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Does Cashmere Shrink? Everything You Need To Know

Cashmere is a type of wool material made from goats. The fiber is a delicate fiber obtained from some goat breeds like the pashmina goats, cashmere, and similar breeds. Goat wool fiber is similar to sheep wool fiber but is stronger, finer, softer, and lighter. Mongolia and China are the major producers of cashmere material in recent times. Little wonder the material is expensive and can last for years when handled with care.

If you own Cashmere clothing and want to know if it can shrink, this post got you covered. You will also learn other tips like how to unshrink cashmere and the proper way to wash and maintain the material.

Does Cashmere Shrink?

Yes. Cashmere shrink is a wool material and like any other wool material, it shrinks especially when subjected to heat. That means using hot water to wash Cashmere will most likely shrink the material. But you can prevent the Cashmere fabric from shrinking by washing with cold water and washing the proper way. The proper way to wash a Cashmere fabric will be outlined in detail in the latter part of this post.

Does Cashmere Pill? 

Yes. Cashmere can pill because the fiber is a delicate one. When Cashmere rubs on different surfaces after some time, it pills. That includes when the material is rubbed against itself. That is why you notice pilling on the inseam or on the underneath arm of your clothes where the material rubs against each other. Also, when Cashmere is exposed to heat, it breaks down the fibers which cause the material to pill.  

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What happens when your Cashmere pills? There are quick tips to fix your Cashmere when you notice that the material has pilled. One quick fix is to brush the material with a bristle brush, cashmere comb, or sweat shavers. Lay the clothing on a flat surface and brush with any of the brushes. Another tip is to apply light steaming on the material. It helps to remove the pilling and prevent it from pilling again.

Does Cashmere Shrink In The Dryer?

When you put Cashmere in the dryer, it will shrink. Cashmere is a very delicate fiber and exposure to heat damages the fiber. Dryers use hot air to blow dry clothes. So when you put Cashmere in a dryer, it will weaken and shrink the fiber.

It is advisable to put Cashmere in the dryer only when you want to intentionally shrink your clothes. The exception is if the dryer has the option to air dry. The best way to dry Cashmere is to air dry outside. Allow the material to dry under natural sunlight.

How To Shrink Cashmere Sweater & Hat

Shrinking a Cashmere sweater is one way to resize it to fit you. Note that it is best to give the clothing to a professional to resize your Cashmere. But if you want to shrink it by applying the DYI ways, there are easy ways to go about it.

The easiest way to do that is to hand-wash the material in warm water. It is not advisable to wash Cashmere using a washing machine. This is because using a washing machine can damage the structure of the material. After hand-washing, use a dryer to dry. A dryer will shrink the material a size lower. You can always put the cloth back in the dryer to shrink again if you don’t get a perfect size the first time.

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How To Unshrink Cashmere?

As mentioned earlier, the Cashmere fabric shrinks when exposed to heat. If you want to get your Cashmere fabric back to its original size, these are some of the steps to take. It works for any fabric type.

Step 1. Prepare Lukewarm Water

Fill a tub or big bowl with lukewarm water. Ensure the water isn’t too hot because heat will cause the clothing to shrink further. Also, the water should be enough to completely soak the clothing item (s).

Step 2. Add Cloth Conditioner

The next step is to pour a generous amount of conditioner in lukewarm water and stir to dissolve the conditioner. It is best to use conditioners specially made for wool materials. That is wool-specific conditioners. You can order one here on Amazon. If you don’t have a wool-specific conditioner, a hair conditioner can come in handy too.

Step 3. Soak And Leave

Soak the merino wool clothing inside the water mix and allow to soak for at least 20 minutes. You can turn the clothing inside the water after every 5 minutes to allow the conditioner to penetrate every part of the fabric.

Step 4. Squeeze Excess Water

You don’t have to rinse the clothing after you remove it from the water with a conditioner. Simply squeeze out the excess water in the clothing and lay it on either a towel or a blanket. If the clothing item is small, a towel is ok, but for bigger items, you need a blanket.

Step 5. Stretch To Correct Size

After you lay the clothing item on a blanket or towel, you carefully stretch the clothing to its original size. You have to do the stretching gradually and you have to complete it before the clothing dries out. Ensure not to clip the edges of the clothing as you stretch. Just lay it on the towel and work on it.

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Step 6. Rewash The Clothing

After you are done with the stretching, you have to wash the item again and finally dry it. The purpose is to wash out any trace of conditioner remaining in the clothing. Check below to see the proper way to wash merino wool clothing.  Ensure you use cool water to wash. After that, air dry the clothing.

How To Keep Cashmere From Shrinking?

There are tips to keep your Cashmere from shrinking. These tips will make your clothes last for a long time.

a. Make sure you always hand wash your Cashmere cloth. Don’t use a washing machine to wash.

b. Always wash with cold water. Using hot water to wash Cashmere is one sure way to shrink the material.

c. Give space in between wearing and washing Cashmere cloth. It allows the cloth to bounce back to its original shape.

d. The best way to dry a Cashmere material is to air dry outside. Avoid using a dryer to dry your Cashmere cloth.

How To Wash Cashmere The Proper Way

Step 1. Read The Cleaning Instruction

Every fabric comes with a care label. This label has a guide on the proper way to wash the fabric. Before you wash, read through the label to ensure you wash your fabric the right way.

Step 2. Wash

Fill a bowl or bucket with cold water. Add mild detergent. Soak your Cashmere cloth inside the water and gently hand wash. After washing, rinse the cloth to remove the detergent completely.

Step 3. Dry

To dry your cloth, take it outside and spread it on a cloth line. Allow the cloth to dry completely before you take it inside.