While cashmere is beloved for its softness and warmth, its also notoriously difficult to care for and maintain. Thankfully, there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure your cashmere remains in good condition when storing it away. Whether youre storing cashmere for a few days, months, or even years, you can keep the fabric fresh and intact by cleaning it after your last wear, choosing the right kind of storage container, and putting it away in a clean and sanitized area.
[Edit]Cleaning Your Cashmere for Storage
Wash your cashmere before storing it to help keep bugs away. While insects like moths are attracted to cashmere fabric on its own, theyll be even more attracted to your cashmere if it has any residual body oil, products, or perfume on it from wear. Therefore, its important that you wash the cashmere before storing it to make it somewhat less attractive to fabric-eating insects.
- Make sure your cashmere is completely dry before you put it in storage.
Remove pilling from your cashmere to keep it in good condition. Using a sweater comb or a small de-pilling razor, gently scrape off any pills that have formed on the cashmeres surface. This will not only leave your cashmere in better shape and ready to wear when you take it out of storage, it will allow the fabric to soften while its being stored.
- Regardless of how you choose to remove pilling from cashmere, make sure that you work slowly and carefully to avoid ripping or cutting the fabric.
- Steam your cashmere to sanitize it and remove wrinkles. First, put your fabric steamer on the cashmere or low-heat setting. Then, run the steamer over the fabric to both sanitize and de-wrinkle it so itll be fresh and ready to use when you get it out of storage.
- If you dont have a steamer, you can also use an iron by putting it on the lowest heat setting and placing a damp cloth between the cashmere and the iron as you gently and carefully run it over the fabric.
- If the cashmere feels damp after you steam it, let it dry completely before putting it in storage.
[Edit]Choosing a Storage Container
- Keep your cashmere in a chest or closet for short-term storage. If youre storing your cashmere in between wears, keeping it in a wooden chest or folded in a closet will suffice. While a chest or closet alone wont completely keep insects at bay for long periods of time, both of these options usually allow you to fold the cashmere and lay it flat, keeping it from getting crumpled or damaged.
- If you plan to store your cashmere in a chest or closet long term, make sure that you use moth balls or liners to keep moths from eating the fabric.
- Store cashmere in plastic garment bags for up to 3 months. If youre storing cashmere for a short period of time and want to protect it from insects, plastic garment bags are a great option. However, only store cashmere in plastic for up to 3 months because the change in seasonal weather and temperature can cause condensation to form in the bags, which can cause the cashmere to mildew or turn yellow.
- Make sure that plastic garment bags are airtight to keep moths and other insects away from your cashmere.
- You can also use plastic storage containers to store your cashmere as long as it is airtight.
- Put cashmere in cotton canvas garment bags for long-term storage. If you plan on storing your cashmere for more than 3 months, cotton canvas garment bags are likely your best bet. Unlike plastic or wooden containers, cotton bags are both insect and moisture resistant, and will allow the fabric to breath so it wont get musky over time.
- Canvas garment bags that are made out of cotton are available widely online and at many storage and home improvement retailers.
- Avoid storing cashmere in cardboard boxes. While they are cheap and convenient for storage, cardboard boxes do not have a neutral pH. Therefore, the chemicals in the cashmere fabric could react with the acid or alkaline in the cardboard, which can discolor or disintegrate the fabric.
[Edit]Putting Cashmere in Storage
- Vacuum and wipe-down the storage area to keep the cashmere clean. When storing cashmere, its important that you clean the storage area to keep it from attracting insects or damaging the fabric. Therefore, before placing your cashmere in storage, use a vacuum to remove dust, as well as a sanitizing wipe to sanitize the storage area.
- If you wipe it down with a wet cloth or wipe, make sure that the area is completely dry before placing your cashmere inside.
- Line the storage area with anti-moth paper or balls. Unfortunately, moths love to eat holes in cashmere fabric. As a result, its helpful to line your storage area with anti-moth paper liners before laying the cashmere inside, or placing moth balls on and around the cashmere to keep moths at bay.
- Paper liners can also help protect the fabric from catching and snagging on wood, plastic, or anything else stored in the same container.
- You can also put cedar balls or chips in the storage area to repel these cashmere-eating insects.
- Wrap your cashmere in acid-free tissue to preserve the color. If you want to take an extra precaution to protect your cashmere, you can wrap it in acid-free tissue paper. This will help preserve the color by protecting the fabric from anything acidic or alkaline, while also protecting the cashmere against moisture and dust.
- Acid-free tissue paper is widely available online and at most craft and storage stores.
- Fold your cashmere to minimize wrinkles. First, fold the arms of your cashmere in over top of the front of the sweater. Then fold the bottom up over the arms to meet the top. This will allow the cashmere to lay as flat as possible in the storage container.
- If you need to fold the cashmere smaller, you can fold it in half one more time. Try to fold it as little as possible, however, to avoid wrinkles.
- Lay your cashmere in the storage container. Place the cashmere in storage container, laying it as flat as possible. This will keep the fabric from wrinkling and will help prevent it from getting and snags or tears.
- Never keep cashmere in hanging storage, as hangers can cause the material to stretch and distort.
- Store your cashmere away from sunlight to avoid discoloration. Regardless of what storage container you choose, make sure that your cashmere is stored in a dark, concealed location away from sunlight. Prolonged exposure to sunlight, and even some strong indoor lighting, can cause your cashmere to discolor permanently.
- This is particularly important for bright colors, as they tend to fade quicker and more drastically.