Caring For Your Cashmere Part 2

Caring for your Cashmere
part 2

Investing in a piece of knitwear made from cashmere is a timeless experience. Indeed, it can be seen as one of the ultimate investments in beauty, comfort and luxury.

As with all great investments, cashmere needs to be cared for and nurtured so that it may be enjoyed year after year. The allure of it, by nature, is that it cannot simply be tossed in with the rest of your laundry. Coveted for many years by noblemen and royals, cashmere needs to be granted attention and handled deliberately, so as to preserve it in all of its glorious cozy comfort.

Image via THE GUESTLIST

Along with the appeal of cashmere, comes the mystery behind how best to care for it. Often questions arise after the purchase of a cashmere garment, such as, “How do I care for my cashmere?” or “How do I wash cashmere?” and “Can I machine-wash cashmere?” 


To demystify the laundering of your favorite luxurious knitwear, THE GUESTLIST has not only developed the Cashmere Spa as a service to put circularity into practice and focus on reviving and rejuvenating your beloved pieces - we’ll also take you through a simplified approach to caring for your beloved pieces.

In Part 2 of Caring for Your Cashmere, we delve into some of the more popular questions that arise when looking after your favourite knitwear. 

Can you machine wash your cashmere?

The short answer to the question about machine washing cashmere is that you can, yes.


Is it recommended to machine wash cashmere?

No. 


There are a few reasons for this. You can wash it on a very gentle cycle, but this can compromise the longevity of the quality of the garment. There are also unforeseen factors that can come into play within the cycle itself too - such as nicks, snags or pulls from the inside of the machine or from parts of the garment itself. 

The short answer to the question about machine washing cashmere is that you can, yes.


Is it recommended to machine wash cashmere?

No. 

There are a few reasons for this. You can wash it on a very gentle cycle, but this can compromise the longevity of the quality of the garment. There are also unforeseen factors that can come into play within the cycle itself too - such as nicks, snags or pulls from the inside of the machine or from parts of the garment itself. 

If you do wish to machine wash your cashmere, it is only recommended to do so if your washing machine has the option of a very delicate wash cycle - such as a handwash, delicate, or wool cycle - with a temperature set to a maximum of 30 degrees celsius (86ºF).


Before placing your cashmere garment into the washing machine, place it into a laundry bag. This will help to protect it and ensure that it does not stretch out too much in the wash cycle. What will help preserve your garment even more, is turning it inside out before the wash cycle. When setting up your washing machine to wash your cashmere, it is recommended that you don’t use a spin cycle to dry it - as this can damage the structural integrity of the cashmere. 


If your machine doesn’t give you an option otherwise, keep the spin cycle extremely short, or on a very low setting. It is best to remove your cashmere from your washing machine before the drying cycle takes place, and dry it using the method outlined in the hand-drying instructions - using towels, and reshaping it while it is damp. 

Can You Dry Clean Cashmere? 

To keep your cashmere looking and feeling its best, it is recommended that it is professionally cleaned

This is good to factor in after a season of wear and hand-washing, but also if it has any stains. If the cashmere is woven, such as in the form of a pashmina or if it has a very loose-knit, it can be tricky to wash by hand or at home - so it is advised to get cashmere garments in this form dry cleaned. 


Similarly, if it has small details, such as buttons, clips, panels of fabric on it of different materials, these can all be tricky to reshape and maintain the structural integrity of the garment when you are washing it at home. Dry cleaning your cashmere in such cases is the best option. 

Image via Jordan Bigelow

To keep your cashmere looking and feeling its best, it is recommended that it is professionally cleaned

This is good to factor in after a season of wear and hand-washing, but also if it has any stains. If the cashmere is woven, such as in the form of a pashmina or if it has a very loose-knit, it can be tricky to wash by hand or at home - so it is advised to get cashmere garments in this form dry cleaned. 

Image via Jordan Bigelow

Similarly, if it has small details, such as buttons, clips, panels of fabric on it of different materials, these can all be tricky to reshape and maintain the structural integrity of the garment when you are washing it at home. Dry cleaning your cashmere in such cases is the best option. 

Another advantage of dry cleaning your cashmere is that it makes it less appealing to moths. So prior to storing it after a season of wear, it is a good idea to have your cashmere dry cleaned. 

