It’s perfectly natural that you are obsessed with an idea of having your own cashmere knitwear. But when you go out for shopping a cashmere sweater, you may be easily daunted with the vast range available from a $69 piece to a $2,000 option. But don’t worry. Here are a few useful tips shared by cashmere experts on how to buy and care for a cashmere sweater.
1. Buy a Piece Having Three Qualities
When you’ll see a cashmere piece and get your heart set on it, first make sure if it has three qualities, viz. clear stitches, clear color and softness. It can also give your senses a positive feeling about itself. Remember that high price isn’t always synonymous to quality. If the garment is not appealing you enough, turn to another one. Also, if the price seems too good to be true, then too it may be a warning for you that its quality may not be that good.
2. Learn the Cashmere Jargon
When going out for shopping for a cashmere sweater, it may be always useful to learn the terminology to differentiate between various pieces. For example, remember that a cashmere sweater is typically knitted with a two-ply yarn. This is a yarn twisted of two of two single yarn ‘legs’ whereas one-ply is the way yarn is spun. The yarn is balanced due to this plying together which means that the yarn remains straight due to the twist as it feeds on the knitting needles during the knitting process and thus gives the sweater a straighter, clearer and more even stitch because of which the sweater’s knitted panels remain straight and in correct shape. Due to this, the garment is protected from torquing which takes place where the knitted panels are slanted causing the sweater to twist on its side seams.
If you live in a very cold, snow-clad area, you can also have 4-ply or 6-ply cashmere which is even thicker and warmer. Otherwise, you can stick to the tried and tested 2-ply which comes with the same quality but for a less price.
3. Avoid Patchiness and Uneven Finish
Avoid knitwear that has a patchy and uneven finish and may look matted and felted on top surface. This indicates that the garment has been washed too much during final finishing, usually from a manufacturer who is not a specialist in cashmere knitting. And even though it says that it’s 100% cashmere but is not feeling good, don’t buy it since you have so many other choices.
4. Hand Test
This is a very simple test. You just have to slip your hand inside the sweater and check if you can see it through the layer of the sweater. If you can see your hand, leave it. It’s because it’s too thin (must be single-ply) and won’t last long.
5. Avoid Pilling
Inferior-quality fiber may not be pure white and is coarser and shorter; hence in addition to a more open and looser stitch, the garment will surely pill more. If the fiber is thicker and shorter, it’s more likely to pull out of the surface of the garment due to the movement and friction when you wear the sweater, and these fibers roughen together to produce pills. Also if the colors of the fiber are dark, they will become duller and less vivid and will look dirty and washed out.
While shopping for sweaters, beware of pieces that are too cheap. Also beware of coarser, shorter hairs of fiber that stand erect from the top surface of the sweater.
Finally, low-quality sweater feels loose and its knitted surface would be more see through than you would expect.
Actually, the best and easiest way to buy high-quality cashmere knitwear is just to head out to a shop like We Are Rushworth and you can get just what you want in knitwear.
6. How to Care for Cashmere?
According to experts, the thing you should do after every wear is to remove all the pills at once from your sweater. Ideally you should do this by hand; however, if this is not possible, you can do it with a good quality lint brush.
Secondly, don’t use the sweater every day. Your cashmere sweater will need some time to relax and re-energize itself by ‘breathing’ after every wear. Also, never wash your cashmere too often because the cashmere fibers contain natural oils which are lost with every wash. As per experts, hand washing is the best for your cashmere, while dry clean is not recommended. Hand wash in very lukewarm water with a very small quantity of low acidity soap or a good neutral hair shampoo and just knead and squeeze the sweater, but never rub or wring. The washing process should be as short as possible and never soak the sweater. Further rinse in cool water immediately to remove all the soap. Remove as much water too as you can. Dry out of straight sunlight, laying it out on a dry towel and pulling it to the desired shape. Change the dry towel if required.
7. Storage Tips
Always make sure you store your cashmere knitwear folded in an airy drawer or on shelf. Avoid squeezing or smashing them. Never hang them. Remove pills. Since your sweaters will need to ‘breathe’ between wears, it’s not recommended to store them in plastic bags. When winter is over and you’d store your sweater for a prolonged period, always wash or clean it. Place natural rosemary or lavender sachets or pine blocks inside it, but never place moth balls.
All in all, with the above tips you can buy a real cashmere sweater and maintain it well too. Follow them and enjoy wearing your cashmere sweater!