Durable and elegant, cashmere is an all-season fiber used to make soft, luxurious items ranging from cuddly baby blankets to upscale men's suits and warm scarves. Cashmere scarves nestle comfortably against the skin without the itch associated with most woolen fabrics. A quality scarf is expensive but with proper care, lasts for a lifetime. Clothing moths and carpet beetles are usually the culprits when holes appear in cashmere and other fine woolens. Launder your scarf regularly and store it properly during the off-season because moths and beetles are attracted to stains, grime, hair, perspiration and body oil.
Take your cashmere scarf to a professional dry cleaner if the care tag indicates that dry cleaning is required.
Hand wash cashmere using lukewarm water and a mild soap or shampoo if hand washing is suitable for your scarf. Squeeze the scarf gently to work the soap through the scarf. Never weaken the fibers by wringing, twisting or rubbing.
Rinse the scarf until the water runs clear, then roll the scarf loosely in a soft towel to absorb the excess water.
Lay the scarf flat on a dry towel in a well-ventilated room away from direct sunlight. Reshape the scarf carefully but don't pull or twist, which may damage the fabric.
Place the scarf in a plastic bag, then put it in the freezer for two days before storing it for the season. Freezing kills larvae that may be in the fibers.
Fold the scarf loosely, then wrap it with white tissue paper. Store the scarf in a sealed plastic container or garment bag.
- Lavender is a safe and effective moth repellent. Place lavender sachets in your closets or tuck them into the garment bag or storage container.
- Clean your closet, drawers and the surrounding area regularly to remove moths, beetles and their larvae. Vacuum thoroughly under your bed, along edges and in corners and crevices.
- Read the container before using mothballs and always keep them away from pets and children. Although mothballs are effective, the chemicals work by creating a toxic vapor that may cause irritation to eyes and skin. Use the mothballs only in an airtight container to prevent the vapors from accumulating in your home.
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.