caring for cashmere






I have slowly, over the years acquired a variety of cashmere sweaters.  Some thrifted and some from Everlane.  My thrifted cashmere is v. old and fragile whereas my Everlane sweaters are new and quite durable.  Some of the things I can do with an Everlane cashmere sweater I'd never do to an old one and that's an important distinction.






With my vintage cashmere I gently wash it in a sink of cool water and gingerly dry it making sure to not pull too much on it bc that can break the fibers where they are weakest.  All my vintage cashmere has moth holes in it.  Most of the holes I can repair but some I cannot.  I wear it anyway.

While I find caring for all my things v comforting and soothing, This method of handling my new Everlane cashmere was making me nervous bc new cashmere is quite an investment.  But one day I made what I thought was a big mistake and instead turned out to be a happy accident.





One day I was gathering my laundry and I accidentally scooped up a cashmere sweater with it and tossed it all into the wash.  While I was at work, Larry tossed it all into the dryer at normal heat for 50 minutes!  The next morning I pulled the laundry out of the dryer and there it was, my new Everlane  cashmere sweater in absolutely perfect condition.  Actually, it was a tiny bit smaller a little softer.  I couldn't believe it.  Everlane cashmere is so good!



My sweater care kit


Since then my new method of caring for cashmere is a mix of the old and new ways.  First of all I only wash my sweaters once a season.  I always wear an undershirt or camisole to protect it from me sweating.  In addition to that, in between wears it gets sprayed with The Laundress Wool & Cashmere spray.  If the weather is nice I will put it out on the line to air out.  Second, I wash them in the washing machine on the normal but short/cold setting with The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo.  I love this product because it has oils in it that protect the fibers.  Now when I remove it from the washing machine I can make the call as to whether I will hang it to dry or put it through the dryer.  I almost always line dry but there has been an occasion or two where I did use the dryer and again they came out perfect.

During the summer I invested in The Laundress Zip Canvas Storage Bag to protect the sweaters when they are stored away. So far so good and I'm so looking forward to wearing them all soon.  Happy washing.  x

19 comments

  1. Your timing is perfect, I have two cashmere sweaters that need cleaning and I was going to take them to the dry cleaners. Your method sounds much better. Also, the way you display/store your cleaning items is glorious.

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  2. That wallpaper is gorgeous and I love your tray...with the Laundress products.
    That vintage cashmere with the beading is a work of art...a real find.
    I store my out of season sweaters in large ziploc bags...I should invest in a proper bag like yours...will check out their website.
    I purchased a special cashmere soap from Black Goat where I bought my last cashmere sweater...It works wonderfully and I only wash my cashmere sweaters and scarves once a season too.

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  3. Very interesting! I wish I could wear cashmere! I have yet to try on a cashmere sweater that didn't cause a prickly itchy feeling. I love your stack of beautiful cashmere sweaters!

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    1. I have the same problem with cashmere and wool*, and it seems like my skins keeps getting more sensitive over time. No matter how soft and "un-itchy" the knit feels in my hand, I feel like I'm wearing prickers when I put it on my body, even over an under layer. My daughters have been the recipients of some lovely pieces.

      * the only merino wool that doesn't bother me is Eileen Fisher wool jersey

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    2. I wish that I could wear cashmere sweaters. My face and nose itches pretty much instantly. Cashmere wool coats don't bother me at all though. I always have a one or two that I've thrifted.

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  4. I love cashmere, too! This washing shampoo sounds perfect.

    http://a-woman-of-a-certain-age.com/

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  5. I wash my cashmere in the washer on the delicate cycle with The Laundress cashmere detergent. They come out like new! I roll them up in a towel then lay flat to dry. Never thought about the dryer for them, hmmmm. I took one out this morning to mend the little holes in it.

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  6. I have two vintage cashmere sweaters from my, now 91 year old, Mom and I've always been nervous to clean them. You would love the slate blue short sleeve with scalloped edges and a v-neck and collar. I have washed new cashmere in the machine with great results too. So based on your experience I'll stick with gentle hand laundering the vintage.

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  7. I stitch tiny Sashiko circles with satin matching thread on the moth holes, and it looks gorgeous.

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    1. Please tell us what you are talking about. I just had to throw out a beautiful cardigan because of numerous moth holes. I tried carefully sewing them closed, but there were too many.

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  8. I am deeply in love with cashmere. Wish I could be clothed in it all day and night! Thanks so much for this informative post. I used to dry clean all my cashmere then learned how horrible that is. Now I hand wash. Will definitely look into the products you mention. By the way, Everlane sweaters are the best- hope to have one in every color.

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  9. I have used inexpensive two in one (shampoo and conditioner) with good results on an old cashmere sweater.

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  10. Such good information. I do not have any cashmere - you could mark me down as too cheap, I believe. But if I ever acquire any I will be sure to use your tips. You post such interesting and useful information. Thank you.

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  11. I don't have any cashmere but appreciate your cleaning recommendations: I have a lot of wool sweaters and accessories, and will check out the shampoo and spray to use on my wool. The cashmere at Everlane looks beautiful. I would love the turtleneck - they're my "uniform" during Midwest cold weather. :)

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  12. Janet, can you tell us how you avoid moth damage to your sweaters? I have moth traps, and they do work, but that doesn't guarantee that other moths aren't having a picnic with my wool items. I take my coats out of the closet and inspect them several times over the year, especially during the months I am not wearing them. I still worry that I don't have them eradicated.

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    1. for me it's about thoroughly washing the sweaters with care using the laundress products. besides the oils in the shampoo it is also scented with cedar which is a known moth repellant. and then when not in use i store them in the canvas, breathable but zippered bag. prior to these steps i didn't pay really close attention to my washing schedule and just stored them in a box under my bed. i would always have a moth hole or twenty. as far as my coats go, after each use i use a clothing brush and brush them down and let them air out on a hook before i put them back in the closet. so far so good.

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  13. I love The Laundress products & have been using them for a few years. I also like the idea of the storage bags so will order some from the co. I had been storing some of my cashmere & wool items in large "under the bed" boxes with cedar blocks -everything always has a lovely scent! - but I have heard that storing in plastic is not good for the fibers. Thanks for these tips! Katie from Hunt.Beach

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    1. right katie! that's how i used to store mine too. the canvas, breathable zippered bag is so good. we must try to meet sometime! x

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  14. I love Laundress soaps but need to invest in a sweater bag. We have a moth problem since we live near a lake. In spite of carefully washing everything, I've lost too many sweaters over the years. Xx

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