The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Your Cashmere Products
When it comes to luxury fabrics, nothing beats cashmere. Known for its superior softness, warmth, and unparalleled comfort – garments made in this material form the centrepiece of a well-edited wardrobe. But as with any luxury fabric, comes the responsibility of proper care. When laundered correctly, you can ensure your cashmere garments will last for years to come.
Read on to find out how to best care for your cashmere garment: from washing and drying, to storing and general upkeep.
What is Cashmere?
Cashmere is a sought-after fabric that comes from the soft fleecy underlayer of a cashmere goat. Native to the Kashmir region of India and able to withstand temperatures of up to -30 degrees celsius, cashmere goats produce hair that is at once super-fine and incredibly insulating, making it the perfect material for luxury knitwear.
The benefits of cashmere are numerous, and it has been used to make premium garments for hundreds of years. For instance, it’s a naturally breathable and thermo-regulating fibre, which means it helps to keep you at the perfect temperature. This means that when wearing a cashmere jumper you won’t overheat like you might when wearing one made from synthetic fibres.
In comparison to other warm materials, cashmere is super lightweight. Due to the fine nature of the fibres (less than 19 microns, compared to human hair which is 60-90 microns), cashmere clothing is never bulky, meaning it tucks and drapes beautifully. It’s also wrinkle-resistant, meaning you can roll it up for travel and it will be crease-free and ready to wear when you arrive at your destination.
In recent years, there has been an influx of imitation cashmere products on the market. To ensure you're investing in genuine cashmere, look for certifications and reputable brand names. Genuine cashmere should be soft, lightweight, and feel luxurious to the touch. Avoid products that claim to be "cashmere-blend" or "cashmere-like" as they often contain lower-quality fibres.
Washing Cashmere: A Step-by-Step Guide
How to Hand Wash Cashmere
Due to the nature of the fibre, cashmere doesn’t need to be washed as often as other fabrics. As a natural fibre, it has its own antibacterial properties that help to keep it fresh, even after a number of wears.
- When it does come to washing your item, it's best practice to hand wash it in cold water with a small amount of mild detergent or baby shampoo.
- In a basin, submerge your cashmere under the water, and gently move it around to loosen up any dirt. Let the item soak in the water for around 15 minutes, giving it a gentle swirl every now and then.
- You’ll then need to rinse out the soap/detergent. Empty the basin and refill it again with cold water, and resubmerge your item. Do not place the garment under running water, as this can damage the fabric. Gently squeeze out any excess water from the garment.
Machine-Washing Cashmere (if Suitable)
- Machine washing is generally not recommended for cashmere due to the risk of damage. However, if your cashmere item has a care label that indicates machine-washing is suitable, use the delicate cycle with cold water and follow the care instructions precisely. Place the item in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from friction.
Drying and Storing Cashmere
Drying Techniques for Cashmere Products
After washing, lay the item flat (away from sunlight or radiators) to dry. Sunlight and heat can cause the fibres to weaken and lose their softness, so it is important to follow these precautions.
Proper Storage of Cashmere
Once your cashmere is dry, fold it up ready for storage. Avoid hanging your cashmere as the tension from the hangers can cause the fabric to warp and lose its shape.
Before placing your cashmere in your cupboards or wardrobe, consider placing it in a breathable cotton or linen bag to protect from dust and moths. Other methods to prevent against moths include using cedarwood or lavender balls - the scent of which keeps these pests at bay.
Preventing Pilling and Maintaining Softness and Shape
Pilling (small bobbles) is a normal occurrence when it comes to natural fibres like cashmere. It’s the result of the soft top layer of these quality yarns being exposed to friction.
They are easily removed with the help of a cashmere comb, or gently by hand.
Exploring Premium Quality Cashmere Products
All Rise & Fall cashmere is made in Jiangsu, China. We use 100% A-Grade cashmere only – chosen for its extra fine (16 microns or less), extra long fibres, it creates the softest knits. Our cashmere is also made in a factory that is certified by the Good Cashmere Standard, which protects the welfare of animals, their herdsmen and the land they graze on.
We offer a range of premium, expertly crafted cashmere items. For instance, our men’s cashmere jumpers collection features a range of styles designed with wearability, comfort and style in mind. Whether the Classic ¼ Zip Jumper or the contemporary Cashmere Sweatshirt, our collection has a cashmere knit that’s perfect for you. If you’re looking for something truly effortless to wear, consider our Mongolian Cashmere Zip Hoodie. The cashmere hoodie features a full-length zip and hood, making it the perfect trans-seasonal layer.
Our women’s cashmere collection is offered in a range of effortless silhouettes. From the boxy High-Neck Jumper to the Classic Crewneck, each style has been designed to form a cornerstone of any capsule wardrobe. Beyond jumpers, our Oversized Cashmere Wrap is our most versatile item. Essentially a large cashmere rectangle, the cashmere wrap can be worn myriad ways and comes in an array of contemporary colours.
Finding the Best Cashmere Products
As a natural fibre, the quality of cashmere on the market can vary greatly. Multiple factors, such as the region from which it’s derived, the season, and even the age, size and type of the cashmere goat it is sourced from can greatly impact the quality of the fibre.
Cashmere is categorised into grades to help determine its quality, with A being the highest quality and C being the lowest.
- You can tell Grade-A cashmere from its softness. This is achieved by the fact that the fibres can be as fine as 14-16 microns, with a length of 34-36 microns. All Rise & Fall products are made using Grade-A cashmere.
- Grade-B is slightly thicker than Grade A cashmere, with a diameter of 19 microns. Whilst still a high-grade cashmere, it will be noticeably less durable than Grade-A.
- Finally there is Grade-C, which is much thicker with a diameter of around 30 microns.
Differentiating between these grades is best done by checking labels. However, you can also tell the quality of the cashmere by how it feels. The feel of Grade-A will be noticeably softer when compared to Grade-C.
In summary, cashmere is a luxurious textile that deserves proper care in order to maintain its softness and longevity. By following our step-by-step guide to washing, drying, and storing cashmere, you can enjoy your cherished items for years to come. Remember to choose high-quality products and reputable brands to ensure you're investing in the finest cashmere. With the right care and attention, your cashmere collection can continue to provide warmth, comfort, and timeless style.