The Weird Reason Your Cashmere Sweater Keeps Pilling


If you don't like synthetic fibers and you find wool too bulky and rough, then forget about sweater weather. For you, it's cashmere season. But before you splurge on a new rotation of ultra-soft knits for the season, theres a bit of due diligence to attend to. You need to know how to care for your cashmere should pesky issues like stains, pilling, or shrinkage arise.

Not only is cashmere's price point enough reason to take extra care, it's precious enough to require a bit of attention to keep it in pristine condition. With timely outdoor activities like apple picking, hiking, and leaf peeping on the calendar, it's inevitable that your clothes will befall some wear and tear. But, with the right prep you can keep your cashmere in prime condition.

Recently, ready-to-wear brand FRAME launched a new collection of sustainable cashmere, making it uniquely situated to share tips on how to make sure your cashmere lasts as long as possible. Below, Kate Keyes, the brands Senior Director of Communications and Marketing explains a few key ways you can ensure your sweater will survive the season (and many more to come). Once you've solidified your cashmere care tips, be sure to shop your favorite cashmere pieces for the chilly fall and winter seasons ahead.

How And How Often Should You Wash Your Cashmere?

"Cashmere sweaters should be washed sparingly as the fabric is so delicate, washing too often can cause damage,' explains Keyes. "We recommend washing every few wears." A good rule of thumb is to wait five wears to finally rinse it — though you can cut that down if the sweater is particularly grimy or odorous. The fewer washes, the better preserved the sweater will be, so don't be afraid to be sparing if you can. And while your first instinct may be to dry clean, the chemicals used can be damaging — hand washing is often best.

To best care for the sweater, Keyes recommends eco-friendly detergent like The Laundress' shampoo for wool and cashmere. "Simply, use two capfuls of shampoo in cold water, press out excess water and do not wring." Once the sweater is clean, avoid shrinkage and any misshaping by laying it flat on a towel. Adds Keyes, "never hang any type of sweater to avoid stretching."

In addition, Keyes explains that when you're caring for cashmere, you should avoid fabric softener as it can be harsh on the fibers. "Time is the best fabric softener for cashmere."

How Do You Care For Your Sweater Between Washes?

If you've ever noticed your sweater shedding, don't fret, it's totally normal. "As cashmere sweaters are worn, pilling can occur as a result of fabric rubbing against itself or other surfaces,' explains Keyes, who suggests using a cashmere comb or bristle brush to fix the problem. "We recommend laying cashmere sweater on a flat surface and use the comb, brushing in one direction to gently remove pills."

How Can You Ensure A Sweater Lasts As Long As Possible?

Though accidents are inevitable, Keyes' number one piece of advice is to avoid any staining as much as humanly possible. "Cashmere attracts moths and moths are attracted stains as well." Blot out spots gently with water, or use a stain remover if it's particularly tough.

If you are limited on space and tend to swap out your seasonal wardrobes, Keyes explains that it's crucial to use proper storage techniques. "When placing your piece in long-term storage, use an air-tight container or garment bag."