Cashmere is known to last for a long time, and many consider it a long-term investment in garments. Therefore it’s highly logical that you will want to keep it pretty much in the same quality as it was when you bought it. Some of those well versed and knowledgeable about cashmere have stated that this well-insulated material can have a life of up to 30 years! This is at least 10 times the average lifetime of the average clothes garment which WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) has determined to be only 2.2 years.
Preserving your cashmere in suitable storage is something you definitely want to consider. There are many different storage products that you can use to protect them, such as specifically designed Choose compartments made of materials that help preserve the cashmere or even acid-free tissue paper. The general consensus is that in doing this, you help to “maintain the original colour and protect against damp and dust” as stated by The Telegraph.
You will also want to take this step to prevent deterioration of your cashmere garments via moths which will eat your precious cashmere away! As acknowledged by Moth Prevention, these moths are known to “feast on valuable garments like cashmere or silk.” Many acknowledge that one key factor in preventing this is with correct care and precautions. It also has been suggested that the scent of Cedar is known to be a natural moth repellent.
Another key aspect of ensuring that your cashmere stays in perfect shape is knowing the correct washing instructions. When washing cashmere, you should use cold water as this will make the cashmere less likely to shrink during the washing process. Although it is possible to wash your cashmere in the washing machine using the handwashing option, many people actually prefer to hand wash their cashmere as it is considered a more ecological alternative, cost-effective and you can monitor how the cashmere is being washed.
When handwashing cashmere, be mindful of the detergent that is used. You want something light and not too heavy otherwise this can affect the cashmere after the washing process. You can use a cost-effective option like baby shampoo or a specifically formulated cashmere & wool detergent.
Contrary to popular belief, many think the most important step is the washing of cashmere but actually, the drying is just as equally important. Let your cashmere dry naturally and do not try to alter it from its original shape. Neither twist it nor stretch it but rather lightly squeeze it. Once dry, you may notice a few wrinkles. Now you may feel tempted to iron it. But if you can, opt to use a steamer instead which will be gentler yet effective on the wrinkles. However, from my experience, you can use an iron, but you need to be very careful. I would advise using as low a heat as possible whilst gently going over the cashmere.
By taking these steps, you are already on your way to taking excellent care of your cashmere and preserving it for the long run. It will help to consider your cashmere as an investment. So stay tuned for more informative posts.
Further readings on Cashmere
1. Cashmere Basics 101
2. What makes cashmere so expensive
3. Differences between cashmere and shahtoosh wool
4. How to take care of cashmere products
5. Why aren't all cashmere created equal
6. From cashmere fibre to cashmere fabric