Image via THE GUESTLIST

How do I keep my Cashmere soft? 

Pilling is completely normal for knitwear that is made using natural fibers. Pills form as loose fibers tangle together as areas of the knit starts to rub against something. It can be recognized as small balls appearing on your garment, even after the first wears, and usually form in areas where there is quite a bit of friction - such as under the arms, between the legs, or where the strap of a bag is usually carried on your shoulder.


To remove these pills, it is a good idea to comb out your cashmere, either using a Sweater Stone or a Cashmere Comb. You could use an electric or battery-operated “fabric shaver” too. But be warned that these can snag the threads of your garment, so be very careful in your chosen de-pilling methods.

How do I Stop Pilling?

A Sweater Stone is a black pumice-stone. When using one, it is recommended to lay your garment flat on a table, and gently drag the stone’s edge along it, following the grain of the garment. It works best to work in one direction and begin in an inconspicuous area (such as under the armpit) until you get the hang of the process. You will want to pick up the stone to change directions as you go, so as to prevent any threads from being picked up and snagging on it. While working with the sweater stone, you may notice an earthy smell - it is a natural aroma that arises when used. As the stone is working away at the pilling, the stone also slightly erodes too, as it is made from a porous form of rock. Once complete, you can remove the collected lint by rubbing your hand across the face of the stone. 


A cashmere comb may also be used to remove the pills. Lay the garment flat and work the comb in short and gentle strokes in one direction. Tight knits may need a little more force, but bulkier knits can use a lighter touch. Remember to remove the collected lint from the device after each use. 

 

When using a fabric shaver, also known as a lint shaver or “fuzz remover”, you can effortlessly remove the pills that appear on your knitwear. This handheld electric device has a rotating blade underneath a blade net. As the blade rotates, it catches the pills in it and trims them off - similar to how an electric shaver would. It is advised not to apply too much pressure when using a fabric shaver, as it can easily snag the threads underneath the pills and damage your garment. Once you have de-pilled your knitwear, it is advisable to remove any lint from the machine and clean it out before continuing the next time.

Image via Courtney Smith

Spot Cleaning your Cashmere

If you are wondering how to clean a stain off of cashmere, then read on. In the unfortunate event that you find a stain or a spot on your cashmere, it may be removed by gently using a moist cloth with cool water on it, in a gentle dabbing movement. Be sure not to use warm or hot water on it, as this may stretch or misshape the garment while you are cleaning it. If the stain is oil-based, you can sprinkle some drops of water on the affected area first, then gently work a few drops of a gentle detergent into the area using a dabbing motion. Using sparkling water is another tactic that you could attempt if the stain is a very recent, small one - as it can be an effective way to lift dirt particles thanks to the air bubbles. Remember to lay your garment flat to dry after the cleaning is complete. 

THE GUESTLIST goes a step further with helping you to care for your cashmere, and create a circular alternative for caring for your pieces. Knitwear made of excellent quality, natural fibers can be sent into the Cashmere Spa to be revived. At the Cashmere Spa, your high-end cashmere, wool, silk, and cotton pieces are rejuvenated and revitalized - in a conscious effort to prolong their longevity. The spa can refresh high-quality garments consisting of natural fibers. Once pampered and rejuvenated, your most adored garments are then returned to you, having been brought back as close as possible to the original condition that you first fell in love with.


Within this process, your garment is inspected, then refrigerated. This refrigerated quarantine is done for 2 weeks; to kill bacteria and protect our workers. After this, all holes, meshes, or other damages are repaired by our specially trained staff. Your item is shaved by hand to remove any pilling of the fabric and make it look as good as new. It is then washed and steamed by hand - disinfecting it and killing off any bacteria that the item might have picked up. This ensures that you are protected when your item returns. After a final inspection, your item is then packed and sent back to you, having received a pampering treatment at the Cashmere Spa. 

After lavishing your luxurious knitwear with a little care and attention, you will find that your cashmere will improve with age, softening even more, and becoming more loveable with every passing year. Indeed, it is in this that heritage is cultivated, as pieces from THE GUESTLIST can be passed through generations to come. There is simply no better feeling than being cuddled in the coziest of cashmere. 



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