While you can wash cashmere in a machine (more on that later), Gwen Whiting of The Laundress recommends washing by hand. This gives you better control over the process as a whole and will likely yield better results than a machine. It may be time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it if you want your luxe cashmere to truly live its best life.
What you’ll need:
Step 1: Fill the basin with tepid water and a tablespoon of laundry detergent (this is one instance in which we highly recommend using specialized soap as opposed to your regular heavy-duty stuff).
Step 2: Submerge your sweater in the water and lightly work any areas that need special attention, like the collar or armpits. Because sweaters take a very long time to dry, we suggest washing only one or two at a time.
Step 3: Let the knit soak for up to 30 minutes before pouring out the dirty water. Refill the basin with a small amount of cool, clean water and swish your sweater about. Repeat until you feel the fabric is no longer holding any soap.
Step 4: Do not wring the fabric! Instead, press your sweater against the sides of the basin to remove excess water (wringing risks breaking down those delicate fabrics).
Step 5: Lay your sweater flat on a towel to dry. The thicker the sweater is then the longer it will take to dry, but almost all knits should sit for a full 24 to 48 hours before being put away. You may want to switch out the towel and flip your sweater over at some point to help the process. And, of course, you should never hang a knit, as it will stretch out and reshape the fabric in unfortunate ways.