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How to wash cashmere jumpers successfully

We’ve all been here! You arrive at a client and find that one of her collection of cashmere jumpers is perfectly sized to fit a doll. You just know that accidentally it has found its way into the washing machine, had a good wash and spin and shrunk to a third of the original size. You may even have done this yourself.

Horror! What on earth can you do?

Lol, the one way to get the jumper back to normal is to hand wash it again and pin it out, stretching gently until it is a larger size – if you can do this without attracting attention. You could also put it on damp and sleep the night in it – and hope that you don’t get pneumonia while doing this.

Prevention is better than cure with this. Cashmere needs to be treated differently to any other wool garment.

If you take proper care of the jumper, it will still look good in years to come. For cashmere to keep looking good you or your client should never wear it for more than one day at a time. The wool should rest for day before donning it again.

How to wash it

  • Hand wash only. You may be able to do this if the washing machine as a ‘wool’ program, but better to do it by hand. Use lukewarm water no hotter than 20 degrees C.
  • Correct detergent. There are several that are suitable in any supermarket. You can also use a baby shampoo as this is normally mild.
  • Create bubbles. Add the jumper and make sure it is completely wet. Stir the jumper around in the water. Avoid rubbing and pulling it around.
  • Drain the water. Once the bubbles have disappeared gently drain the water away. Gently press the water out of the jumper. Do not be tempted to wring the jumper out as this will deform it.
  • Rinse in clear water. Gently swirl around and drain the water again.
  • Lay out the jumper. This is where it gets tricky as the jumper is still soaking wet. You need to use towels underneath it. Lay the jumper in its normal shape as far as you can. Now start to gently roll up the towels. This will help to get rid of excess water.
  • Unroll the towel. Leave the jumper flat on a dry towel. Make sure to always keep out of direct sunlight and never be tempted to dry it is a tumble drier.
  • Never iron a cashmere jumper.

With a little bit of care a cashmere jumper can be kept in pristine condition for many years. It is not difficult to do this. If you are in any doubt about whether the jumper is cashmere it is always better to assume that it is and handwash instead of adding it to the laundry load.

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