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.
Frequency of Washing
Your item should be washed and blocked to show off your garment after it's completed, and then should be washed and blocked again before storing during the summer months. In general, your cashmere items don't need to be washed multiple times per season. It's important that you properly clean your items before storing, as unseen food particles could attract moths in storage. If you've cleaned and blocked your pieces before storing, you should be able to wear them again as soon as the weather cools down the following year without washing and blocking again.
- We do not recommend dry cleaning, instead wash using a mild detergent like Eucalan.
- Wash your items in a clean sink, make sure other soap and cleaners have been rinsed out of your sink.
- Wash your hand knit and hand crochet cashmere in cool water, hot water can shrink the cashmere and cause felting.
- Agitate the water and detergent before adding your garment.
- Do not ring, twist, or rub your garments. Instead, gently squeeze the water through.
- Gently press the water out, making sure that the piece stays together so that no one part gets stretched out. We like using a colander or salad spinner to hold larger pieces and avoid stretching while we press water out.
- To make drying faster, wrap your garment in a towel and press as much water out as possible.
- Always lay your garments out flat to dry. For hats, sweaters, and mitts you can lay flat gently smoothing the piece. 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.
- Store garments flat, and folded. Do not hang, as this will stretch out your garments.
- Store cashmere in a cool, dark, clean place. 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. Instead store your garments in breathable bags or in a drawer.
- If you can, wrap your cashmere in acid-free tissue paper. This will preserve the original color and protect against dust.
- Cedar balls or scented sachets can help keep moths away, but remember they need to be replaced regularly as they loose their strength after a season. We would not recommend chemical moth balls, as they contain chemical pesticides that could damage the delicate cashmere fibers or the natural dye.
Have questions or suggestions on caring for cashmere? Leave a comment below!