Cashmere Care Questions & Answers

Your Fraser cashmere scarf is an investment that can last a lifetime, keeping its looks from season to season and remaining as soft and luxurious as the first time you wore it.  Customers buying scarves often ask about cashmere care, and we'd like to share some of the answers here.

Frequently asked questions

Can my cashmere scarf be dry-cleaned?

Yes it can, but we would recommend hand-washing. Dry-cleaning uses harsh chemicals that make it feel less special and eventually shorten its life. Careful hand-washing gives it a soft and luxurious finish.

Can I machine wash my cashmere scarf?

We would always hand wash cashmere.  It can be machine washed but great care must be taken. Set the programme to Wool and the wash temperature to Cold. Place the scarf in a mesh bag. Use laundry liquid suitable for washing cashmere.  A short spin can be used; see the note in the instrutions below. When finished remove immediately from the machine.  Dry as detailed below.  Do not tumble dry.

What type of soap or detergent should I use?

We recommend that you use a laundry liquid designed especially for cashmere and wool. It should be non-biological and without bleach or enzymes. The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo can be used for hand or machine washing. It is made of natural ingredients and contains a cedar extract which is also good for deterring moths.  Check online for UK stockists.  For handwashing only, you could alternatively use a baby shampoo.  Hunter of Brora do a Cashmere Shampoo for hand washing.  Do not use your regular laundry detergent. These detergents are usually alkaline and will damage the delicate fibres.

I live in a hard water area. How can I soften the water for washing cashmere?

A little vinegar (less than a capful to a sinkful of water) can help to soften the water and encourage a lather.

Should I use a fabric conditioner on cashmere?

No. A fabric conditioner produces a chemical coating on the fibres, which can actually cause them to stiffen. It reduces the natural lustre and softness, and can result in pilling later in the life of the scarf.  A dash of vinegar in the rinsing water will act as a natural softener.

How should I store my scarf when I am not wearing it?

If you are putting your scarf away for the summer, fold it and place it in a plastic bag. Store with a natural moth repellent such as a lavender sachet or cedar balls.

How can I prevent pilling?

Because scarves don’t suffer the same friction as larger garments, pilling should not be  a problem. Generally taking care with washing, as recommended, will also help to avoid pilling.   Avoid washing too often - natural fabrics do not need such frequent washing as synthetics.  Should pilling appear, a proprietary cashmere comb can be used to remove it.

The All Diamonds Cashmere scarf in Black & Camel
The All Diamonds Cashmere scarf in Black & Camel

The Gansey Diamond cashmere scarf in Black & White

How to wash and dry your scarf

Wash

Fill a sink with cold water. Add some pure soap or special wool shampoo and mix in.  Soak the scarf for 5-10 minutes, to allow the soap to reach all the fibres. Gently move the scarf around in the water for a minute or two. Loosely fold the scarf and squeeze out excess water.

Rinse

Fill a sink with cold water. If you like you can add a dash of vinegar and mix in.  This acts as a fabric softener. Gently rinse the scarf and squeeze out excess water. Refill sink and repeat.

Dry

Lay flat on a towel and roll up to remove most of moisture. Alternatively, the scarf can be briefly machine spun, first loosely wrapping it in a large towel to protect it from too vigorous action. A cool iron can now be used if needed. Place a dry towel on the floor and lay the scarf flat, gently smoothing into shape. Turn scarf over once during drying process, smoothing into shape.

Some don'ts

Do not use bleach; do not use warm water; do not use fabric softener; do not wring or stretch; do not tumble dry.

Some dos

Do be gentle; do use a recommended shampoo; do dry flat.

Our scarves are handwashed and hand dressed with great care.  Shetland water is soft, and gives a luxurious finish to wool and cashmere.