Soft, supple cashmere has a wrinkle-free reputation, but even this classic fabric can't hold up to extremes. If you wad your cashmere sweater in a travel bag or sloppily fold your favorite scarf and stick it under a pile of jeans, your duds will likely need ironing. Despite popular misconceptions, you can indeed iron cashmere, but you have to take a few special considerations into account before getting steamy.
Clean your iron thoroughly if necessary; delicate cashmere is susceptible to ironed-on stains. Scrub the face of the cool iron with a solution of half water and half white vinegar. For more stubborn grime, use a paste of baking soda and water. Wipe away residue with a damp cloth and dry the iron completely before use.
Set your iron to its “low” or “wool” setting. Turn your cashmere garment inside-out and spread it out evenly on your ironing board, front side down, so that it's as close to wrinkle-free as you can get. If your garment has buttons, unbutton it so you are able to spread the fabric.
Place a pressing cloth between the cashmere garment and your heated iron. Gently press the iron to the cloth, using smooth, up-and-down strokes. Keep the iron pressed to the cloth only for a few seconds at a time. Move the pressing cloth up the garment and continue to iron in sections. Flip the garment over to its front and repeat the process.
Things You Will Need
- Ironing board
- Pressing cloth
- White vinegar (optional)
- Baking soda (optional)
- To prevent wrinkles, fold knitted cashmere garments neatly and insert pieces of tissue into the folds before storing them flat in a drawer. Hang woven cashmere garments on padded hangers. Let your wrinkled cashmere rest for at least 24 hours and the wrinkles will work themselves out naturally.
- If you have access to a steamer, steam your cashmere instead of ironing it. Alternatively, you can set your iron to steam and hold it about a half-inch above the cashmere garment, aiming the bursts of steam toward the wrinkles and carefully smoothing the fabric by hand. Turn to this method for especially thin or delicate cashmere pieces.
- Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute: Frequently Asked Questions
- Eucalan: Wool/Cashmere/Alpaca Care
- Mother Nature Network: How to Clean an Iron
- Overstock.com: How to Care for Cashmere Sweaters
- Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute: Garment Care
- Daily Press: Steaming Cashmere Gets Wrinkles Out
- Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images