away from water running directly from the tap, as this will cause damage and stretching. You can soak persistent stains in a wash basin with cool water and a small amount of pH-neutral washing up liquid. Don’t leave it in for more than about twenty minutes though. After taking it out, rinse as normal.
  5. Dry your cashmere - Once the stain is gone, it’s time to dry the garment as normal. Gently press excess water from it (you may use a towel for this if you don’t have a drain basin). Never wring it, as this causes stretching. Lay your garment out on a towel and gently roll towel and garment up together until the garment is covered. Apply gentle pressure. Once this is done, unroll the towel and garment, and lay the garment out flat on a dry surface. Stretch it into shape if needed. Avoid direct sunlight or surfaces that may leech colour into the garment during drying.

Remove Make-Up Stains

Makeup can be difficult to remove. Some expensive brands are made to stay on through difficult conditions (rain, tears, sweat) and so can be hard to remove. Some cheaper brands are high in oils and other ingredients that make them difficult to remove as well.

  1. Act immediately - The longer the substance has to soak in and dry, the harder it will be to get it out. Eventually, it will be there permanently. Act right away.
  2. Dab away what you can - Blot away whatever you can, being careful not to rub or spread the substance any further. Holding the garment upside down might help to free up some drips or excess liquid or powder.
  3. Add baking soda - This won’t damage your cashmere, but will help to lift any greasy stain. Leave it to absorb as much grease as it can in twenty minutes, then shake it off.
  4. Soak your garment - Soak the garment in a tub or clean sink, in cool water (about 30°C), nor freezing cold. Don’t use soap or detergents except for pH-neutral washing up liquid. After ten minutes of soaking, it’s time to wash and dry the item.
  5. Wash your garment - Hand wash and then rinse gently, keeping the garment away from water running directly from the tap, as this will cause damage and stretching.
  6. Dry your cashmere - Once the stain is gone, it’s time to dry the garment. Gently press excess water from it (you may use a towel for this if you don’t have a drain basin). Never wring it, as this causes stretching. Lay your garment out on a towel and gently roll towel and garment up together until the garment is covered. Apply gentle pressure. Once done, unroll the towel and lay the garment out flat on a dry surface. Stretch it back into shape if needed. Avoid direct sunlight or surfaces that may leech colour into the garment while it dries.

Remove Champagne Stains from Cashmere

Don’t want a stain to ruin that special occasion? Follow these steps.

  1. Act immediately - The longer you wait, the harder it is to get a stain out. Do it right away.
  2. Turn it inside out - This seems to help the stain to leave the item more quickly – it’s also the normal way to wash your garment.
  3. Wash your garment - Dab the stain with a sponge. Don’t rub it or scrub it. Rinse the garment with cool water (about 30°C) until it’s gone. Rinse as gently as possible, avoiding a flowing tap.
  4. Dry your cashmere - Press excess water from it on a basin or using a towel. Never wring it. Gently roll a towel and your flat garment up together until the garment is covered. Apply gentle pressure. Unroll the towel and lay the garment out flat on a dry surface. Stretch it back into shape if needed. Avoid direct sunlight or surfaces that may leech colour into the garment while it dries.

How to Stop Your Cashmere from Pilling

Pills are the little balls of fluff that can develop on the surface of certain fabrics, including cashmere. They make your garments look bad, but there are ways to get rid of them. 

Why does cashmere pill?

When the short fibres twist around themselves, pills form.

How can I stop cashmere from pilling?

Proper washing and care will minimise them, but there is no way to prevent them entirely.

How can I de-pill my cashmere clothing?

Using a cashmere comb is the best way, but careful use of a razor blade can also be effective.

How to Stop Moths Eating Your Cashmere

Moths love cashmere as much as we do, so to protect your garments, you’ll need to get proactive.  

Why do moths eat cashmere clothes?

Cashmere contains keratin, which is an important food for moth larvae. Moths will therefore lay their eggs in cashmere if they get the chance.

How do I get rid of the moths?

Cleaning and vacuuming wardrobes and carpets is effective, along with using protective garment bags, cedar and mothballs, and lavender. Some combination of these efforts usually works best.

Shop Cashmere Clothing at Italy in Cashmere

Now that you understand how to care for cashmere, why not shop the full range of cashmere clothing now available to buy on Italy in Cashmere.

We have cashmere wraps, cashmere jumpers, cashmere ponchos, and cashmere hats for sale online.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5744349/

https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/IJRDM-05-2013-0117?fullSc=1&journalCode=ijrdm