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Does Cashmere Stretch? (Well Answered)

Let’s be honest, every time you go to the shopping center, you go straight to the cashmere garments section to touch them and admire how soft they are. It feels like you’re touching a cloud, so you cannot resist trying it on. Maybe after you check the price tag, you will be a bit discouraged from making the purchase, but don’t be! Cashmere is a luxurious fabric that is a long-term investment if you know how to properly take care of it. In this article, we will answer all of your questions, including the famous one, “does cashmere stretch?”.

Unlike most fabrics out there, cashmere is stretchy, and it doesn’t really bounce back after being stretched. In order for your cashmere to hold its form, you need to properly take care of it and be cautious of certain things. Although there are also ways to stretch your cashmere if you want to do it intentionally.


What is Cashmere?

Cashmere is a natural fiber, and It comes from goats that live in the mountain areas in Mongolia and China. The undercoat of the so-called cashmere goat is combed in the spring and summer, and due to the extreme temperatures these goats live in, cashmere can keep you warm in very cold temperatures.

It is a very lengthy manual process to gather and manufacture the cashmere in order to then spun it into yarn. It also takes a lot of goats, a lot! For only one sweater, you need the undercoat from at least three goats. 

The limited resources and the labor-heavy process is why cashmere is considered a luxury fabric, and it is pricey.

Why should you wear cashmere?

Cashmere is warmer than wool and better at keeping you warm and cozy in the cold season. Actually, despite being warmer than wool, it’s lighter and more breathable, meaning it won’t overheat you, and it’s pleasant to wear. Apart from that, it is not itchy like some wool fabrics, but some people may be sensitive to it since it does come from animals.

Cashmere is known to be one of the most desired materials in the textile industry. It is very soft, lightweight, and breathable, drapes very well, and looks amazing on everyone. Once you try it on, you’ll want to wear it forever.

Does cashmere stretch?

Cashmere is a stretchy fabric and it does not bounce back after being stretched. This means that you have to be very careful if you want your cashmere clothes to hold their form. Cashmere is especially susceptible to stretching when wet so make sure to never hang it dry. Exactly how much it will stretch depends on the type of knits that are used to bind the fibers. The looser they are, the more it stretches.

How do I wash cashmere, so it doesn’t stretch?

Cashmere does not necessarily stretch when washed. If anything, washing it in hot water can cause it to shrink. However, cashmere will stretch if you hang it to dry due to the excess water weighing down the garment, making it lose its shape.

The best way to dry it is to leave it to air dry on a flat surface. And to avoid shrinking, make sure that you wash it with warm water, not hot, and don’t use the dryer.

How do I properly stretch my sweater?

Let’s say you got a cashmere sweater as a gift, and it’s a bit too tight. There is an easy fix to this. Start by soaking your sweater in lukewarm water and add mild detergent or fabric softener. Leave it in for 10 minutes and rinse with cold water.

Gently squeeze out the excess water but do not twist the sweater. You just want to squeeze with your hands until it feels lighter. After this, place it on a flat surface and gently pull both sides to reach the desired stretch level.  Make sure to stretch both sides evenly and place heavy objects to hold the fabric in its stretched form. Let it dry that way, and after, move the heavy object from the sides. There you have it, a cashmere sweater that is a size bigger.

Will cashmere pill or shed?

Unfortunately, yes, cashmere is a natural fiber, and it does tend to lose its shape after a while. However, there is a way around this. To avoid pilling, buy high-quality cashmere from longer fibers, as the cheaper short-fiber cashmere tends to pill more.

It Is also useful to read reviews before you make a purchase to see what are other people’s experiences.

The reason why fabric starts to pill is friction. The more you wear it, the more it pills. So maybe try not to wear it as often or rotate between two garments. If it is already too late, just use a cashmere comb to get the annoying little balls out.

High-quality cashmere should not shed, but similar to what we talked about, you want to get longer fiber cashmere for the best results.

Do I have to take my cashmere garment to the dry cleaners?

Most labels on cashmere say “dry-cleaning only,” and yes, getting it professionally cleaned is a good option. However, it can cause it to pill sooner because of the chemicals used in the process.  The good news is that there is also a way to do it at home. If you do not have a professional streamer, which most of us don’t, you can always hand wash it in lukewarm water using a gentle detergent that does not contain bleach or any other harsh chemicals. And remember, don’t hang it up to dry unless you want your sweater to become a dress.

Conclusion

Cashmere is a delicate fabric and needs special care. However, you don’t have to stress too much about it. Just don’t wash it with hot water and leave it to dry spread out on a flat surface. It is a bit pricier than other fabrics, but it is worth it.

Cashmere is extremely soft and will keep you warm in the winter. You will feel like you’re being hugged by a fluffy cloud. Quality cashmere is a little on the expensive side, but see it as an investment; a long-term purchase that will last a long time.

Further Reading

If you liked what you read you can carry on and read some more other useful blogs like ones that compare Lycra and Polyester.

Another article of mine answers whether viscose is stretchy.

You will also find a great review of Bernette B79 a great machine indeed.