Pashmina is another term used to describe cashmere, a soft, warm fiber spun from the wool of cashmere goats. When blended with silk fibers, the resulting fabric, usually referred to as silk pashmina or silk cashmere, is durable, soft and luxurious. While professional dry cleaning is the best way to launder a silk pashmina shawl, you can care for the shawl at home if you are careful. With proper care, a silk pashmina shawl retains its beauty and warmth for many years.
Hand wash your shawl in a bathtub or large basin, using lukewarm water and a few drops of mild soap or shampoo. Squeeze the shawl gently to work the soapy water through the fabric, then allow to soak for 15 minutes.
Rinse the shawl thoroughly until the water runs clear.
Squeeze the shawl gently to remove excess water, then wrap it loosely in a large towel.
Lay the shawl flat on a large, dry towel. Stretch the shawl gently to restore the shape, then allow it to air dry.
Press the shawl, if needed, when it is still slightly damp. Set the iron to the steam setting with the heat setting for wool or silk. Lay the shawl on the ironing board and smooth it with your hand, then place the fabric between two towels press cloths and press lightly.
Fold the shawl loosely to prevent creases, then place the shawl in a drawer on a clean shelf. Avoid hangers, which may stretch and distort the shawl.
Place the shawl in a clean, airtight container for periods of extended storage because silk pashmina is susceptible to moth damage. Launder the shawl first because stains and body oil attract pests.
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- Never wash a silk pashmina shawl in hot water because the fabric is prone to shrinkage. Similarly, never place the shawl in a clothes dryer.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.
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