If you’ve recently invested in a 100% cashmere scarf, it’s important that you understand the best way to keep it looking as beautiful as the day you bought it. As a fabric, it isn’t really high maintenance to wear but there are a few key rules that will ensure that you get the best out of your scarf.
Handwashing in lukewarm water is best, and ideally in a clean washing bowl to avoid stains or marks. Use a small amount of gentle detergent or baby shampoo and make sure that it’s fully dissolved in water before you start washing. Don’t rub, wring or twist the fabric while you wash it as this will spoil the shape of your pashmina or scarf.
You can dry clean a cashmere scarf but over time the chemicals used can affect the softness of the fabric – a lot of cashmere scarves are now marked ‘dry clean only’ which usually means that any issues with washing get passed on to the cleaners rather than the manufacturer. Dry cleaning is good for keeping moths at bay as they hate the chemicals that are used in the process. You can also, in theory, wash your scarf in a machine on a cool, delicate setting but we don’t recommend this.
It’s important to be gentle when you dry your cashmere scarf - again, no wringing or twisting, instead lay it out like a towel and lightly roll. Unroll and reshape by hand. Tumble drying is definitely not an option here! Lay your scarf flat out to dry to avoid stretching out of shape (if you hang it on a line to dry the weight of the water at the bottom will stretch your scarf out). Don’t dry on it a radiator or in sunlight, let it air-dry naturally.
Ensure that your storage area is clean and damp free. Line with anti-moth paper to avoid creepy crawlies and store in a breathable bag if possible. Remember cardboard boxes aren’t pH neutral and could react with your scarf and that plastic bags should be changed every three months to avoid condensation. Acid-free tissue paper is also a great addition to avoid damage and preserve colour. Stored scarves should be kept away from sunlight, be well-aired, dust-free and covered.
Before you pack away your cashmere, give it a little TLC and remove any creases or pilling to ensure that it stays soft and looking fabulous.
As long as you care for your cashmere properly, it will stay feeling soft and looking great even after many years of wear. There’s a reason why a 100% cashmere scarf is considered a classic wardrobe item.