A lot has changed in a week with this weather! Typical of an Indiana winter it was 50 degrees one day, and snow the next. It’s safe to say that the warm weather fabrics such as cashmere, down, wool and velvet have moved to the front of the closet.
Quality, timeless items made from the above mentioned fabrics often require a monetary investment when purchased and then, to prolong the life of these items, an investment in properly caring for them.
Here’s our tips to maintaining your cashmere, down, wool and other winter fabrics so they remain in like new condition.
- Once your cashmere is dry-cleaned, remove the protective plastic immediately. Fold and wrap cashmere items in tissue paper and place in cedar-scented bags instead.
- Moths love the scents that can linger on your cashmere like your perfume, food and deodorant. If you don’t want to discover little holes in your sweaters when you take them out of storage next fall/winter, be sure to store them clean.
- When storing, fold sweaters in thirds. This way, you won’t get the line running down the front of the sweater.
- If you hand wash your cashmere sweater, which we strongly recommend if you don’t send it to a professional cleaner, wash in cold water with a gentle detergent and lay it flat to dry.
Down Jackets, Vest, and Blankets
- We recommend having down professionally cleaned. If you choose to launder at home, never launder in a top loading machine – only a front loading washer.
- Always use the proper amount of soap if you choose to machine wash. Never more – residual soap prevents down items from getting fluffy.
- If your down item is really dirty, stop the machine mid-wash for an hour or so and let it soak.
- Run an additional wash cycle with no soap to ensure all residual detergent is rinsed out.
- Dry on low heat and toss a few tennis balls or dryer balls into the dryer to break up clumps. Even with the tennis/dryer balls, you’ll want to pull the item out of the dryer periodically and manually pull apart the clumps with your fingers.
- During the winter, use a lint or suede brush to remove surface soil and lint.
- Hang coats on sturdy hangers so as not to stretch the shoulder area.
- Blot, don’t rub, light stains with cold water and an absorbent towel.
- Like with cashmere, always dry clean wool at the end of the season to ward off moths attracted to everyday human scents like perfume, food and deodorant.
- Never use scalding hot water to hand wash wool and never use bleach.
- Allow 24 hours between wearing your wool sweaters and pant to allow wrinkles to dissipate and the elasticity of the fabric to bounce back.
- Some velvet must be dry cleaned so read the label first.
- Between washings you can use a lint roller to remove lint, dust and threads from velvet items.
- Never iron. It will leave an imprint. Use a steamer instead and turn the items inside out to steam.
- To store velvet, store it clean and flat inside garment boxes. Do not fold.
- Unlike Down, you cannot blot a stain on velvet. It will flatten. Instead, shake out moisture and if it leaves a stain, have it cleaned as soon as you can.
If you are wondering if you should clean a winter item at home or have questions on how to do it, contact a professional for guidance.