Cashmere — if well cared for — should improve with age by getting softer over time. At Elle + Riley, we want our sweaters to be passed onto the next generation which is why we created our own care products and guide. Moreover, our timeless styles are designed to last season after season.

The cashmere fibre is hollow and fine making it lighter and softer than wool. Thus, cashmere is more insulating, keeping you warm in wintertime (7-8 times more so than merino) and making sure you don’t overheat during the warmer months.

Again the cashmere fibre is fine and hollow making the end garments much lighter (and more inviting to wear during the summertime). Cashmere also lacks the lanolin that other wool has, making it hypoallergenic and ensuring it doesn’t feel scratchy.

Cashmere is intensive to produce. The ultra soft hair is combed from the undercoat of the goats, often only yielding 120g per animal, before skilled artisans must spin the yarn into sweaters and other garments. It can take the undercoats of 2-3 goats to make a sweater. Hence the saying ‘2 goats, 1’ sweater. Each piece of cashmere can fairly be considered a heritage item, hopefully treasured for years to come.

Let's talk about pilling...

After wearing your new cashmere garment for the first few times, you may find small balls of fibre forming on the surface. These small balls or 'pills' are caused by some of the loose fibre tangling together as areas of your garment are rubbed during wear.

The appearance of pilling should not be interpreted as an indication of low quality, it is often caused by friction and can be removed with proper maintenance. This is why we developed our own cashmere care range, our liquids are formulated using 100% natural ingredients in our favourite scents of orange and geranium with subtle notes of cedar to keep the moths at bay.

Cashmere really does improve with age and if cared for properly its wonderful features are enhanced. I think it is preferable to have a garment that expresses all the naturalness of the fine thread of which it is composed.

Pills can be easily removed by using our Elle + Riley Cashmere Comb.

"I recommend to avoid wearing a cashmere garment two days in a row. Let it rest for a day, airing your garment for a few hours on a flat surface, preferably outdoors, before wearing it again" 

To begin your cashmere care routine:

  1. Gently remove the peeling particles with your Elle + Riley Cashmere Comb.
  2. Fill up a basin or wash bucket with cold water and pour in two capfuls of Elle + Riley Cashmere Wash.
  3. Gently squeeze the suds through the fabric, taking care not to rub, wring or stretch your garment. Rinse well, squeeze out as much excess water as possible, and leave to dry flat on a towel in the shade.
  4. Steam if necessary to eliminate wrinkles

"An E+R tip is to roll your cashmere in a clean towel to squeeze the excess water out prior to laying flat"

Remember to always dry naturally away from direct heat such as radiators or sunlight. We do not tumble dry or hang up our cashmere as it will irreversibly deform your garment.

After the first few washes following these steps, the formation of pilling will stop in a natural way and the original softness of the thread will be maintained over time.

How to store your cashmere...

Preserve your cashmere between washes using Elle + Riley Cashmere Spray to remove any unwanted odours. To use spray 15cm away from your cashmere garment to lightly fragrance and freshen.

"Our Cashmere Spray is also made from 100% natural ingredients with notes of orange, geranium and cedar, we use as a room spray too!" 

Keep your cashmere folded in our breathable cotton Care Bags. These are an essential accessory to care for any cashmere garments in storage or during travel. Our Care Bags come in one size and each bag can fit up to two garments.

To use, store your cashmere garments in our bags with one of our Elle + Riley Cedar Blocks to protect from perspiration and repel moths. They act as a natural repellent! 

If you do not already own products from our care range, why not gift yourself an Elle + Riley Cashmere Care Pack which includes one of each: Cashmere Wash, Cashmere Spray, Cashmere Comb and Cedar Blocks which come in a pack of three perfect for putting in your Care bags or between folded piles in your drawers. 


How can I remove creases from a cashmere sweater?

If unsightly creases persist, just give a simple blow of steam with the iron, at a distance of 5cm from the garment or, if necessary, iron the inside out sweater protected by a cotton cloth at minimum temperature.

 Which detergent and/or fabric softener is used for washing?

We suggest you use a delicate liquid detergent specifically for cashmere. 

Our Elle + Riley cashmere wash has been made from all natural ingredients with a custom scent to clean and preserve your cashmere and our deodorising spray freshens between washes.

Does a cashmere garment stretch or shrink after washing?

A pure cashmere sweater made of fine thread will remain the same for years if it is carefully cared for and maintained properly by following the instructions provided. 

Why should I spend so much for a cashmere sweater when I can get one in wool?

Cashmere is lighter and warmer than sheep’s wool, because within its fibre is an air chamber that acts as an extremely hot thermal insulator to protect the goats from the rigid Mongolian Highland temperatures. The cashmere fibre has a high degree of moisture absorption, and as a result the insulating properties vary with the rate of relative humidity, both of the body and of the external environment. This allows the body to breathe perfectly maintaining a constant temperature.

How can you recognise high quality cashmere from low quality?

The quality of a fine thread sweater is related to the title, to the purity of the thread, the section of the fibre (between 14 and 18 microns) and the length of the fibre. In essence, the longer and thinner the raw material (fibre), the more fine and valuable will be the thread that it is obtained. The thread used should always be a two ply (i.e. two twisted threads) undercoat 

    Elle + Riley Cashmere