What is it about cashmere that makes it that much better than any other wools? We could talk about its origins – combed from the undercoat of the Mongolian Aerbasi, softer and finer than any other goat’s hair. We could talk about its natural properties – how breathable and insulating it is when compared to man-made fibres. We could even talk about how scarce it is in comparison to something like cotton – with 6,500 tonnes vs 6 million tonnes produced globally each year. But the real reason we buy cashmere is much more than the sum of its parts. It’s the same sort of quality you find in a fine whiskey or a night in your childhood bedroom – unadulterated comfort and familiarity. The point we’re trying to make, digressions aside, is that cashmere needs no sales pitch. It’s just good. Where things become more complicated is when it comes to caring for your yarns. Fortunately, our remit extends to washing, storing and combing your cashmere (yes, that is a thing), as we’ll explain below.
How to wash cashmere
Throughout history, countless men (and women) have been felled by the simplest of oversights: not reading the care label. These modest scraps of fabric can save you from shrinking, stretching or just straight-up ruining your new garments, if you take the time to consult them.
Like most pure cashmere products, our jumpers fall into the hand wash only category. Sounds ominous, but in fact it’s a doddle. Simply fill a clean basin with lukewarm water (no more than 30 C), as heat will shrink those delicate fibres. Add a drop of wool and cashmere shampoo (baby shampoo or any non-biological detergent also work a treat), soak inside out for 10 minutes and rinse. Once removed, lay the jumper on a flat surface and gently squeeze any excess water out with a towel. Be careful not to wring or hang dry, as you could end up with a misshapen knit.
How to store cashmere
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that as much as we humans might love cashmere, our love pales in comparison to that of the clothes moth. Entire dissertations have been written on the best way to keep the pesky creatures at bay, with some recommending cedar balls or rosemary as natural deterrents. We find that carrying out regular checks of your stored garments, giving them a good shake from time to time, can disturb any hiding beasties. If you do come across any moths or their larvae (which look like small grains of rice), freeze and dry clean the affected garments. To avoid stretching and bleaching, it’s best to keep your jumpers folded in a cool dry place away from excess sunlight. Fold with acid free tissue paper to absorb any moisture.
How to remove pilling on cashmere
Part of the cashmere’s appeal is that it’s an entirely natural fibre, meaning that it both insulates and regulates temperature. It’s also why cashmere – and all woollen fibres, for that matter – occasionally go a little lumpy. Pilling, to give its technical name, is a natural characteristic of wool, and can be easily fixed with a cashmere comb or a blunt razor. Lightly comb the fibres in the direction of the weave to remove these fuzzy little balls regularly.