In the fashion world, mishaps are bound to occur, and one common heart-sinking moment is realizing that your cherished cashmere shawl has mysteriously shrunk after a wash. It's a panic-inducing scenario, but fear not! In this article, we will delve into the art of understanding the causes behind cashmere shrinkage and, most importantly, how to rescue your beloved cashmere items.
What is Cashmere?
A great purchase that will enhance your wardrobe is the pashmina or cashmere. It is an expensive, rare textile made from the delicate fibers of cashmere or pashmina goats. A cashmere scarf for men is a trendy item for winter clothing. With proper care, the best cashmere scarf for women can last years. Cashmere, however, is a delicate material and can quickly shrink if it is accidentally put in the wrong laundry session.
Does cashmere shrink?
Cashmere shrinks for two different reasons.
The first thing that causes cashmere shrinkage is its structure. Like all wool materials, cashmere is susceptible to excessive heat and moisture because it is comprised of wool. Cashmere wraps and shawls will shrink if it is exposed to moisture or heat.
The second reason is when you wash your cashmere incorrectly. Your cashmere will shrink if you wash it in warm or hot water. The best method to wash pure cashmere is with your hands and in cool water. It allows you to maintain the original form of your cashmere for quite a while.
Before we embark on the journey of unshrinking, let's take a moment to appreciate the allure of cashmere. Cashmere, woven from the delicate fibers of cashmere or pashmina goats, is a precious textile that can elevate any wardrobe. Whether it's a stylish cashmere scarf for men or an enduring classic like the best cashmere scarf for women, these pieces can grace your attire for years. However, as we know, cashmere is delicate and can quickly shrink if not treated with care.
The Culprits Behind Cashmere Shrinkage
Cashmere can shrink for two distinct reasons:
- Structural Sensitivity: Just like all wool materials, cashmere is vulnerable to excess heat and moisture due to its woolen composition. These elements can cause your cashmere wraps and shawls to contract.
- Washing Woes: Incorrect washing methods can lead to cashmere shrinkage, especially with warm or hot water. To preserve the original form of your pure cashmere, hand washing in cool water is the golden rule.
Nurturing Your Cashmere - The Right Way
To prevent shrinkage in the first place, it's essential to follow these key care guidelines:
- Always opt for lukewarm water when washing cashmere, as extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can harm those delicate fibers.
- Refrain from using regular soap or unsuitable detergents, which can damage the fabric and leave behind unwanted residues.
- Take the time to read and adhere to the care instructions provided on the label of your cashmere items, ensuring they receive the treatment they deserve.
Now, let's embark on two distinct journeys - one for hand-washing and the other for machine-washing your cherished cashmere:
Hand-Washing Your Cashmere:
Step 1: Prepare a wash basin filled with lukewarm water and add a suitable cashmere cleanser, following the recommended dosage on the detergent's label.
Step 2: Gently immerse your cashmere item for about a minute, then allow it to soak for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Take that item out, rinse it, and lightly squeeze the water out of it. It's important to be careful because wet cashmere fibers are much weaker than dry fibers. Rinse without using running water to avoid creasing the fabric. Instead, empty the basin of the dirty water and then replace it with fresh, warm water. Repeat this process a few times. You can stop when no soapy water is dripping from your apparel when you squeeze.
Step 4: The drying process follows next. Simply lay your cashmere flat and allow it to dry naturally; do not leave it to dry in the sun. Once it has completely dried, you are ready to go. You may either wear it again or store your cashmere and keep pests away by storing it with cedar wood discs.
Step-by-step guide for machine washing cashmere
Step 1: Get some cashmere cleaner and a mesh bag for laundry. Your cashmere item should be placed into a mesh bag to protect it. If you are washing more than one item, then use a separate bag for each.
Step 2: Place the bags containing the cashmere in the washing machine and change the setting to a hand/wool option. If your machine doesn't have a specific hand/wool setting, then set it at 30°C/86°F and 600 spins.
Step 3: Add the cashmere cleanser to your washing machine. Take the quantity that is indicated on the bottle's label.
Step 4: Once the wash is complete, remove your cashmere and let it dry in natural air. Never dry your cashmere under sunlight. Remember that drying cashmere in the dryer or in sunlight will cause substantial harm, causing it to shrink.
Step 5: Store your cashmere with cedar wood discs to protect it from pests.
How to unshrink cashmere?
Even if we are cautious with washing our cashmere, it still gets shrunk a lot of times. Finding out that your cashmere has shrunk after washing is really frustrating, but fortunately, it can be saved.
The following steps will help you unshrink cashmere items in the best possible way.
● Take a large container with cold water in it. Add some fabric softener to the cold water.
● Soak your cashmere into the container for 2 hours and then throw the water away.
● Squeeze the cashmere gently with your hands to get rid of the extra water.
● Place it on a flat surface and pull off the edges according to your needs. Don't pull harshly. You only want to stretch cashmere but not tear it.
● To keep the fabric in the stretched shape, place some weights on the edges and leave it for an hour.
● Take a look at the item later to see if it is back to its original size. Leave the stretched cashmere for as long as you require.
● Use cold water to rinse the cashmere and press gently to remove excess water. After that, let the cashmere dry naturally, but do not keep it under sunlight.
That's it. Now, your cashmere is fixed and saved from shrinkage.
Cashmere apparel are luxurious items that must be taken care of properly to ensure long-lasting. Following the above-mentioned guidelines will help maintain the quality of your cashmere apparel.