How to wash and store your cashmere sweaters

Including how often you need to wash cashmere

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Including how often you need to wash cashmere

Who doesn't love a luxurious cashmere jumper to wrap yourself in come winter? But when you ruin said jumper in the wash, it can be quite devastating, especially when it'll cost a hefty price tag for you to replace it.

So we thought we'd ask the experts at Allude exactly how best to wash and store your cashmere so it'll last forever.

How often should I wash my cashmere jumper?

It's good to know how often you should be washing your knits. Generally cashmere should go into the laundry after the fourth time of wearing at the latest. High-quality cashmere actually gets better with every wash. It is only with time that the wonderful fluff will form on the surface that makes a cashmere jumper so incredibly soft and cuddly.

Does cashmere need to be dry-cleaned?

Only in exceptional cases, for example when a piece of cashmere clothing is extremely finely knit, elaborately embroidered or woven, may dry-cleaning be recommended.

Can you use fabric softener?

Fabric softener is not recommended for cashmere! The ingredients will flatten the surface structures, and the clothes will wear out. If you want to do something good for your cashmere piece, use a commercially available hair conditioner or our Allude Condition.

What is the best way to dry cashmere jumpers?

Lay them flat on a laundry rack with a dry, absorbent towel underneath. Instead of stretching the garment in any direction, shake it out briefly and let it dry loosely in a slightly scrunched-up form. Put up the sleeves and press the cuffs slightly, so that the fabric stays elastic.

How do I prevent pilling?

You can’t! So-called pilling is a natural process that is caused by wearing – usually on especially exposed areas such as the elbows or cuffs. It has nothing to do with the quality of a product. The reason for pilling: fine hairs get loose, rub against each other and form small balls. Consistent treatment with a special cashmere comb promises remedy. Use it to remove the loose hairs, wear the jumper and then wash it. Repeat the procedure two or three times. This should stop the annoying pilling and your favourite jumper will look like new again. I would advise against cashmere shavers. The danger of tearing holes into the knitting is too great.

How do you remove stains?

Never soak or brush, which will only cause the wool to felt. Pour some Allude Cashmere Shampoo onto the stain and put it in the laundry. Make sure that the water is not hot because the dirt could possibly adhere to the material.

What is the best way to store cashmere?

Store cashmere lying flat in a wardrobe or chest, which should be dark, cool and dry if possible. At the end of the season, clean all garments and store them in a spacious wardrobe with ample room. Avoid high and tight-pressed stacks, to play it safe, best stack according to weight, with heavy pieces at the bottom and lighter ones on top.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.