Cashmere and wool are some of the highest quality, most luxurious materials from which clothes can be made. Clothes of these materials can come with a sizeable price tag, and it is an especially good idea to take measures to keep them in good condition. If you do, then you can enjoy them for years to come. Here are 5 tips to help you do this:
1. Learn to hand-wash your garment at home.
Many people wait longer than they should to take their “dry clean only” garments in to the dry cleaner. Allowing dirt and grime to fester in your clothing can weaken the integrity of the material. And on top of that, while you are waiting to take it in to be cleaned, this is likely time that you aren’t enjoying your purchase. You bought it to wear it, not to stuff it in a “to be dry cleaned” bag that collects dust in your closet while you choose alternatives to wear in the meantime. Here are some basic instructions for washing your wool or cashmere garment at home by hand:
-Wash the garment inside out.
-Use lukewarm water and an organic liquid soap. Use the soap sparingly, as you will need only a small amount to create a good lather. For cashmere, some people use a hair conditioner to soften the material. Use only a little in this case.
-Never bleach wool or cashmere.
-Wash like colors together.
-Do not ring your garment or twist it. This will stretch out the material and cause it to lose its shape. Instead, use a towel to gently squeeze the garments and remove the excess water once it’s cleaned.
-Once the excess water has been removed, lay the garment flat to dry. Make sure that it
is left to dry away from direct heat or sunlight which could cause discoloration.
-If the garment is still damp, use a dry towel to blot away excess water.
-After a few hours, turn the garment right side out and allow it to finish drying flat.
2. Machine wash cashmere at home.
Cashmere garments can be washed in the washing machine if they are in a tied-off white cotton pillow case and the washed on a gentle or “hand wash” cycle.
3. Check for dampness before storing cashmere or wool.
If a cashmere or wool garment is stored when it is still slightly damp, mildew and bacteria can grow. You definitely want to avoid this. It can be nasty when you go to wear it next.
4. Store garments out of direct sunlight.
Leaving your garment in direct sunlight can fade and ruin the color.
5. Clean your garment before you store it.
Cleaning stains right away will give you the best chance of getting rid of them entirely. If you have purchased top quality wool or cashmere clothing from a store like White and Warren, you will want to protect your purchase and take optimum care of it by doing this.