Caring for Cashmere


One of the most essential pieces in a man’s wardrobe is the cashmere sweater. It comes in many shapes and forms, but the most versatile is the classic V-neck. Layer this style over a custom shirt and tie, under a sportcoat, or even over a crewneck tee for the weekend. But, what should you do to make sure your sweater always looks its best? Here are 3 ways to care for your cashmere.


First things first, invest in a quality cashmere sweater. You can find many versions these days at a variety of price-points, but you’ll need to think about the fit, style, weight, and how often you plan to wear your sweater. Cashmere typically comes in one of three gauges (gg): 7gg, 12gg, and 16gg (gauge means the thickness of the yarn). The lower the gauge, the chunkier the sweater; and the higher the gauge, the more fine and lightweight the sweater.

Our new 100% Cashmere V-neck Sweater strikes the perfect balance most guys are looking for in a sweater. We used a 16-gauge cashmere yarn which makes for a year-round type of weight. Available in 5 colors, it’s designed to be worn as a second layer – perfect over a custom shirt while still trim enough to wear over a tee. Not too bulky, not too light, and the cut is not too full or too trim.


Second, pills can happen from the friction of extended wear, not the quality of yarn as one would think. The J.Hilburn Cashmere V-Neck is made with a high-twist pill resistant yarn to help minimize this phenomenon. But if you find yourself with a sweater where pilling has started, simply take a sweater shaver or drugstore razor to the fabric by holding it taut and carefully graze the affected area using gentle strokes. If you press too hard, you risk putting a hole in the sweater. In addition, never pull on the pilling – this can ruin the integrity of the sweater design and cause snagging. Also, consider buying your favorite cashmere sweater in multiple colors for rotation in your wardrobe which will limit the wear and tear.


Lastly, when storing – never, ever hang your cashmere sweaters. This will quickly ruin a perfect fit with hanger dents in the shoulder and misshape the body. The best way to store your sweaters is by simply folding them and placing in a drawer, cedar-lined if possible, especially if you live in an area where moths dwell since they love to eat cashmere. Cedar produces natural oils that kill the clothes-moth larvae. If you don’t have access to cedar or cedar-lined drawers, use a sweater bag. This is a simple cloth bag that protects the sweater while still letting it breath. This isn’t an “air-tight” type of deal, rather just simple protection from hazards, like moths. These bags are readily available and will go a long way in protecting your cashmere sweaters over the years.

You shouldn’t have to clean your cashmere sweater after every wear, unless you spill something on it. If that should happen, take it to a reputable dry cleaner to handle it. Never throw your cashmere sweater into your washer and dryer – or you’ll have a mini sweater fit for Fido. If your sweater gets wrinkled, lightly steam the garment rather than taking an iron to it which could scorch the fibers.