Just like all of the other items in your wardrobe, your wool and cashmere sweaters need to be kept clean. The problem is that they need to be carefully washed if you are going to prevent them from shrinking or from starting to pill. If you are wondering what pilling is, it’s that annoying bobbling that can often show up on clothes.
This does not mean that you should avoid washing wool or cashmere at home. It means that you need to pay careful attention to the right process to follow so that your clothes remain in good condition.
Preparing Wool or Cashmere Clothes for Washing the Right Way
It may not be necessary to prepare your wool or cashmere clothes for washing, but there are some things that you may need to do, depending on the circumstances.
- Check for any pills that have started to appear and remove them.
- Use white vinegar in a spray bottle to treat any areas which smell excessively.
- Treat any stains with a mild soap so that they are more likely to be removed when washing.
Once you have done any necessary preparatory work, you need to decide whether to hand wash or machine wash the items. It’s always better to hand wash any items that have adornments, such as sequins.
Washing Wool and Cashmere in a Machine
If you decide to wash wool or cashmere items in a machine, you need to follow these steps.
- Turn clothes inside out, if applicable.
- Wash items inside a clean, white pillowcase that is tied, if you want to ensure that they are protected.
- Make sure that the right washing cycle is selected. The cycle name varies by machine, but it should say something like a delicate wash or wool wash.
- Ensure that you use cold water.
- Use a little laundry detergent in the wash.
Washing Wool and Cashmere by Hand
It’s often a better idea to wash delicate wool or cashmere items by hand. If you want to do so, there are instructions you should follow.
- Use cool water in a bowl or sink.
- Add some mild detergent to the water.
- Place the item in the water and swirl it around.
- Once the item is clean, press it to remove as much water as you can; do this gently and never be tempted to wring the item out. To get rid of more water, you can roll the item up in a bath towel, after laying it flat on the surface of the towel.
Once the wool or cashmere item has been washed, it needs to dry carefully; never use a dryer for this purpose. Choose a clean, dry towel, lay the item in it and gently ease the garment into its natural shape. You should then leave the item where it is until it’s dry to the touch; this can take several hours. Once this is the case, you need to turn the item over and leave it to dry completely.