How To Keep Your Favorite Cashmere Sweaters In Perfect Condition

Cashmere sweaters are perhaps some of the softest, warmest sweaters that you will ever own, and they provide a truly luxurious feel. Cashmere wool comes from the underbelly of goats and is commonly produced in Asia within Kashmir, Inner Mongolia, and Nepal, according to Lands' End


Because of the delicate nature of the material, cashmere sweaters require extra care to keep them in the best condition they can be for as long as possible. A lot of this care revolves around the fact that these sweaters are made of natural fibers, so a careful and intentional process is key (via John Smedley Blog).

Cashmere sweaters are also often an investment, so you want to make sure you are doing all that you can to keep them in their beautiful, soft condition. Luckily, taking care of your cashmere sweaters in the proper way — which involves doing a lot of the work by hand — can be done right at home.

Hand washing

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you are handwashing your cashmere sweaters, even if the label suggests otherwise. "Many cashmere garments have guidance for professional dry cleaning only, but some cashmere garments can be hand washed," Jennifer Ahoni, principal fabric care specialist at Procter & Gamble, tells


Start by filling a tub or sink with cold water and mix a gentle detergent into it. Soak your sweater for about 30 minutes before dumping out that water and doing it again in water without soap. After soaking it in pure water, it will be ready to dry.

Air drying

How you dry your cashmere sweater can really affect its shape and condition, so you have to be extra careful. After handwashing, press out any excess water from the sweater with a towel rather than wringing or twisting it. Avoid throwing it into the dryer as that puts it at risk of shrinking (via Cashmere Centre). Instead, lay it out flat to dry. If you hang it while it is still wet, the sweater will stretch out with the weight of the water and its original shape will be affected. The drying process can take a while and will require some patience because of the wool material.


Limiting washes

This delicate material requires delicate care, so overwashing cashmere is a no-no. Washing and drying too often can damage your sweater's color and fibers over time, so it's important to space it out, according to Lands' End. Ideally, you should wear your cashmere sweater up to three times before washing it. Of course, this is only doable assuming you have kept it free of any spills, stains, or sweat during wear. If you are able to do so, simply air it out between wears.


Storing properly

Properly storing your cashmere sweater also helps it maintain its shape and can protect it from moths who tend to be attracted to the natural fibers of the wool. According to Moth Prevention, moths are attracted to the proteins from body oils and skin cells left behind on the cashmere, so make sure your sweaters are clean before storing them.


It is recommended that you first fold your sweaters and keep them inside a plastic bag for further protection and fewer opportunities for them to stretch. Lavender and cedar are great moth repellents as well, and keeping acid-free tissue inside the bag can also help protect it from pressure damage. Additionally, keep your storage bags out of direct heat or harsh light to reduce the chances of your sweaters shrinking.

Pilling and shaving

Because cashmere sweaters are made with natural fibers, they can start piling — or forming small fuzzballs — especially when they are new. This can happen throughout the surface of the sweater, but it mostly happens wherever friction occurs the most. Usually, this is under the arms or on the sides of the body where you may carry a handbag against it. Solving this problem simply requires a routine "shaving" of the sweater in the areas where it is pilling. You can use a razor blade, lint tape, or electric fabric shavers made especially for this issue (via Ethica).



Ultimately, all of the steps to properly care for your cashmere sweater can help prevent rips or other types of damage to your sweater. However, if damage does happen, you should know that holes and rips can be fixed. You can try to sew them up yourself at home by hand using an embroidery needle and matching yarn or thread, or you could take it to an entrusted tailor or dry cleaner to do it for you (via Filoro). There are a variety of techniques to try which essentially require the thread to go through the existing knit loops of the sweater as you gently pull the thread through to close it, according to Dr. Muxue.