As part of our effort to wear more and wash less, we created a guide to proper cashmere care. With a few simple steps, you can extend the life of your favorite White + Warren knits, conserve natural resources, and keep textiles out of landfills. Follow along with our how-to video—and read more below for everything you need to know about washing, de-pilling, and storing cashmere to keep it looking and feeling beautiful, naturally.
HOW TO WASH CASHMERE AT HOME
STEP 1. Add cold water at 30° Celsius or less.
STEP 2. Add 1 to 2 capfuls of cashmere-friendly shampoo (generally 1 capful per sweater). We love The Laundress’s shampoo, because it’s gentle, environmentally friendly, and perfect for cashmere and wools. Baby shampoo works well, too. We have also tested and were very happy with the results: Garments smelled nice, maintained the soft hand-feel, and did not show any shrinkage or shape distortion after washing.
STEP 3. Submerge and gently swoosh in water for approximately 1 minute. Do not soak for an extended period of time, rub or twist the garment to prevent deforming and excessive pilling.
STEP 4. Rinse with clean, cold water.
STEP 5. Gently press to squeeze out water. (Pro tip: Wringing out is a no-no.)
STEP 6. Lay the cashmere garment flat on a clean towel.
STEP 7. Roll towel up from the bottom, sleeping bag–style, and press gently to remove remaining excess water.
STEP 8. Unroll the towel, lay the garment flat, and reshape to dry overnight. (FYI: Some cashmere may take longer to fully dry.)
STEP 9. Fold—never hang—your cashmere, so that it won’t lose its shape. Store the garment in our cotton dust bag. AKA a moth-free zone.
STEP 10. You’re done! Cashmere has antimicrobial properties, so feel free to wear your favorite cashmere up to as many as 5 times between washes.
HOW TO DE-PILL CASHMERE
STEP 1. Grab a sweater stone. We love the stone by The Laundress. (For your most delicate knit items, opt for The Laundress Sweater Comb.)
STEP 2. Gently brush off loose fibers. Glide in one direction over target areas and shake.
STEP 3. Keep brushing until all of the pills are gone.
STEP 4. Remove the excess fluff on the stone.
STEP 5. Voilà! Your cashmere is as good as new.
How often do I need to wash my cashmere?
Cashmere has antimicrobial properties due to the presence of lanolin. Naturally breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor-repellent, you can wear your cashmere knits as many as 5 times in between washes. Washing too often can cause excessive pilling. Simply air out at least 24 hours after you have worn it before wearing it again. The Laundress® Wool & Cashmere Spray is a great way to give your cashmere a refresh between washes, therefore conserving water.
What can I do if my cashmere developed a hole?
For items with small holes that can be mended, please contact us at email@example.com with a photo of the hole. If we have extra cashmere yarn in the color of the item, or yarn that is a close match, we will send it to you for repairs.
How can I fix cashmere that is pilling or shedding?
Pilling is normal for any natural fiber, including cashmere. Pills are the fuzzballs that occur on the surface of the garment due to friction. You can easily remove all of the pills and loose fibers by using a cashmere comb or a sweater stone, a pumice-like stone that glides over the garment without altering the unique surface. The pilling will lessen after removing the fuzz a few times.
For pilling under the arms or on an area where a purse or bag may rub against the knit, we suggest carefully using a sweater shaver. Keep in mind that because cashmere is a natural fiber, the yarn will shed some over time.
How should I store my cashmere?
After washing, carefully fold your garments and place them in White + Warren cotton dust bags. (Pro tip: Cotton pillowcases will work if you don’t have dust bags. And always store knits folded—never on hangers—to prevent stretching or distorting.) Place dust bags in an air-tight bin with cedar chips or lavender sachets; both cedar and lavender are natural moth repellents, and lavender will leave behind a pleasant scent (unlike mothballs, which are toxic and can leave behind an odor). Store your bins in a dry, cool place to avoid moisture.
What can I do to avoid and treat moth holes in my cashmere?
If you find moth holes in your cashmere, hand-wash the garment(s) using the above instructions to rid them of perfume, body oils, and food debris (moths love all of these things), and clean out the drawers or storage bins where they were kept. If you want to make doubly sure the pests are gone, place the individual garments in air-tight plastic bags in the freezer for a few days.
How do I remove wrinkles from my cashmere?
To keep your cashmere feeling and looking like new, we do not recommend ironing. However, if you must, turn the garment inside-out and use your iron’s “low” or “wool” setting to remove any wrinkles.