You need a washing machine with a cool handwash cycle and an adjustable spin speed – preferably 400rpm.
Check the care label. If it says Dry Clean Only or if it’s a precious vintage piece without a label, it’s better to be safe than sorry and send it to a specialist cleaner. The same goes if it’s very dirty or stained.
Whatever method you use – our favourite is a Sweater Stone – to get rid of those annoying little bobbles that happen on even the best cashmere, do it before washing and be gentle!
Check pockets are empty, do up buttons or zips and turn the sweater inside out. You won’t be turning the sweater right side out again until the very end.
Put it in a laundry mesh bag big enough to hold it loosely.
Put the bag in the machine on the handwash cycle at 30 degrees and adjust the spin speed to its lowest setting. 600 rpm is just about OK for more robust pieces but 400 or lower is much better. The higher the spin speed the more it will felt the fibres.
Add special Cashmere / Wool / Silk liquid detergent in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. Never use powder or biological detergent.
Take the sweater out of the machine as soon as possible after the wash has finished. Remove from the bag and gently smooth out the creases.
Dry the sweater flat either on a towel spread over the bars of a drying rack or spread the towel on a damp proof surface. Whichever method you use, keep away from direct heat.
Once the sweater is dry, turn on your iron to a low / medium setting – one or two dots depending on your iron. Use a water spray to mist the sweater lightly, still inside out, and then press the sweater very gently. Pressing isn’t just to make the sweater look better. It’s the best way to get rid of any tenacious moth larvae which may have survived the wash.
Turn the sweater right side out and hang it on a very well padded hanger to air. Take it off the hanger as soon as it’s completely dry and that’s it. Fabulously soft and ready to wear.