Cashmere wool is uniquely soft and warm, ideal for the winter months. Here is a guide to caring for your cashmere garments so that they keep their feel and appearance for years of everyday wear.
ABOUT SUNSPEL’S CASHMERE
The best quality cashmere comes from special goat breeds in Mongolia and the mountainous parts of north-west China, where the winters are cold and the nights are long. As the days shorten the cashmere goat grows a second winter undercoat: very fine and very soft, making for an exceptional wool.
Sunspel’s luxurious cashmere yarn is spun by specialists Todd & Duncan of Kinross in Scotland. They source the raw fibre from goatherds who show the highest standards of animal welfare and sustainable grazing practices – and they actively work to protect the traditional nomadic lifestyles of cashmere goatherds in the Gobi Desert.
Todd & Duncan have been spinning yarn on the banks of Loch Leven since 1897. It is the pure, soft water from the Loch that helps to open up the wool fibres and gives the Scottish cashmere its exceptional softness against the skin. All the water used is cleaned and returned to the Loch, so no resources are wasted.
All yarns are carded and spun on mules: a slow and painstaking process, but one that creates a uniquely rounded and voluminous yarn that pills less than any other. Scottish cashmere is also known for its durability – and if you care for it properly, you will have a luxury garment that will last you for years of everyday wear.
CASHMERE CARE TIPS
WASHING CASHMERE GARMENTS
It is not necessary to wash a cashmere garment after every wear: wool fibres are naturally resistant to dirt. Hang your garment to ventilate it between most wears and wash just a few times each season. Not only is this better for the environment but it will help your cashmere clothes last longer.
The following tips apply to most Sunspel cashmere knitwear, but remember to always check the care label before washing, as instructions can vary between styles.
- Wash inside out – when washing turn the garment inside out. This will help the outer side keep its colour and texture for longer and avoid visible wear or fading.
- Carefully handwash in cool water – this is the safest way to wash cashmere.
- Use a specialist wool detergent – preferably one that is Woolmark-recommended (look for the Woolmark symbol on the bottle). Avoid Bio detergents.
- Avoid softener – it is not necessary to use softener on Sunspel cashmere garments, and doing so can cause piling (‘bobbles’ appearing on the wool).
- Use a bath towel to remove excess water – immediately after washing, gently squeeze out any excess water then lay the garment out flat on a bath towel, roll up the towel and press on to it (avoid wringing or twisting as this could misshape the garment).
- Lay the garment out flat to dry – lay the cashmere garment flat on a rack while damp and reshape it, removing as many folds and creases as possible, then leave to dry. Do not tumble dry and avoid drying on a line or hanger as the weight of a damp garment can cause it to lose shape. Avoid drying in direct sunlight or near heat as this can cause it to shrink.
IRONING CASHMERE GARMENTS
Sunspel’s cashmere should not need to be ironed as it is naturally wrinkle-resistant. Just reshape after washing to keep garments looking at their best.
However, if you do need to remove stubborn crumples, use the iron’s wool setting and gently spray or steam the garment before lightly pressing with the iron.
REMOVING PILING FROM CASHMERE CLOTHES
Piling is the ‘bobbly’ effect that can naturally occur when the shorter fibres in wool work their way to the surface. Sunspel’s Scottish cashmere is naturally more resistant to piling than other wools, but if it does occur then carefully remove the bobbles by hand or use a pilling comb (available from any good haberdashery or online).
STORING CASHMERE GARMENTS
The most important consideration when storing cashmere knitwear is how best to retain the shape and appearance of the clothes.
- Always store knitwear folded – avoid hanging wool garments in a wardrobe for too long as they can stretch and form hanger ‘humps’ at the shoulders.
- Make sure your cashmere garments are clean and dry before storing. Any small amount of moisture can encourage moths. Using breathable garment bags or folding with a layer of tissue paper are good for ordinary storage.
- Use an airtight plastic bag or container for long-term storage. However, vacuum packing can stretch the garments out of shape so is best avoided.
- Use natural moth-repellents – lavender, rosemary or cedar have a nicer odour than traditional mothballs.
SUNSPEL’S CASHMERE RANGE
A selection of some of Sunspel’s most popular garments in cashmere: