I am what you would call a cashmere freak. Totally! It is about the only natural sweater fiber that’s soft enough that I can wear next to my skin. Wool, mohair, and even angora are too itchy to wear without a layer between it and my somewhat sensitive hide. A big thank you to the lovely goats who provide such a fabulous fiber. 🙂
I love sweaters and wear them every day for most of the year, excepting summer. Since I buy most of my clothing at thrift stores, I am always on the lookout for that sumptuous cashmere sweater. I can usually spot them at 50 paces! They just seem to stand out amongst the masses of pilly acrylic sweaters that are the thrift shop staples. The newer cashmere sweaters tend to be a bit on the thin side, so my secret is to look for vintage cashmere made in Scotland. They are so thick and wonderful! My other secret is to look for men’s cashmere sweaters. For some reason, men’s sweaters tend to be very thick cashmere, even the newer ones. I have several big honkin’ men’s cashmere sweaters that I wear around the house with yoga pants. It is the ultimate in comfort.
Anyway, today I needed to wash four of said big honkin’ cashmere sweaters. I tend to wear cashmere many, many times before washing because I love how they pick up and hold the perfume I wear. Plus they really don’t get that dirty wearing them around the house. You don’t want to over-wash your natural fibers.
I’d heard about washing cashmere sweaters in baby shampoo, but I had yet to try it, mostly washing my sweaters in the past with a gentle Woolite-type laundry liquid. It seems that Woolite has like doubled in price recently. What’s up with that? I mean I love Woolite, but it’s seriously expensive! So I bought a big honkin’ bottle of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and used it to wash my sweaters today. I do my usual wash-sweaters-in-the-washing-machine routine, and hey, they turned out terrific! Soft and fluffy. I guess it makes sense since cashmere is goat hair and baby shampoo is made to gently clean human hair. So I give a big “thumbs up” for washing cashmere in baby shampoo.
The only somewhat unpleasant part about washing cashmere sweaters is the drying part. Of course, you must air-dry cashmere, but be prepared for the somewhat earthy aroma of wet goat as it dries. I have the four big honkin’ sweaters drying as we speak. Yes, they are very clean and fluffy, but the house smells a bit like a barn. One of the slightly annoying factors of washing cashmere, but I’ll take it. Oh, and never, never, never, never, NEVER dry clean your cashmere!!