Does Cashmere Shrink?

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Yes, cashmere does shrink, or the more apt answer to that would be, yes, it CAN shrink.

With the right knowledge and care, we can safeguard our cherished cashmere pieces.

In this post, we examine the reasons why cashmere shrinks, offering insights into the fabric’s delicate composition and the steps we can take to prevent it. Let us sort out the complexities of cashmere care to ensure our garments remain both luxurious and resilient.

What causes cashmere to shrink?

Cashmere can shrink if it is exposed to certain conditions that cause the fibers to contract. The primary reasons for cashmere shrinking include:

  1. Heat

Cashmere is sensitive to heat. The fine and delicate fibers of cashmere may be damaged or contract when subjected to high temperatures.
The hygroscopic nature of cashmere, which allows it to absorb and release moisture, contributes to the fibers contracting when subjected to heat.
Additionally, the natural oils in cashmere that enhance its softness can be stripped away by high temperatures, diminishing the fiber’s elasticity, and making it more susceptible to shrinkage. Thus, exposing cashmere garments to high temperatures, whether through hot water during washing or excessive heat during drying, can cause the fibers to shrink.

  1. Agitation

Aggressive washing, such as using a washing machine with a harsh cycle or wringing out the water forcefully, can lead to shrinkage. Cashmere fibers are fine and prone to friction, and when they are agitated, they can rub against each other, leading to damage. The friction generated during agitation can disturb the natural alignment of the fibers, causing them to intertwine and contract, ultimately resulting in shrinkage.

  1. Improper Washing

Improper washing can cause cashmere to shrink due to a combination of factors related to the delicate nature of cashmere fibers. The use of detergents that are too harsh or contain strong chemicals can strip away the natural oils present in cashmere fibers. These oils contribute to the fibers’ elasticity and softness. Without them, the fibers may become less resilient and more prone to shrinkage.


How do you prevent your cashmere from shrinking?

Following the discussion from the previous section, we can assume that by not subjecting our cashmere garments to those will prevent our cashmere from shrinking. Below, we list out the ways we can prevent cashmere from shrinking and preserve the quality of our cashmere.

Before washing your cashmere:

  • Always check and follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

When washing your cashmere:

  • Hand wash in cold water.
  • Use a mild detergent designed for wool or cashmere.
  • Gently agitate the water during washing.
  • Avoid hot water to prevent fiber contraction.

When drying your cashmere:

  • Avoid excessive heat during both washing and drying.
  • Choose a delicate or wool cycle with a low spin speed if machine washing.
  • Air-dry cashmere garments flat to prevent distortion.
  • Use a towel to gently remove excess water without twisting or wringing.

When storing your cashmere:

  • Store cashmere items folded rather than hanging to prevent stretching.

Preventing Snagging:

  • Protect cashmere from abrasive surfaces.
  • Be cautious with jewelry that could catch on the fibers.

Final Thoughts

Looking at the factors that contribute to cashmere shrinking has shed light on the delicate nature of this luxurious fabric, prized for its warmth and comfort during cooler seasons. While it’s true that cashmere is susceptible to shrinkage, a conscientious approach to care can significantly mitigate this issue. By adhering to straightforward steps, such as gentle washing in cold water, using mild detergents, and avoiding excessive heat, we can ensure our cashmere garments remain both cozy and resilient. In essence, understanding and respecting the inherent properties of cashmere allows us to enjoy its luxurious feel while preserving its quality for the long term.









Content Creator for Wardrobe Hackers


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