Winter is just around the corner and the festive chill in the air may have you pulling your wool and cashmere sweaters out of storage for the cute and cozy factor. But with those gorgeous cashmere hues come the laundering horror stories: a favored pashmina shrunk to the size of a hanky, that lovely Fair Isle design marred by pilling and snags. It is clear that these natural fibers require special care to keep them in their best condition…but how? Great news! There is no need to cart your woolens to the dry cleaners, spending countless dollars and bringing chemical residue back into your home. Vaska’s all natural and gentle laundry detergent is all you need to care for your seasonal woolens and cashmere, keeping both your clothing and your home healthy and eco-friendly.
Start with the gentlest of handwashes. When caring for the natural fibers of wool and cashmere, keep in mind that less is more. Less agitation and less heat will reward you with more years in your favorite winter clothing! These fibers are prone to snagging, pilling and shrinking…all of which can be avoided by gently swirling in a basin of tepid water with a tablespoon of Vaska’s gently formulated laundry detergent swished about to create healthy, chemical-free suds. For extra odor control, Martha Stewart suggests adding 3/4 cup of white vinegar to your hand wash water. Soak your clothing for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Follow with a thoroughly gentle rinse cycle by draining away your wash water, gathering your item into a ball and squeezing gently, then refilling with fresh, tepid water. Swirl your cashmere and woolens in the clear, cool water, draining, gently balling and squeezing and refilling as needed until your items are suds-free, never twisting or wringing your delicate woolens.
Time to delicately press and roll away excess water by carefully laying out each woolen or cashmere item in a clean, colorfast towel after gently balling the item and squeezing out it’s rinse water. Martha Stewart recommends white towels in order to avoid accidental color transfer onto your favorite winter wear. Roll the item in it’s clean towel to carefully squeeze out rinse water without twisting or wringing. This cautious approach to water removal will protect the shape of your clothing, keeping it in pristine condition.
Block your sweaters and dry flat to further preserve the shape and style of your winter best. Square shoulders and hems and arrange arms parallel to its sides to set shape while drying.
Finally, a quick steam, or iron on the woolens or steam setting, and your delicate seasonal items are ready to wear…and the best news? You did not forget to pick them up at the cleaners! Cared for lovingly at home, they are right where you need them…fresh, clean, cozy and ready to go!