How to Care for Cashmere Sweaters

by Sabah Karimi
Published April 29, 2010 | Updated August 17, 2015

You love the look and feel of cashmere and you want to preserve the softness of your sweaters. Cashmere is a delicate wool knit that requires special handling and care to preserve the integrity of the fabric. Since they can snag, absorb odors, and attract dirt and stains relatively easily, it's important to clean and care for cashmere sweaters with mild cleaning products and find ways to protect this fine fabric. These steps will help you to properly care for your cashmere sweaters.

Caring for Cashmere:

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  • Treat Stains Quickly & Gently

    You'll want to treat stains immediately with cold water and mild soap. Both men's and women's cashmere sweaters are meant to be hand-washed only; stains can be removed easily as soon as they appear. Gently rub the soap into the stain on the sweater using a soft cloth that has been immersed in cold water. If you are washing the sweaters in a sink, make sure the sink is completely sanitized first or the cashmere fibers will absorb bacteria and odor.

  • Keep It Straight

    Prevent wrinkling and stretching of the sweater when cleaning. Wringing or twisting cashmere sweaters while washing or rinsing can damage the delicate fibers, so it's important to lay the cashmere wool sweater out on a flat surface throughout the cleaning process. Hanging cashmere clothing can cause it to become misshapen and may break down the fibers in the shoulder and neck area of a sweater.

  • Always Air Dry

    Dry-cleaning processes or home dryers can be too harsh on cashmere clothing and you risk your sweater burning or losing its shape and form. Lay the sweater out on a clean and flat surface so that it can dry naturally.

  • Store Carefully

    Protect delicate cashmere fibers when storing in a closet or drawer. Since men's and women's cashmere sweaters are so delicate, you'll need to protect them from other fabrics and surfaces they come in contact with. Use a piece of tissue paper to separate wool sweaters from other sweaters and clothes when stacked in an armoire. Keep cashmere wool sweaters away from heat sources and direct sunlight when storing to protect the integrity of the fibers and preserve the sweater's color.

  • Iron Lightly

    If you need to iron your sweaters, make sure to do so on the lowest setting. Wool sweaters can scorch easily when they come into contact with a hot iron, so remove wrinkles using only the lowest heat setting of the iron or steamer.