Cashmere is a special kind of wool that can only be found in China, India, and Central Asia. For (some number of years) many have sought out Cashmere wool for both its plush texture and the intricate designs seen on cashmere clothing, scarves, and blankets. Blankets, in particular, make a great decoration for home furniture such as sofas because of the fanciful designs often found on cashmere products. However, one needs to be mindful of some best practices required to make sure cashmere stays colourful and soft in the long term. In this article, I am going to show you three important guidelines to remember when washing a cashmere blanket.
Cashmere fibres are sourced from the Cashmere Goat, which produces a double fleece that consists of a fine undercoat and a much more coarser outer fleece. It’s collected during the Spring malting season, where the fur is ready to leave the goat’s body and is easily collectable. Once the fibre is collected, it’s turned into yarn that can be used in production for items such as blankets and other clothing items. It typically takes up to 2 weeks for Cashmere fur to be produced from the point at which it’s sheered from the Goat to turning into a usable product.
Tackle Stains Early
It is recommended to clean out a stain from a cashmere blanket as soon as possible. Once a stain is settled, it will be difficult to clean.It is imperative that you avoid using hot water when cleaning a cashmere blanket or to “rub out” the stain by force. Both can easily damage the fragile blanket in different ways. Hot water will cause the fabric to shrink and cause felting as well. Rubbing out a stain can cause the fabric to get damaged and lose shape as well. A recommended method for tackling a cashmere stain early is to use cold water and a gentle stain remover or baby shampoo. Afterwards, you can wash the fabric as normal.
Hand Washing vs. Machine Wash
Unlike washable wool blankets, when cleaning something as fragile as Cashmere, hand washing may be the best option to take as it allows you to control the gentleness of your washing and the temperature of the water. Furthermore, you can prepare a solution of cold water mixed with stain removers like baby shampoo, mild detergent, or dish soap to help speed up the cleaning process. Care must be taken when rinsing a cashmere blanket as the fabric is fragile and prone to damage. Letting the blanket soak in the solution for ten minutes is also helpful as well. When soaking your blanket, be careful not to twist or stretch the fabric. Overall, hand washing is superior to machine washing in that you have more control over the washing process. However, if you need to use a washing machine for cashmere than you should not mix in whites, use cold water, and use the hand wash cycle option if present.
You can also be in control of the cleaning products you use on the blanket. Putting strong, harmful chemicals on Cashmere fibres can do more damage than good, especially over a long period of time. It will wear down the material, making it not as soft or strong, which in turn can cause rips and holes in your blanket.
Use Vinegar to Remove Musty Odors
Musty odours are another potential issue when cleaning out cashmere as things like perfume and odours from insects or pets can stick onto the surface. It is imperative that you also clear out the odours from your blanket while washing it. A recommended way to do this is to use a quarter cup of vinegar. Letting the blanket soak for 10-15 minutes is recommended to ensure that the fabric completely absorbs the vinegar. Afterwards, you can handwash and hand dry normally.
Maintain Longevity Of Your Blankets
Keeping your Cashmere Blanket clean will ensure it’s longevity; Cashmere fibres are fine hairs and so using the proper methods for cleaning will help keep it intact for longer. By keeping it your blanket clean, you’ll also be removing bacteria and other harmful chemicals from making the blanket unusable. In the long run, this can cost you a lot of money if you’re constantly replacing the blanket, especially if you’re using well-sourced expensive Cashmere.
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