(from J.Crew Cashmere Affair- August 30, 2011)
Who better to advise on cashmere care than the ladies at The Laundress New York? We got the inside scoop from Lindsey and Gwen, the brains behind the eco-friendly line of specialty detergent and fabric-care products, on how to make our cashmere last forever (and save money doing it!).
We are sick of spending money on dry-cleaning bills! Walk us through how to hand wash a cashmere sweater.
First of all, dry cleaners use all sorts of chemicals on clothes and are expensive. One bottle of The Laundress New York for J. Crew cashmere wash is only $18 and you can get upwards of 32 washes out of it. Cashmere is a luxury good that’s meant to last and should be treated with care, so hand washing is the best option for keeping your cashmere like new. Caring in between washing and wearing is just as important too.
What’s the best way to store cashmere?
Always clean your items before storing. Do not store your sweaters in plastic- use cotton bags that close with zippers. Plastic creates an environment for moth breeding- perfume, body oils and other products, such as deodorant, are food for the bugs! Bugs will not eat through cotton. Spray with The Laundress New York for J.Crew cashmere spray, which is a natural moth and bug repellent, in between washing, wearing and storing.
What are some other must-know cashmere-care tips?
Pilling happens from wearing, not washing. Pilling is not necessarily a sign of poor quality; it’s actually the cashmere naturally shedding. A good pill remover is essential and we have tried them all, which is why we designed The Laundress New York for J.Crew sweater comb. To remove odor from wearing, storing or previous dry-cleaning, soak with water and vinegar for half an hour.
What’s in your cashmere treatment?
All The Laundress products are naturally derived, nontoxic and 100 percent biodegradable and do not have any artificial colors. The Laundress New York for J.Crew cashmere wash is a coconut soap base scented with lavender extracts and is exclusively made for J.Crew. Not only does it smell amazing, but it is also a natural moth and bug repellent.
Here’s our step-by-step guide for hand washing your cashmere (it’s easier than you think!).
· First, de-pill by combing the areas with The Laundress New York for J.Crew sweater comb.
· Examine the sweater for stains and pre-treat with a stain solution if necessary.
· Turn inside out (stains and odors mostly build up on the underarms and inside of garments).
· Prepare a basin of cool/tepid water plus two capfuls of The Laundress New York for J.Crew cashmere wash.
· Submerge and press gently with your hands and let soak for 15 to 30 minutes.
· Rinse the sweater well, pressing out the excess water, but do not wring.
· Using a flat drying rack is the best or lay a towel flat and place the sweater on top of it in its natural shape to dry- never hang cashmere because it will distort the fabric and ruin the fit.