Over these colder months, you may have collected a few too many sweaters. It is always ideal to declutter your winter wardrobe keeping the essential, quality pieces.
One of which, a fundamental staple of a gentleman’s attire, is a cashmere sweater.
Cashmere is considered one of the most exclusive of the range for its quality and so, proper care is needed.
Why is cashmere so renown?
The wool has been collected from the fleece of the Kashmir goat. Growing a thick downy fleece whilst living in below freezing climates. The goats fine under hair is combed to collect the longest and finest fibers. This achieves its distinct silky feeling and its outstanding insulation. Look out for garment producers from Scotland, Italy and Japan as they have been known to lead the market.
A simple trick to spot quality
Give the fabric a little pull. If it springs quickly back into shape, you’ll know this is better quality as the fabric is woven more tightly.
Pilling on sweaters
Pilling is the short fibers that twist around themselves caused by fiction of wear. It is an inevitable effect and not necessarily a problem. In the past, wool or cashmere sweaters used much more twisted yarn, making them rigid. Today, there is a preference for softer sweaters although the lighter and fluffier the fabric, the more it will pill. After a few washes, this will subside. You can also use tools such as sweater combs and de- pilling stones for removal.
De-creasing your sweater
You can use a hand held steamer or an iron. When using an iron, keep it on the lowest setting, place a damp cloth on top of the sweater, keep the iron moving over the cloth.
Always Hand Wash – Fill a clean sink with lukewarm water, use a small amount of detergent, preferably one suited for cashmere. Turn it inside out, and gently squeeze the water through the fiber. Rise it out using the same water temperature. Repeat this.
Treat the garment with care and do not twist or wring out the water. Place the sweater on a towel and roll it together in a cylindrical shape to draw out the water. Then, lay it flat to air dry, away from unnecessary sources of heat.
As it is very delicate, it should be washed after two or three wears.
Storing your sweater
Once the warmer weather approaches, correct storing habits can leave your cashmere looking as good as new for the next season. Before you begin to fold and store, remember to wash, de-pill and de-crease the fabric. The general rule is to keep fabrics in a well-aired, dust free environment, and away from direct sunlight. Place in a ventilated plastic bag and line your wardrobe with cedar chips to protect your clothes from moths.
With just some extra care, your finest cashmere threads can keep in good condition for many years of use.