Getting to grips with your cashmere

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OK, I have had the odd luxury cashmere jersey from TSE and N. Peal but, these days, I am more likely to buy from Cos. Of course, we’d all love an Inner MongolianRing pashmina – so incredibly fine that it will pass through your wedding ring – but most of us will have to settle for something less refined. Luckily, even cheap cashmere is fine, strong, light, soft and really keeps you warm; unlike the ubiquitous manmade fibres on the high street which give anyone that affectionately strokes you a static shock, as well as clinging unflatteringly onto every lump, bump and spare tyre. Now that there’s an autumnal nip in the air, check out the White Company’s new cashmere collection, tres elegante.

Anyhow, here are a few useful tips on caring for your cashmere (whatever quality you choose to buy):

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 09.02.091. Don’t panic if your cashmere ‘pills’ – just remove with a de-fuzzing device and it will become even softer to the touch.

2. Although cashmere canbe hand washed or dry cleaned, I rather lazily bung mine, turned inside out, into the washing machine on a cold wash using a wool detergent. After a slow spin cycle I put it on a fat padded hanger to dry naturally (I find this works well, but cashmere manufacturers will tell you to place it flat on a towel to dry – but I haven’t got the patience or the space to do this).

3. I know I should fold my cashmere and put it in a drawer, but I have never had a problem with hanging it in the wardrobe although, as moths make a beeline (LOL) for cashmere, I leave my wardrobe doors open during the day as the little buggers hate daylight and I also thread cedar wood ringsonto the hooks of the hangers.

4. Finally if, like me, you have accidentally shrunk a cashmere sweater, you can stop crying and pour two tablespoons of baby shampoo into a basin of cool water, soak for thirty minutes, gently squeeze, lay flat on a towel and roll it up to absorb excess moisture, then lay it out on a fresh dry towel and gently stretch it back into shape.

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Married to a younger man, we have a 99.9% wonderful 22 year old son and live in rural West Sussex. I spend my time making lists, pretending to do Pilates, avoiding housework – and trying to find something more interesting to do than all of those things.

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