I have a new penchant for something I really wish I didn’t have. No it’s not foundations, a new hair va-va-voomer or a trashy TV programme (though Catfish is bringing it at the moment) – it’s cashmere. Something I wish I had never discovered (I say as I chow down on a bare naked piece of toast, a repercussion of my latest purchase). I spoke about my first encounter with the stuff in my ‘Autumn Style Staples’ video. I had no idea why an H&M scarf was pricey at the grand ol’ age of 17, but it was just so darn soft leading me to traipse up to the till handing my Saturday job earned pennies over. My love for the stuff has stayed dormant until a recent Zara purchase and then this Whistles bad boy came along…

Now I should point out that the act of buying this was egged on by a 25% off code in Grazia but I still weep a little when I spot the receipt. The cashmere in question is the Mia Boxy Jumper. It’s comfy, cosy and keeps you so toasty I’ve experienced the sweaty tube journey to prove it. The cut drapes smoothly off the shoulders and the lines of piping give it a little somethin’ somethin’. I’ve been incorporating it into my all-black uniform of my Topshop Leigh Jeans, Whistles Canter Boots and a good chunky watch.

But the purpose of this post is not to show and tell but to pick your brains for cashmere caring tips. Because at the moment I’m rationing their wear as I’m too terrified to wash them (see above notes on the tube journey to understand why this is a priority). So please feel free to share below.

And you know what? Plain toast ain’t that bad.

  • Jenny

    don’t put in the washing machine! hand wash in tepid water and then flat-dry! i love cashmere too, perhaps check thrift shops for cheaper purchases! love your blog more and more! x

    • Poulette

      this! Handwash using a gentle detergent & flat dry on an old towel to soak up moisture. The best thing is then to iron on a low setting – it sounds like a pain, but honestly makes jumpers just look so much better for so much longer that its worth it. I always iron watching tv to help the time pass :-)

  • vanessa

    What size did you get Anna? I think you hand wash wash wool in cool water, as warm will shrink the garment and then lay it flat to dry?. But I’m no expert by all means and cashmere is a lot more delicate! This is a question one should ask their mother!

  • tiu_lea

    Agree with Jenny! Also, don’t twist it!

  • Lia

    I am a bit of a cashmere fiend myself, unfortunately! I usually wash mine in the hand wash setting on the washing machine, inside a garment bag, with a very gentle detergent (or of course you can hand wash cold in the sink). Once washed, lay the sweater flat on a clean, dry towel and then softly roll the towel up to absorb some of the moisture. Then just lay it flat to dry. And never hang cashmere! It should always be folded so that the hanger doesn’t leave stretch marks in the fabric.

    • Annette

      Totally agree. This works for me too – and i have a LOT of cashmere. As does my mother who also machine washes it. Never had anything shrink. The washing machine goes veeeeery slowly on the hand wash cycle and the water is just the right temperature (something you could easily get wrong when washing by hand). ONLY use special wool and delicates liquid detergent because biological will ruin cashmere.

  • Aimee Neale

    Whistles have posted a series of Cashmere-Care instructions on their Instagram! x

  • sorarosa

    Have you had a look at Uniqlo? They have nice cashmere sweaters as well if they have the same range of clothes as Japan, and they are slightly (but definitely) cheaper than other stores! So you might feel less stressed about washing? Worth trying in any way :) x

  • Ramona Adair

    Hand wash, mild detergent, cool water. Jolie Kerr does a hilarious and informative coloumn about this stuff: http://thehairpin.com/2011/12/ask-a-clean-person-something-winter-this-way-comes-part-2

  • MsDenbi

    Definitely wash it by hand, and then hang it up to dry. Putting it in the washing machine shrinks it and destroys it!

    • Jess

      Don’t hang it up! Let it dry flat

      • MsDenbi

        Oh really?! Do you know why that is the case? I usually hang my cashmere and I’ve never had a problem.

  • Becky Alyssa

    Charity shops are excellent for affordable pure wool/pure cashmere items! Although in the last few months I’ve noticed my local ones ridiculously overcharging which is a shame!

