Good cashmere should be treasured and cared for but there is a surprising amount of controversy about the right way to do this.
At A Hume we give a lot of thought to how to care for our products. We sell quality brands and people rightly expect their goods to last. So it’s important to us to give our customers first hand info on how to do this. We wear the clothes we sell and over time we pick up tips and hints on how to care for them that we pass on.
Mostly there’s agreement about how best to do this, for example we all agree that leather boots should be dried out slowly without the aid of an artificial heat source that will just crack the leather.
However when it comes to cashmere it’s a different story…..there are 3 camps within A Hume, the hand washers, the machine washers and the dry cleaners. Here we talk you through each one and trust to make your own choice.
This is probably the method most people use but it’s important to get right.
Turn your garment inside out and submerge in a solution of warm water and gentle wool wash product – not regular detergent. It’s important the water is not hot. Gently squeeze the suds through it. Do not rub, wring or stretch the garment.
Spot treat any problem areas with a squirt of neat detergent and massage gently with fingertips.
Rinse in warm water and repeat as necessary until the water runs clear. It’s important to keep the water temperature even throughout the hand washing cycle. Moving the garment from warm water to cold water will cause the fibres to constrict.
Gently press the water out and place the garment lengthwise on a clean, dry towel. Roll up the towel and press to squeeze out excess water – do not wring or twist.
Unroll the towel and smooth the garment into its original shape. Button up cardigans, pull pockets straight and ensure that sleeves and hems are smoothed flat to avoid unsightly wrinkles. Lay it flat on a clean dry towel and allow it to air-dry, or use a flat drying rack if you have one.
Learning that cashmere can be machine washed, and is recommended by luxury brands including Brodie Cashmere, is hugely liberating but there are few things to remember.
Turn your garment inside out and use a wash bag to protect it from abrasion. Place in the machine and select the most delicate setting for wash and spin at -30ºC.
One of the advantages of a delicate machine washing is that the temperature remains the same throughout.
Lay the garment flat on a clean dry towel and smooth it into its original shape. Button up cardigans, pull pockets straight and ensure that sleeves and hems are smoothed flat to avoid unsightly wrinkles. Allow it air-dry flat, or use a flat drying rack if you have one.
Cashmere can be dry cleaned and the advantages are firstly, the ease and secondly, it can deter moths as they don’t like the chemical smell. Which is also one of disadvantages as the chemicals used do undermine the super soft feel of the cashmere.
Pilling is a natural process that happens to all natural yarns after a certain period of wear.
Pilling is the bobbling effect that occurs when fibres become knotted together. It’s caused by friction during wear or by the build-up of static electricity underneath other garments.
These bobbles – known as ‘pills’ – can either be picked off or shaved off using a wool razor or cashmere comb. These are easily purchased for just a couple of pounds.
Fold garments rather than hanging them which can create shoulder dimples and distort the shape of the garment. If you’re super diligent or storing for any length of time fold the garment around tissue and seal in a plastic storage box.
Clean your garment before storage, as fresh stains that may not yet be visible will oxidise and become fixed during storage. Using mothballs, lavender or cedar chips help protect against moths.
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