Contrary to popular belief, dry cleaning cashmere can actually be bad for the life of your sweater. The toxic chemicals used in dry cleaning can actually break down the fibers and contact with deodorant may cause discoloration.
It is also important not to over-wash cashmere. You may only want to wash a cashmere garment every three – four wearings or only a few times a season if you do not wear it often.
After wearing, drape your garment over a chair overnight before folding and putting away. This allows the garment to air and permits body oils, perfumes, etc. to evaporate. Airing your garment overnight will help to prevent damage by moths.
The best way to clean cashmere is to hand-wash using cashmere wash or a mild detergent formulated specifically for fine wool and cashmere.
Nothing is worse than discovering those tiny little holes all over your cashmere garments – moths!
These insects look like regular moths, but smaller. They are not more than one-half inch long and will run or fly to conceal themselves when disturbed. They prefer dark, hidden places like the creases and folds in clothes hanging in closets or folded in drawers.
Clothing moths are attracted by body oils, lotions, perfumes, makeup, etc. that are left on clothing, primarily wool and cashmere, after wearing.
The best way to prevent moths from getting into your cashmere is to ensure all of your garments, not just your cashmere, are clean before putting them away. Moths can arrive on other garments and find their way to your cashmere afterwards.
Follow the cleaning and storage instructions above carefully and make sure to air your cashmere garment overnight after wearing before folding and putting away. In addition, cedar balls can be placed in drawers and in storage bags to help prevent damage by moths.
Remember – Moths are much easier to prevent than get rid of after the fact!