Can You Tumble Dry Cashmere? (here’s the truth)
You should never tumble dry anything that’s made from cashmere.
Cashmere is a delicate material and care should be taken when washing and drying cashmere. If cashmere is subjected to high temperatures it can shrink beyond repair.
That means no tumble drying and no drying in sunlight either.
In fact, you should never dry your cashmere using any heat at all. This includes;
- Tumble Dryer
- Hair Dryer
- Heated Airer
Some laundry experts say that cashmere can be tumble dried on a no heat setting for no longer than 10 minutes.
However, it is far safer to not risk your expensive cashmere in a tumble dryer.
Cashmere should be dried flat to prevent any damage to the fine weave of the fabric.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Cashmere
You should always check the care label on all of your laundry. The symbols you will find represent washing and drying care.
Below we have listed all of the symbols that relate to tumble drying. Many of these will never be found on cashmere, but we’ve included them all for your reference.
- Square With White Circle: You can tumble dry, it is unlikely to find this symbol on cashmere.
- Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle: This indicates you can dry on a low heat, it is not likely that you’ll find this on cashmere.
- Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle: This indicates you can dry on a medium heat setting, It is doubtful whether you’ll find this symbol on cashmere.
- Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle: You can dry on a high heat setting. You will never find this on a genuine cashmere item.
- Square With Black Circle: You can dry with no heat, it is possible that some cashmere items might carry this symbol.
- Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top: Do not tumble dry, this is the most common symbol found on cashmere.
How To Dry Cashmere Without A Tumble Dryer
Cashmere is such a delicate fabric that many of the standard alternatives to tumble dryers are not suitable.
How To Remove Excess Moisture From Cashmere
Half the battle when it comes to drying clothes is to remove the excess water. As cashmere is such a delicate material and can easily become damaged, it is not advisable to wring the moisture out.
The following technique helps to remove excess moisture without damaging the delicate fibres, and all you need is a towel. Here’s what you do:
- Lay a dry towel on a flat surface
You’ll need a towel that is larger than the cashmere item you want to dry. The towel should be laid on a table or the floor and spread out.
- Place the cashmere item on the towel
Lay the cashmere garment out flat on the towel allowing a generous border of towel all around.
- Roll the towel up
The idea is to turn the towel and cashmere item into a sort of Swiss roll. So that the cashmere garment is fully rolled up inside the towel.
- Squeeze the rolled up towel
Do not twist the towel roll, just squeeze it. As you gently squeeze the towel, moisture is squeezed from the cashmere without causing any damage.
- Unroll the towel
After squeezing as much water from the cashmere as possible, lay the towel roll back onto the flat surface and unroll it.
- Allow the cashmere to air dry
Your cashmere garment should now be allowed to air dry in one of the following ways.
Air Drying Cashmere Using A Mesh Air Dryer/Drying Rack
Simply lay the cashmere garment on the mesh air dryer and arrange it so that it is flat.
Then suspend the mesh air dryer either to a washing line out of direct sunlight, or indoors on an airer or from a shower curtain rod.
Air Dry Cashmere Using An Airer
To dry cashmere items using an airer, you’ll need an airer with a rack design.
You simply lay your cashmere item on the rack of the airer out of direct sunlight and away from any heat source.
Dry Cashmere In An Airing Cupboard
As long as you can lay your cashmere items flat, an airing cupboard is a great place to dry cashmere.
Just lay your cashmere garments flat on the shelves in the airing cupboard until they are completely dry.
Decrease Indoor Drying Times For Cashmere Using An Electric Fan
Cashmere can take a long time to dry because it needs to be dried naturally (without any heat).
To decrease indoor drying times you’ll need an electric fan and an open window.
Place the fan in the room with the drying cashmere item(s) and open a window in the same room to allow excess moisture a means of escape.
Cut Down Drying Times Indoors Using A Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are great appliances for removing excess moisture from any room. They also work great at speeding up the drying time for many laundry items.
When it comes to cashmere, a dehumidifier is the perfect choice. This is because a dehumidifier produces no heat as it dries the air.
Using a dehumidifier can reduce the amount of time it takes to dry your cashmere items considerably.
No matter which option you choose for drying your cashmere items, ensure they are completely dry before storing them away. Damp cashmere is liable to rot.
What Happens If You Tumble Dry Cashmere
Care labels are there for a reason, to protect your clothes from damage either in the washing machine, tumble dryer or both.
If you choose to ignore the advice given in the care label, you can expect;
Cashmere To Shrink
Cashmere is likely to shrink in the tumble dryer. The fibres will shorten and it can be difficult if not impossible to return the cashmere to its original size.
The Fabric To Become Scratchy
If cashmere is exposed to high temperatures the fibres can become shortened or even break. Once the fibres break, the material will become scratchy to the touch.
Cashmere Can Become Frayed
Exposing cashmere to high temperatures will cause the fibres to weaken.
This can cause them to fray at the points of weakness.
Cashmere Can Become Bobbly
This bobbling or pilling as it’s sometimes called, is where little round pills of material form on the surface of the clothing.
This can happen in a washing machine but is far more likely in a tumble dryer. Cashmere is very susceptible to this.
Cashmere Can Stretch
If you were to put a cashmere item in a tumble dryer using no heat, it would most likely stretch.
This is because of the rough and tumble action of the dryer. Wet cashmere if positioned wrongly can stretch which is why cashmere should never be hung on a washing line.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is not safe to put cashmere in a tumble dryer. Exposing cashmere to the rough and tumble motion of a tumble dryer, combined with high temperatures can seriously damage cashmere.
The best way to dry cashmere without a tumble dryer is to air dry your cashmere. It should always be laid flat when drying to prevent stretching or any other damage.
A cashmere sweater can be worn as many as 50 times without washing as long as you aren’t doing anything too strenuous.
Cashmere sweaters should always be folded, never hanged. Hanging can put too much pressure on the shoulders. This could lead to weakening of the seams and stretching.
The best cashmere is produced by Mongolian goats.