Caring for Cashmere

Pashmina GoatsAbout Cashmere

Cashmere wool products are made from the fine undercoat fibers produced by a cashmere or pashmina goat.

Cashmere is gathered during the spring season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat. Cashmere goats produce a double fleece that consists of a fine undercoat of hair mingled with a straight coarse outer layer of hair. 

For the fine undercoat fleece to be of the right quality for producing cashmere garments, it must be de-haired, a process that separates the coarse hairs from the fine hair.

After this stage, the resulting "cashmere" is ready to be converted into yarn.

Caring for Cashmere

Friction causes pilling. It's important that before washing you de-pill your cashmere by hand or use a knitwear comb. Pilling reduces over time.

Apply a gentle gliding action as you go across the garment and to avoid ‘snagging’.

It's also a good idea to remove any small particles or hairs with a lint roller before storing or washing cashmere garments.

Washing Cashmere Sweaters, Shirts, Socks, and other Knitwear

Always treat stains and pre-soak before washing cashmere knitwear.

Cashmere knitwear can be hand washed or dry-cleaned. Some cashmere can also be washed using the handwash, delicates or woolens cycle on your washing machine.

Turn each item inside-out before washing.  This prevents abrasion during the washing process and protects the colours within dyed cashmere.

Hand Washing Cashmere

Hand washing is the preferred method and you should use a specialist mild detergent.  When hand washing, submerge the garment fully and agitate the water and detergent gently by hand. The detergent should be gently squeezed through the garment and not rubbed or wrung. This will prevent mis-shaping to the garment being washed.  Then rinse through with warm water to remove detergent – this may need several rinses to complete. Avoid stretching and do not lift out the garment until the excess water has been squeezed out or slowly spun in the washing machine. 

After washing your cashmere garment, it should be gently re-shaped back into its original shape and laid flat on a towel away from direct heat or sunlight until dry – We do not recommend tumble drying cashmere.

Hand washing will prolong the life of coloured dyes in your garments.

Machine Washing Cashmere

Only wash cashmere in a machine of permitted by the manufacturers’ care label in the garment.  Do not use biological detergents, but use a specialist cashmere laundry liquid and do not set water temperatures over 40 degrees.  Use a ‘woolens’ or ‘delicates’ setting for the wash.

Dry Cleaning Cashmere:  Dry cleaning cashmere garments not only cleans but also helps eliminate any clothes moth larvae and eggs.

When your cashmere clothing is dry, depill again if required by hand or using a knitwear comb and you may press it lightly with a cool iron to remove any slight creases. Ideally use a steamer. 

Storage and Clothes Moth Protection for Cashmere

Cashmere wool garments should be stored clean – this is critical because clothes moth larvae feed on human and animal hair and skin which is a form of protein, and they are also particularly attracted by food stains and the residual from perspiration, which also provides the moisture that is essential to their survival 

Do not hang cashmere knitwear – it will probably lose shape.  We recommend that cashmere clothes are stored neatly folded in storage bags in a dark and dry place. 

If you are storing your cashmere clothing for a long period we recommend that you periodically shake the clothing and air in bright light to deter any potential moth larvae settling.  An alternative approach is to freeze overnight in a sealed bag any garment that may not be able to be washed.  Any moth larvae will be killed and the ‘fluffiness’ of the cashmere is likely to be enhanced by the freezing process.

Check out our post for more on Caring for Cashmere clothing.

At Moth-Prevention.com we provide a number of solutions to eradicate moths and their larvae, as well as prevent further moth damage to your clothing.

For severe infestations by moths and elimination, check out our full Clothes Moth Killer Kits.

For ongoing monitoring of moth activity shop for Clothes Moth Traps.

 


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