How to Wash Cashmere: Keeping Your Luxurious Knits Fresh

How to Wash Cashmere: Keeping Your Luxurious Knits Fresh

Cashmere is known for its softness, warmth, and luxurious feel. However, it also needs the right care to keep it looking and feeling its best – when cared for, it can reward you with up to 30 years of wear. Wondering how to wash cashmere, how to prevent shrinking, and whether you need to dry clean it or not?

Here is everything you need to know about how to wash cashmere and keep it fresh, so your best quality cashmere stays looking good for longer.

Can You Wash Cashmere? 

You can wash cashmere (and you should wash your cashmere items to keep them clean and moth free) but no more than once every ten wears. Cashmere is a delicate natural fiber that needs a little extra care otherwise improper washing can lead to damage, shrinking or loss of softness.

Dealing with stains is an important part of keeping your cashmere clean and in good condition. Discover how to remove a stain from your cashmere jumper before having to wash it all in full. 

Can You Handwash Cashmere? 

Handwashing is the safest method for cleaning cashmere. Always read the care label inside your cashmere piece for the best advice on how to care for your specific item and keep it looking good.  

Here are some tips for handwashing cashmere - you can take a look at our complete guide to caring for your cashmere too: 

  • Use cold water to prevent the fibers from shrinking or losing their shape. 
  • Use a mild detergent specifically designed for cashmere fabrics, like our Clothes Doctor One or a delicate wool detergent can also work well. Whatever you do, avoid harsh chemicals or bleach.
  • Place your cashmere garment into the soapy water and gently agitate it with your hands. Do not wring, twist, or rub the fabric. 
  • Drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean cold water. Rinse the cashmere item until the water runs clear. 
  • Gently press the water out of the cashmere without twisting or wringing it. 
  • Lay the cashmere item flat on a clean, dry towel. Reshape it to its original dimensions, roll the item in the towel, open and let it air dry. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources.

Can You Machine Wash Cashmere? 

As all washing machines are different, we wouldn’t want to recommend washing cashmere in your machine. However, if you’re short on time and your machine’s cold wool cycle has been previously tried and tested then put your cashmere item into a delicates wash bag (to reduce reshaping), add your cashmere or wool detergent to the machine as per the instructions and set to the wool wash cycle on cold. Air dry items on a flat, clean, dry towel. 

Is It Better To Wash Or Dry Clean Cashmere? 

While dry cleaning is an option, it is not always necessary and can be expensive. Handwashing is generally good enough for most cashmere items, and it is gentler on the fabric. Reserve dry cleaning for cashmere pieces with complex designs, embellishments, or if the care label specifically recommends it. 

Can You Get Cashmere Wet? 

You can get cashmere wet, but it is important to avoid soaking it for extended periods. Prolonged exposure to moisture can weaken the fibers and lead to stretching or misshaping, which is never good for any item of clothing. If your cashmere gets wet, gently pat it dry with a clean towel and reshape it as needed before laying it flat to dry. 

Does Cashmere Shrink? 

Cashmere can shrink if not properly cared for during washing. Heat and moving the fabric around too much are the main culprits for shrinking cashmere. To prevent shrinking, always use cold water and avoid excessive wringing, twisting, or rubbing of the fabric. Reshape your clothing when it is wet to its original dimensions, and let it air dry flat. 

How To Wash Cashmere 

While we would always recommend reading the care label for instructions that are specific to your item, here is a quick guide on the steps to take to wash your cashmere items. 

    1. Fill a basin with cold water. 
    2. Add mild detergent for delicate fabrics. 
    3. Gently submerge the cashmere item and agitate it without wringing or twisting. 
    4. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. 
    5. Press out excess water without wringing. 
    6. Lay the cashmere item flat on a dry towel to reshape and air dry.

        By following these guidelines, you can keep your cashmere garments clean, soft, and in excellent condition for years to come. Remember that proper care and attention will help you enjoy the luxurious comfort of your cashmere pieces for many seasons.