Cashmere wool has been used for hundreds of years to make beautiful, soft and delicate garments. Its popularity has endured thanks to its qualities of warmth, cosiness and softness, while it confers an elegance to the clothing it creates.
At Caroline Randell we have a small but beautifully curated cashmere collection with a range of bed-socks, hoodies, trousers and robes. We’re often asked by our customers about how to care for these delicate items, in particular how to wash cashmere, so we’ve put together a guide to make sure you can care for them properly so your cashmere items will give you years of pleasure.
How Often Should You Wash Cashmere?
Cashmere clothes do not need to be washed after every wear. Unless the garment is soiled or stained in some way, we would recommend washing them approximately every 10 wears, or at the end of the cooler season when you’re not going to be wearing them for 6 months or so.
If the garment is stained, it’s really important to try and remove the mark straight away. Once they’ve dried into the fibres, stains are much more difficult to remove. We’ll detail how to do this below.
How to Hand Wash Cashmere
If you take a look at the washing label on a cashmere garment, it will often say ‘hand wash or dry clean only’. It is entirely possible to hand wash your cashmere items without damaging them - in fact, some industry insiders profess this is the best way to increase the lifespan of your clothes, as the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process can damage the fibres.
Contrary to popular belief, cashmere is a durable and strong fibre and not as delicate as people think. However, it still needs to be cared for in the right way to ensure it lasts. It’s important to take care when hand washing your items.
- Fill a sink with warm (not hot) water.
- We recommend using a very mild detergent - our Soak Wash is absolutely perfect for this.
- Add some of the Soak Wash (or a very mild detergent) to the water.
- Put your cashmere item into the sink, and submerge it.
- Gently swirl it in the water to loosen any grime or dirt.
- Leave it to soak for 20 minutes or so, agitating the water occasionally with a gentle swirl.
- Our Soak Wash if rinse free so there is no need to wash again in clean water.
- Gently squeeze (do not wring) the cashmere garment to remove excess water.
- Finally - to dry the item. Do not hang it up as it can stretch it out of shape. Lay it flat on a towel or drying rack. Make sure the garment is lying flat and shaped so it dries correctly.
How To Wash Stained Cashmere
If the garment is stained, it’s key to get to work on it as soon as you can - don’t allow it to dry.
Add some neat Soak Wash (or a mild detergent) directly to the stain and gently rub it in. Leave it for half an hour or so and then follow the same procedure for ‘how to hand wash cashmere’ above.
How to Wash Cashmere in a Washing Machine
While all cashmere items can be hand washed, it is also possible to wash some cashmere items in a washing machine, but care must be taken and always check the label first. For example, our Tabitha Cashmere Socks are machine washable at 30 degrees, but our Cocoa Cashmere Robe is dry clean or hand wash only.
If you do have a cashmere jumper or other item that is machine washable, we would recommend that to protect the item you should use a wool or delicate cycle with a mild detergent, at a maximum temperature of 30 degrees. Again, check the label for the individual item so make sure you are doing the right thing.
Machine washable cashmere will have been washed in a machine before it reaches you so don’t worry; you just need to ensure you take the appropriate care.
Remember not to use fabric softener as that can have a negative impact on the fibres, and try to use a short spin cycle as cashmere dries very quickly.
To dry your items, do not hang them up. Lay them flat on a towel or drying rack and make sure the garment is lying flat and shaped so it dries correctly.
How To Wash A Cashmere Coat
Outerwear cashmere coats typically need to be cleaned less frequently than their indoorwear counterparts. Sometimes, the coats are a cashmere-wool mix rather than pure cashmere and these are often washable in the washing machine, as well as being hand washable. Remember to check the washing instructions on the label for each individual item.
If you machine wash your cashmere coat, adhere to the same instructions as mentioned when we were discussing other items: namely, ensure you use a mild detergent, a cool temperature (a maximum of 30 degrees) and a relatively quick wash cycle.
In addition to washing, a great tip to extend the life of your cashmere coat is to use a long-handled boar-bristle cashmere brush which will help remove lint, fuzz, and dust between wears and washes. A sweater comb will also help remove stray pills, without damaging the knit.
Ultimately, cashmere is actually quite a resilient fabric and doesn’t really deserve its reputation for being so delicate and easy to damage - it just needs to be cared for and washed in the right way to ensure it lasts a long time. Why not explore the Caroline Randell Cashmere Collection now and experience the elegance, luxury and indulgence that this wonderfully versatile fabric can create through our hoodies, trousers, robes and socks?