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Cashmere Care

A brief note about knitwear….

It’s a common belief that the more you pay for a sweater the better it should hold up. Not necessarily so – since there are many variables in every sweater. Knitwear is made up of a series of interlocking loops made from a continuous yarn. It is naturally a more delicate product than woven clothes such as jackets, blouses and jeans. Some sweaters are knit loosely, to give you a light and gauzy effect that’s perfect for summer. This type of knit can be more delicate than say, a fine gg wool or cashmere sweater. When handling or wearing your knits, be careful around children and pets since sharp objects like claws and toys can cause runs and snags that are almost impossible to repair.

Pilling is a common occurrence that happens to almost all knits, especially those that have wool content. It often happens when your sweater rubs against something like a purse or a rough texture. We use pure and natural materials of high quality. The pill balls that naturally will start to appear in high friction areas can be mechanically removed, most effectively with a sweater shaver. You can also remove pill balls by gently pulling them off with your fingers. We highly recommend investing in a good sweater shaver and following the care instructions for cashmere below. This way, your favorite knits will stay fresh and new looking for years to come.

CASHMERE 

It is important that you care for your cashmere correctly to ensure it keeps its soft hand and luxurious quality.

Cashmere yarn comes from the wool of the cashmere goat. It is soft, luxurious and warm. It is also rare and expensive. There are many places in the world that breed cashmere goats – and every manufacturer will try to convince you they make the best. The simple story is this – demand is greater than the supply. Cashmere is better the finer the hair and the longer the fiber. The finest cashmere comes from goats that live in Mongolia. And a cashmere goat does not produce a lot of that fine, downy undercoat that it needs to get though the cold, harsh winter where it lives. Once a year, the goats get herded to a central location to have its fine hair harvested by combing. That’s right. Each goat gets combed and yields about 20 grams of cashmere hair fine enough to be used for luxury sweaters. This is no easy feat considering the remoteness of the areas we are talking about. For the record, one cashmere sweater weighs about 200 grams. In other words, it takes 4 goats and a harsh winter to make a cashmere sweater. We think we owe it to the goats to make sure we care for the sweater in the best way we can.

Firstly, always take care when putting on, or taking off, your sweater. Because cashmere is so soft, be careful not to overstretch the neck opening or any delicate seam, which could cause the yarn and the seam to break.

HOW TO CARE

Cashmere can be dry cleaned or hand washed.

To hand wash, follow these care instructions:

  • Turn the sweater inside out to wash the fabric where stains and odors build up on the inside, closest to your body.
  • Prepare your clean basin or sink with lukewarm water and a mild laundry shampoo. Mix shampoo and water until combined. Do not use any bleach or harsh detergents, which will remove the natural oils in the cashmere fibers and cause the sweater get fluffy and hairy – which cannot be reversed.
  • Submerge sweater and gently wash using your hands. Lightly squeeze the sweater in the soapy water. Do not rub. Wash quickly. Do not let the sweater soak.
  • Thoroughly rinse the sweater in cool water, until the water runs clear and clean of any soap. Press out excess water. Do not twist or wring out the sweater.
  • Place the sweater flat on top of a towel. Then roll up the towel with the sweater inside, applying pressure to squeeze out any excess water.
  • To dry, place the sweater flat on another clean, dry towel on top of a mesh drying rack. Gently pull the sweater into shape. Make sure all the ribs and cuffs are closed and tight together, not stretched open.
  • Dry in an airy place away from direct sunlight or any direct heat.
  • When dry, gently steam the sweater to shape. Steam through the sweater to lift the top surface, making sure not to directly iron and press the sweater which could damage the fiber.
  • Pills are normal in a cashmere or wool sweater. It is a sign of ordinary friction from daily wear. You can refresh your sweater by using a sweater shaver. Use it to remove pills from areas commonly affected by friction. Your sweater will look new much longer if you periodically maintain the surface in this way.
  • When finished, fold flat and store your sweater. Never hang, this will distort and stretch out the shape.

 To dry clean, follow these care instructions:

  • If you decide to dry clean your sweater, ensure the dry cleaner is experienced in cleaning cashmere.
  • Advise your dry cleaner of your preferred chest and length measurements, so they can block the garment to your correct size.

STORAGE

  • If storing for any length of time, first wash the sweater, then fold and place them in a cotton dust bag or pillowcase. Place each sweater in its own bag – if one gets attacked by moths, you won’t lose all your sweaters. Store them in an air-tight bin with natural moth repellents such as cedar ships or lavender sachets. Be aware that the use of moth bolls can leave a strong odor on your sweater. Whichever you choose, make sure to place it between the cotton and the container, not directly on the sweaters. Store your bins in a cool, dry place.
  • DO NOT store in sealed plastic bags, as the sweater will not be able to breathe.

Dry cleaning will keep your cashmere looking new, and without the obvious effort that it takes to wash and care by hand. However, the chemicals can build up over time in your sweater and can take away from the natural loftiness and luxurious feel. We prefer the old-fashioned approach which is more environmentally friendly and kinder to our planet.

Let us know if you need any more advice and we will try to help you if we can!