The Biggest Threats to Cashmere and How to Care for It
Aside from my love for all things fashion, I also ventured into the textile industry because of my innate instinct to care for precious fabrics and the clothing I love. As a matter a fact, I still have a Max Mara sweater that is 20 years old and doesn’t have a single hole! As well as a white Jesiré dress (a now defunct French brand) that is 13 years old and still bright white. So I think I know a thing or two about looking after stuff. However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been casualties along the way. Sadly my favourite cashmere beanie didn’t make it; I left it at the bottom of a wicker basket for way too long and the moths only left a few threads (seriously it was pretty shocking!).
Anyway, all of this leads me to say, if you want your cashmere to last forever, there are a few things to avoid and also to know, so you can make sure to care for it properly and keep enjoying it for years to come.
Threat Number 1: Moths
Moths may be small, but they’re capable of destroying every last thread of cashmere you own if you don’t keep it away from them. Unfortunately you may not know you have a moth problem until some of your sweaters have fallen victim to these little creatures. They love dark, quiet spots with lots of food—aka your wardrobe filled with cashmere!
Whilst some people recommend cedar and lavender for keeping the moths away, in my experience this is not enough. To make sure your sweaters and scarves stay looking like new, you’ll want to vacuum regularly, shake out any folded cashmere and wool blends every so often and keep your wardrobe clean and tidy. The moths prefer dust, hair and dirt/sweat, so if you can keep on top of those things, chances are your wardrobe will stay moth free!
If you’re still concerned about moths then pop your cashmere in a plastic bag and leave in the freezer overnight! This will kill bacteria, moths and moth lavae.
Threat Number 2: Not Using a Specialist Dry Cleaner
I try to gently wear my clothing items that I know are delicate and difficult to clean so as to avoid having to wash them too frequently. However, if it is time for a cleaning, be absolutely sure to do your research so you can find a proper dry cleaner. Cashmere needs to be loved and looked after. so never, ever send your dry cleaning to a premises that sends clothes offsite, as special instructions will be lost - that first person communication and relationship is so important.
Threat Number 3: Snagging from Jewellery, Velcro and Zippers
Scarves are at the forefront for being damaged in this category. Because they usually lay on top of jackets and jumpers with embellishments and zippers, it can be tricky to avoid getting a snag here or there. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way when I caught one of our pleated cashmere scarves on the velcro of my camera case. The best thing to do is to just be cognisant of what you’re wearing and deciding if it’s worn best with cashmere from a practical standpoint. After all, you don’t want to ruin your beautiful cashmere scarf from Lois Avery. I still take photos whilst wearing my cashmere but to be on the safe side the velco fastening on my camera case is now covered in duct tape!
If you do happen to snag a thread, there are options for getting it fixed (never cut a loose thread yourself as it will create a hole). I recommend taking it to a professional seamstress or tailor instead of DIYing it at home.
If you have any other questions about cashmere care then please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org