How to store cashmere
Cashmere is a wonderful material. It’s soft, lightweight, warm and on top of that, very stylish. It’s also highly durable and boasts a long lifespan. And it is our job as cashmere lovers to increase the longevity of our cashmere garments as much as possible.
And in order to help it live a lot longer, we need to take care of it properly. Washing and drying cashmere is a huge part of proper care. But there is one more step that follows. Storing cashmere is equally as important, but as you may probably guess, it’s not enough to just hang it, put it inside a wardrobe, and forget about it until next season comes.
So what is the best way to store cashmere? And why does it matter?
Why should you store cashmere properly?
As we have already mentioned, properly storing cashmere increases its longevity, allowing us to enjoy our favorite scarves and jumpers for so much longer. Trust us, your cashmere will be thanking you for dozens of years.
Storing cashmere after washing also prevents many odour-producing bacteria from ever gaining a foothold in your garments. And who would want to open their wardrobe and realize their favourite cashmere scarf smells funny?
And most importantly, store your cashmere the right way to protect it from moths. No one likes moths. They have a nasty reputation of just one day appearing inside our wardrobes and nibbling on our clothes. Often, they nibble on them so much that they destroy them, to the point of no return.
Now that we know why storing cashmere is important, let’s talk about how to store cashmere the best way.
Storing cashmere: best practices
Folding vs hanging
With many clothes, we often use coat hangers. But with cashmere, you should forget that coat hangers exist. Storing cashmere folded is always better in the long run.
Think of it that way. When hanged, gravity will be pulling the cashmere fibres down, stretching them in the process. Even though cashmere is very light it can’t escape physics. The tension will eventually cause stretching, and in the process, misshape your cashmere, on top of making it weaker.
Folding on the other hand prevents this type of damage. But, folded and stacked cashmere clothes are still susceptible to a different kind of force. Fortunately, compression damage can be greatly minimized. We’ll explain how in the next point.
Short-term vs long-term storage
Short-term refers to storing cashmere that you still intend to wear this season. While long-term storing means keeping your clothes safe until the next season when you decide to wear them again.
In a way, the same main rule applies to both. Keep your cashmere folded, and you’re going to be fine. Also, remember to not expose your cashmere to direct sunlight when storing it. The last thing is to keep your wardrobe a well-ventilated and moisture-free environment. But there are additional things you need to consider when taking time into account.
First of all, don’t put your in-use cashmere with the ones that are waiting for a different season. You don’t want any bacteria moving to your fresh garments, do you?
Secondly, when storing for the long term you should prepare to minimize compression damage that will happen from storing cashmere.
We recommend separating the cashmere layers with a piece of cloth.
This will break the tension between the natural cashmere fibres. Using bags for clothes storage is also a good idea. But, not all bags are made equal. So which ones are a good fit for storing cashmere clothes?
Which bags should you use to store cashmere?
Can you store cashmere in plastic bags? That’s not a good idea. Plastic is non-breathable. It also traps heat and moisture very well. All of these properties are an absolute hindrance to cashmere storage. You’re better off not using bags at all than trapping your precious cashmere inside a plastic one.
Is it safe to store cashmere in vacuum bags? So plastic bags are not suitable, but what about vacuum bags? They won’t trap heat and moisture, right? While that is true, they come with a different drawback. We have already mentioned that compression damage happens even when just stacking your light cashmere garments on each other. Think of how much tension your fibers are experiencing when exposed to vacuum pressure. Unfortunately, vacuum bags are not fit for storing cashmere.
Should you use knitwear bags? The third time’s the charm. Knitwear bags are absolutely suitable for cashmere storage. They are breathable, don’t trap heat and moisture, and don’t cause any additional tension. Just remember to not squeeze too many clothes inside one bag, or the compression damage will increase. 2-3 garments per bag is usually an optimal amount. Knitwear bags also serve as a protective layer against moths.
And while we’re on the subject of moths…
How to protect cashmere against moths?
Cedarwood – Moths hate the smell of cedarwood. If you have one, you can store cashmere in a cedar chest. If you don’t, just having small cedar blocks or balls of cedarwood inside your wardrobe is a great way to tell the pesky clothes eaters they are not welcome.
Lavender – It’s yet another smell moths dislike. When storing cashmere, put a small bundle of dried lavender in your wardrobe. Also if you like the smell of lavender it can double down as a great air freshener.
Ventilation – Moths are attracted to lingering smells in our clothes. Keeping your wardrobe well ventilated, and washing cashmere prior to storing it, is itself moth prevention method.
Moth traps – These are more radical solutions to the moth problem, very useful as both a preventive measure and cure to a possible moth problem.
And that’s it. Now you know how to protect cashmere against those pesky clothes nibblers. No more fine dining for them! Your wardrobe now bars moths from entering, keeping your clothes fresh, safe, and whole.