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How do I clean my cashmere?

by Jessica Harrigfeld |

To keep your cashmere in tip-top shape, it is important to regularly clean it. Cleaning your cashmere is like hitting the reset button: it will make it extra soft and will help to prevent things like pilling and moth attacks from ruining your life.

When wearing and caring for your beloved cashmere, the main things to keep in mind are: be gentle to it and clean it when you’re done. Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat: you do not have to dry clean cashmere! Put simply, treat your cashmere like you’d treat your own hair… and never put it to bed dirty! By that I mean to wash it gently and regularly and always before putting it back on the shelf. If you properly care for and store your cashmere, it will be around to spoil you for years!

Cashmere fiber is much more akin to your own hair than it is to the often coarse and wiry wool of the humble sheep. Cashmere is smooth and slippery and much stronger and more resilient than its reputation may suggest. When cashmere is washed, instead of felting like wool, it “blooms;” it spreads out its legs and expands to fill in all the empty space around it, creating that ethereal halo we all know and love.

Our mission as lovers/wearers/washers of cashmere is to gently and effectively clean it in such a way that promotes its coveted features. So show it some love by following these easy steps… it will love you back!


  • 1) Fill a basin or bucket with comfortably warm water. You will want to allow the Cashmere plenty of room to move around. Add a VERY small amount of gentle detergent or shampoo (i.e. around a half of a teaspoon). I would like to stress that again; you only need a tiny amount of detergent! Personally, I like to use either Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent or Nature’s Gate Herbal Shampoo. Swish the water around to evenly distribute the cleansing liquid.
  • 2) Add your Cashmere by holding it under water and gently squeezing and releasing a few times to saturate it. Once it is soaked through, move the fabric through the water by gently swirling. Give it a gentle squeeze periodically. It is very important not to rub, twist or wring the fabric. Just move it around and encourage the water to pass through the fabric. Continue for a few minutes.
  • 3) Wad up the fabric while under the water and gently lift it out. Gently squeeze out the excess water. Refill the basin with the same temperature water, this time with no detergent. Return your Cashmere to the basin and continue swirling and squeezing for a few minutes. Gently remove the cashmere.
  • 4) I like to repeat step (3) once or twice more. Remember, you are trying to get your cashmere as clean as possible… this includes removing any detergent residue!
  • 5) Once your cashmere is clean, gently squeeze out the excess water. I like to toss my cashmere into just the spin cycle of my washing machine to get out as much water as I can. You can also lay the fabric on a clean absorbent towel and roll up both layers, pressing gently as you go.
  • 6) Lay your garment flat and reshape as necessary. Allow it to dry completely.
  • 7) Inspect your garment for any pills or larger debris that may not have rinsed out. If you find any pills, it is best to use a shaving razor to carefully remove them. This approach will discourage further pilling.
  • 8) To really go the extra mile, I like to press my Cashmere with a warm steam iron. This helps to align and set all the fibers and it just makes the fabric look and feel extra beautiful and luxurious.
  • 9) To store your cashmere, cedar is the best. If you don’t have a cedar chest, air tight storage bins + cedar pieces will work great.

That’s it! Clean your Cashmere often for best results.

If you have any question, comments or tips of your own, please share them in the comments. Thanks!

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