Boston has just emerged from the frigid arctic air that swept through New England in the last few days, and it may not be over yet as we are still in the middle of winter. To protect ourselves from brutal cold weather, warm clothing made of cashmere, such as coats, jackets, sweaters, hats, scarves, and gloves, is a good choice. Cashmere is a luxurious material, a fiber made from the wool of cashmere goats. It is soft and light with excellent insulation. However, these fibers also have a fine texture and are easily damaged. Cashmere clothing therefore requires additional care to keep it looking its best.
Buy cashmere blend
Buy a garment made from a blend of ordinary wool and cashmere. This type of clothing will be stronger and last longer than a garment made from pure cashmere.
Length of your cashmere coat
Consider the length carefully when buying a cashmere coat. A short coat is stylish, but it won’t protect your legs from cold weather. On the other hand, a long hemline will attract debris more easily.
Light or dark color cashmere?
Choose the color of your cashmere garment. The fine fibers of cashmere pick up lint very easily, which is less obvious on darker colors. Everyday cashmere clothing should therefore be dark, and you should reserve light-colored cashmere clothing for special occasions.
Cleaning cashmere clothes
Clean cashmere garments more frequently to remove the lint. This type of clothing typically requires dry cleaning. But for cashmere sweaters and scarves, even though the cleaning label may say “dry clean only,” you can hand wash them individually with a mild detergent like Woolite or Essence. Handwashing cashmere may even make it softer over time. However, never wash cashmere in the washing machine.
When washing cashmere by hand, take care not to wring the sweater. Press out the water and then lay it flat on a towel to dry at room temperature. The towel will absorb excess water from the sweater and help it dry faster. Do not put it in the dryer!
Wash your cashmere once or twice a season. Always clean it before putting it away for the next season.
Pilling in cashmere sweaters
When wool is spun into a yarn, the fibers can be of different lengths. The shorter fibers tend to crawl out on the surface in those parts that are subject to friction during wearing. To remove these pills, you can use a pilling comb or swipe a fabric shaver carefully over the wool fabric. Don’t rub too hard or it may damage the fabric and create more pills. Never use dust rollers on cashmere sweaters because the sticky side can pull up the fibers and produce even more pilling.
Removing stains from cashmere clothing
Treat stains right away. If you blot spills immediately and then take your garment to the cleaners to be professionally removed, stains won’t develop later.
If your cashmere garment is especially valuable, or have special trims such as leather, or sequins and beads, then consider using our best quality dry cleaning service, Classic Care.
How to store cashmere clothing
Do not put cashmere sweaters on hangers. The sweater will stretch due to its own weight, and the hanger will cause shoulder dimples. Instead, store folded sweaters over padded hangers in a well-ventilated closet or in drawers. Remember to remove belts, empty pockets, and close any zippers as well. To avoid a line running down the middle of the sweater, fold each side of the sweater inward by a third. Smooth the arms down, and fold in half.
To put your cashmere clothing into long term storage during summer, you should always clean them first to prevent mildew and insect bites. Carefully check for any stains and remove them before storage as the warmth and atmospheric exposure in the closet may set the stain. Store cashmere in natural material bags that breathe. Don’t use plastic bags as they may attract moisture, build up static or even discolor the clothing.
About Utopia Cleaners
Utopia Cleaners offers dry cleaning and laundry services to the communities in Boston, Cambridge, Newton, Arlington, Woburn, Brookline, Everett, Chelsea, Medford, Belmont, Winchester, and Lexington via dry cleaning delivery service and laundry pickup service. Other services include alterations, wedding gown preservation and shirt laundry.
Photo credit: Adrianrowe