Caring for cashmere can become an obsession.
I see my cashmere cardigans as temperamental children, needing to be washed with care, dried with just as much care, coaxed into shape and put to bed in just the right environment. But you could argue that I take things a little far! How I love my cashmere babies!!
Here are some tips to help you.
- Wait for your deodorant to dry before putting on your jumper or cardigan.
- Do not spray perfume onto your cashmere as it may stain. Moths love to wear perfume!
- Watch out for the effects of purses, jewllery etc as they may cause snags and holes.
- Handwash cashmere (dry cleaning is not really necessary) but use specific cashmere liquid and do not use conditioner. Wash in lukewarm water, never hot.
- Whilst washing take care not to hold up a wet piece of cashmere by the shoulders as it will stretch the garment. Press and squish the soapy water through your garment and do not rub, twist or wring.
- It is important that the rinse water is the same temperature as the soapy water as a sudden change to cooler water may cause your item to shrink.
- After squeezing gently, lay out your semi wet item onto a towel and roll it up. This helps to ease out excess water.
- The garment can then be laid out to dry on a towel or a drying rack.
- Press with a warm iron, never hot.
Does this all sound like a lot of effort? You will soon get into the hang of enjoying this process and it is well worth the effort. Wet cashmere does often smell of wet animal! But this slight odour does disappear once dry. It reminds me that cashmere is indeed a natural product and thus a pleasure to wear.
I have found that the website www.totalwardrobecare.co.ukhas added to my love affair with cashmere. They have the most gorgeous smelling anti-moth products for wardrobes and drawers based on may chang, lemon grass and orange blossom essential oils. They also have a good range of cashmere storage for your out of season clothes.
I particularly love their aloe vera cashmere handwash and the floral ironing water that can be used to refresh clothing. It kills moth larvae to boot and so, in my eyes, is a godsend.