  • Isabelle McWilliam

    Actually LOLd thinking about you eating plain toast! Who needs food when you have such a cosy jumper ;)

    It can’t be another beauty blog

  • Allison

    I actually gasped when I saw the price of that sweater! Although it is super gorgeous and probably so soft its worth it, I think I’ll stick to finding a mildly overpriced scarf for now

    http://mercuteify.blogspot.com/

  • Emily

    Unfortunately I am allergic to all types of animal hair so cashmere is a no go for me. My grandmother wears it regularly though and she simple washes her sweaters by hand with some Dr. Bronner’s soap.

    -Emily

  • Elisia

    one word… MOTHS!!!! I lost my favourite White Company cashmere jumper last year to the evil little critters. Now I always fold mine and keep them in zip locked storage. And in terms of care, I always get my wool & cashmere jumpers dry cleaned just to be on the safe side! x

  • Fel

    Use a wool washing liquid, preferably one with eucalyptus to keep the moths away, and hand wash it then lay it out flat to dry. You can wring out the excess water first by rolling it up in a towel and then applying pressure- like kneeling on it.

  • http://bronzerbunny.com/ Joyce (bronzer bunny)

    the laundress cashmere wash! :) i haven’t used it in ages. A lot of times i use those at home dry cleaning kits though to freshen it up. Dryel, or something like that?

  • http://www.downtownhautefashion.blogspot.com/ Leslie

    Always Dry Clean. I love cashmere!
    <3

    http://downtownhautefashion.blogspot.com

    • Lucy

      You can’t dry clean cashmere!

  • Antje

    Cashmere being an animal fibre, you need to make sure that you that you use a wool detergent as normal washing powder will felt the material. Ditto for any other kind of wool. The laundress stuff is great, Pure Collection also do a special cashmere detergent. In addition, invest in one of those little cashmere combs to remove any pilling. Please don’t use these little battery powered shavers to remove pilling as they get stuck in the fabric very easily and you could end up with holes in attempt to free your jumper. Don’t wring it after washing. Instead, place it on a bath towel, roll like Swiss roll and squeeze gently before drying it flat. A word on moths: They have excellent taste and love cashmere. It’s important to keep the garment clean; they seem to be particularly attracted to jumpers that have been worn but not laundered. A zip bag is a good idea but make sure you air it out regularly. Good luck & enjoy the softness!

  • Katie

    Hi Anna! I’ve found this page on the whistles website to be so helpful for tips on how to look after your cashmere jumpers! I, like you, was rationing the wear of my favourite knits until I read this!

    http://www.whistles.co.uk/inspiration/a-whistles-guide-to-cashmere-care

  • http://emmabebeauty.blogspot.ie/ Emma Be Beauty

    I’m not sure I’ve ever owned anything that is cashmere but perhaps I’ll stay away to avoid the cashmere bug!

    http://emmabebeauty.blogspot.ie/

  • Amy

    Wow! That jumper was expensive, I’m not sure I could fork out that much for a jumper but I bet it feels so soft and lovely :)

    Amy | http://amysbeautyjournal.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Chrissabella

    That jumper looks amazing and nothing beat a good old cashmere jumper when it gets really chilly!

    Greetings from London,

    chrissabella.blogspot.com

  • Anya Cross

    Ahhhh cashmere. I need to own a cashmere jumper this winter, that looks super cosy! Unfortunately I don’t have any tips as I haven’t owned one before. I’d probably say that you should definitely hand wash it though!! x

    http://www.crazylins.blogspot.co.uk

  • judithaldana

    Here, this helped me when I destroyed my first cashmere scarf, hope it does the same for you! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-XcuuF1fo0

  • Stéphanie GB

    My God, 300$ for a sweater! I love cashemere though :)

  • Bex

    I love your taste but how the hell do you afford this stuff?

    • Cutthecrap

      How the hell would that be any of your business?

  • H

    Uniqlo has amazing cashmere jumpers for a very economical price. Holds up nicely as well! :)

  • http://acoldwintersday.wordpress.com/ Claudia

    don’t wash it too often! but when you do: turn the jumper inside out, put it in your washing machine with the hand wash or wool program at 30°C and tumble low at 400. after washing very gently stretch and pull it to its normal shape and leave it lying flat on a towel to dry (hanging it up will stretch it downwards and make it shapeless & baggy).

