We've been asked how best to care for hand knit and crochet items made with June Cashmere yarns, so today we'll be posting some of our tips and tricks to ensure your hand made pieces will last for years to come.
Washing the first time
When you make an item in cashmere, the item isn't finished until you wash and block it. This allows the cashmere to bloom, stitches to even out, and even more softness to emerge. As we continue to wear our cashmere items, there are steps we can to keep them in tip top shape so that they last us a very long time.
General upkeep of cashmere
In general, you don't need or want to wash your cashmere multiple times a season. The best 'care' of your cashmere is to wear it. When we wear our cashmere, we actually help to brush away any damaging insects or moths that may be attracted to it. Some additional tips are:
- Consider wearing your cashmere year-round. Cashmere is a hollow fiber, making it lightweight and insulating when cold. However, this doesn't mean that cashmere makes us 'hot' - it has the amazing property to regulate with our body temperature, making it a wonderful year-round fiber to wear. For summer months, think indoor air conditioning and cool mornings and evenings as perfect for cashmere.
- Gently brushing off and airing out your cashmere also help to keep it fresh.
We do not recommend the chemical process of dry cleaning as a means of caring for cashmere. Cashmere is a natural fiber that is best cleaned by hand washing. When it comes time to wash your cashmere item, follow these steps:
- Use a mild soap like gentle shampoo to hand wash your cashmere.
- Wash your items in a clean sink, making sure other soap and cleaners have been rinsed out of your sink.
- Wash your cashmere in cool water or slightly warm water.
- Agitate the water and detergent before adding your garment. Let soak for about 20 minutes. Drain water.
- Slosh your cashmere in clean water to thoroughly rinse out the soap.
- Do not ring or twist your garments. Instead, lay your cashmere item flat on a dry, clean towel and then roll the towel up (with the cashmere inside), gently squeezing out the water as you roll.
- To dry, lay your cashmere item flat. For most items, you can lay the piece flat, gently smoothing it into shape
- . For garments with lace we recommend pinning to open up the lace pattern. Your item will dry however it's placed, so be thoughtful in making sure everything is symmetrical.
- Although it's tempting to put your cashmere garments near a heater to dry faster, keep items away from heat sources and let them dry naturally. However, blocking on a breathable mat instead of a towel will circulate air underneath your item and make drying faster. A ceiling fan can also help speed up the process by circulating the air.
- Allow your item to dry completely before removing from the board.
- Many recommend washing your cashmere garment before storing. If you feel your garment is dirty, you can follow the steps above before storing.
- Minimally, gently brush off your garment and allow it to air out before storing.
- Store garments flat, and folded. Do not hang, as this will stretch out your garments.
- Store cashmere in breathable zipped bags in a cool, dark, clean place. This will protect the cashmere from damaging moths or insects. Do not store in a plastic bag or box, changes in temperature will cause condensation which dries on garments and can cause mildew or yellowing.
- If you can, wrap your cashmere in acid-free tissue paper. This will preserve the original color and protect against dust.
- We do not recommend chemical moth balls as additional moth/insect control. They contain chemical pesticides that could damage the delicate cashmere fibers or the natural dye.
Following these tips should allow you to enjoy your cashmere garments and accessories for many years to come.