UTO : Cashmere Library : How to Care for Your Knitwear

Washing At Home

How to Wash Your Cashmere at Home

The tag suggests dry-cleaning, but our cashmere can be washed at home if handled carefully as stated below:

Many people think cashmere has to be cleaned by a professional cleaner. Cashmere knitwear looks too delicate to wash at home. You may think it could shrink.

But it may be too expensive to use a professional service more than a few times in one season.
We recommend washing at home. Why? Because not only is it economical; it will add softness, texture, and character. You will learn some weaknesses of natural materials and overcome them by treating your garment properly.

Steps and Tips

1. Put water in the sink or a large bowl
Room temperature water is fine; it does not have to be lukewarm. Higher temperature water will shrink the knit. As long as the detergent dissolves, cold water is fine, too.

2. Add detergent
Pour in some wool detergent and stir to make bubbles.

UTO recommends using shampoo. Cashmere is similar to human hair, so you can use your regular shampoo. Knit yarn is less twisted than woven fabric and lighter in density, so it is usually easier to get rid of dirt.

3. Wash
Press down on your knitwear a few times or swish it through the water.

Alternatively, machine washing is possible in “delicate” mode.

Do not use a front-loading/vertical drum type washer, as its aggressive spinning style will damage the fabric.

Wash your garment by itself and quickly. Do not wash multiple items together or rub knitwear hard. It will create pilling.

If there are any visible dirty spots, gently rub them with your fingers. If they do not come off, they may be stains. Protein stains cannot be removed by washing. They need professional cleaning, so do not try to rub them off.

4. Fabric Softener
After rinsing, it is a good idea to apply fabric softener or conditioner to add some protective coating.

Human hair and animal hair are similar, so the same process works.

5. Remove Water
Spin your knitwear in the washing machine. Take care to fold it neatly. You can use a mesh laundry net. Using centrifugal force to get rid of water is gentler on the fabric than squeezing.

6. Return Your Garment to Its Natural Shape
Smooth your garment into its natural shape.

7. Dry
Air-dry your knitwear in the shade, laying it flat, preferably on a net. Bath towels will work, too. Flip it several times, as the bottom will retain some moisture. You may want to use a fan to circulate the air. A little bit of sunshine is okay.

Do not put your garment in a dryer. It will shrink the knitwear into felt. That is how felt is created. Be careful not to use the dryer!

8. Store It in the Closet
Leave your knitwear in a dry place for a while and put it back in the closet or a drawer. Use some insecticide if necessary.

Note:

  • Washing and spinning should be done quickly.
  • Do not wash multiple items together, as it will cause more shrinkage.
  • Do not squeeze by hand.
  • Room temperature water is good.
  • A washing machine in “delicate” mode is good. (Do not use a front-loading vertical drum washer.)