  • http://dressupwithlola.com/ Lola

    Dang! I am gutted that I didnt take advantage of the 25% discount and treat me to some cashmere now! I ended up splurging on a pair of leopard print slippers. Funnily, my encounter with my first ever cashmere product occurred last year, I got myself a cashmere scarf and now can’t wear the anything but cashmere around my neck! X

  • Catherine

    Woah, can’t believe I missed that voucher!!

  • tanja

    I looove cashmere, it feels so nice on the skin I have a passion for it :) Your jumper looks great, I would wear it :)

    Love ♥

    http://voyagevoyagelamonde.blogspot.de/

  • Carrie Ward

    Never wash cashmere, it’s so not worth it for the amount money wasted, and bucket of tears at the washing machine. Uniqlo and M&S do some nice styles that are slightly cheaper and you wouldn’t know unless you look at the label, shhhhhhhhhh!

  • Bec

    If you want a more bargainous cashmere treat H&M are doing gorgeous pure cashmere jumpers this season – I bought a grey one and love it – if they did more colours I’d buy them all! They’re 39.99 I think but you can get 25% off with various codes online :)

  • Talli

    I love cashmere and have been collecting Chinti and Parker jumpers for a while (apologies in advance) and I wash mine in the machine when I don’t have time to hand wash. I turn it inside out and put it in a muslin or other soft bag (pai skincare have great ones) I then wash it with sulphate and silicone free shampoo, I’m loving a couple from Holland and Barratt and they’re relatively cheap. To dry I put towels on my drying rack, reshape and leave it flat in my front room where the air circulates better. I believe Net-A-Porter has a new line called Laundress for cashmere and it comes with a brush, it’s expensive but it looks good! Welcome to the cashmere club!

  • Aine

    Mr Porter wrote a really helpful article on caring for your cashmere https://www.mrporter.com/journal/journal_issue49/1#1

  • Radhika

    I had a cashmere sweater when I was younger and didn’t even know what it really was. But you’ve convinced me! Just ordered the gorgeous cashmere sweater off Zara… So excited!

    http://radhikajit.wordpress.com

  • Christina Abdilla

    Oh my wordss… I could feel how soft that jumper is from here, just by looking at it!

    http://tinasbeautyscrapbook.blogspot.com/

    x

  • Oresiri teru

    If I could afford one I’d be right on it

    http://cocotulips.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Sam Glossips

    I bought the whistles long black cashmere cardigan with the 25% code. Worth every penny! Loving your jumper too Anna. X

  • Olivia S

    reading this post wishing I was cuddled up wearing that instead of this old t-shirt I have on now :’(

    OliviaPiage31.blogspot.com

  • http://ohsofabulousdarling.blogspot.com/ darling d

    I looove cashmere! I wash most of my cashmere jumpers in the washing machine, I just pop them in a delicates bag (or cushion cover!) and wash them on a cold wash or gentle cycle. I have never had any issue so far. But if I think a jumper is too delicate I will handwash it. Either way I lay them flat to dry.

  • Costanza Gristina

    Cashmere is absolutely the best for chilly days and winter, of course!
    And once you buy a good-quality piece, you’ll be sure that it will last a long time!
    I wash them by hand with a gentle soap, even nourishing shampoo!

  • amberdesmet

    Wash your cashmere in cold water with shampoo and let it dry flat – works for me :) I have a cashmere obsession as well…

  • fromwellingtonstostilettos

    If you love your cashmere don’t risk the washing machine, i know from experience how painful it is when your favorite cashmere item is ruined. What works best for me is a cap full of special cashmere soap (found in waitrose) in a basin of cold water, leave for about 30mins and then rinse out and dry flat on a towel. Because the fibers in cashmere are so delicate, especially when wet you don’t want to be scrunching it up in the basin, ringing it out or hanging out to dry (hence the towel for support, it also stops you getting those annoying indent lines from the rack)
    Hope that helps!

  • Ariana

    It is best to hand wash cashmere (not dry clean) with either a special cashmere cleanser (I use the Laundress) or a really gentle detergent (like Woolite). Wash it like any of your other hand-washables, rinse it out as much as possible and then roll it in a towel to remove as much water as possible. Let it air dry and it’s like new!