How to Shrink Cashmere Sweaters

What can be done about How to Shrink Cashmere Sweaters that have shrunk? A most infuriating inquiry. No one wants to invest in an article of clothing only to have it shrink and become an unwanted mistake destined for the thrift store. The reason you spend money on high-quality garments is because you expect them to last for a long time; if you take good care of them, they should do so for years. When something you regularly wear suddenly and drastically shrinks in size, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve wasted your money.

I recently found a stash of cashmere sweaters in my attic that belonged to my great grandmother. Although the condition was good, they had (gasp!) shrunk in size over the years. I did some research to find out how to restore them, which wasn’t difficult and I shared my process with friends and family. Accessing this information online was more challenging. This inspired me to create a blog post where I could share my findings and hopefully help others who have had a similar experience trying to fix their clothes.

It’s common knowledge that cashmere is incredibly luxurious because it’s derived from goats, but few people realize that improper care instructions can render cashmere useless. Destroying the sweater’s threads will make any sweater, even a $300 Vince one, unwearable. Tossing a cashmere sweater into the washing machine for laughs might be tempting, but is it really worth it?

How to Shrink Cashmere Sweaters

How to Shrink Cashmere Sweaters

The undercoat of Cashmere goats is where you’ll find the fine, luxurious fiber known as cashmere. It’s long-lasting, and it keeps you toasty. In order to increase its strength and longevity, it is frequently blended with other materials like wool or silk. When worn in the cold, cashmere will insulate your body even when wet. If you are familiar with how much a cashmere sweater shrinks, machine washing should not cause any issues.

Does Cashmere Shrink?

Since cashmere is so inelastic, it rarely undergoes significant shrinkage. But cashmere sweaters can shrink after being dry cleaned repeatedly or washed in warm water. Following the care instructions on the garment’s tag will prevent you from accidentally shrinking your cashmere sweater. Before deciding to dry clean your sweater, it’s best to double check with the label’s manufacturer.

The harsh chemicals in detergents and the high temperatures of home washing machines can cause cashmere to shrink. There are easy ways to keep your cashmere sweater from becoming too small.

Check the Care Instructions

Before you start washing your cashmere sweater, check the care instructions on the label. Different types of cashmere require different methods for washing and drying. Washing machines can damage cashmere sweaters more than dryers, so it’s best to dry them in a dryer rather than a washer. If your sweater doesn’t have any care instructions, check with someone who has more experience with cashmere sweaters than you do.

Use Cold Water

Always wash your cashmere sweaters in cool or cold water. Hot water can cause shrinkage because it will increase the temperature of your washing machine and make it easier for other materials to shrink as well. Warm water may also cause shrinkage if you use too much soap or shampoo, which are both designed to work best at high temperatures. Hot water might also cause premature shedding of cashmere fibers over time if they are washed too often in hot water or allowed to soak too long before rinsing them out thoroughly with cold water

Does Cashmere Shrink in Cold Water

Cashmere sweaters can be washed in cold water. If you are using a washing machine, put the cashmere into a mesh bag or pillowcase and wash it with other items that need gentle treatment.

If you are hand washing, soak your cashmere first in cold water before starting to wash it. This will ensure that any dirt or oil is removed from the fibers before they are agitated in the washing machine.

If your cashmere is not pre-shrunk, you should hang it to dry after every wash. If your sweater is pre-shrunk, you can tumble dry it on low heat for about 10 minutes to remove wrinkles.

shrink cashmere sweater one size

Cashmere is a luxury fabric, and it’s not uncommon for people to wonder how to shrink cashmere. Cashmere sweaters are often worn in the winter and can be expensive, so you don’t want to accidentally ruin yours. Fortunately, it’s possible to shrink your cashmere sweater by washing it in hot or warm water.

Cashmere Shrinkage

Before we get into how much does cashmere shrink, let’s talk about why it shrinks in the first place. Cashmere is an animal fiber that comes from goats or sheep. The fibers are harvested from the animals’ undercoat, which is why they’re so soft and lightweight. The downy fibers are spun together into yarns that are used to create fabrics like cashmere sweaters and scarves.


Cashmere has a reputation for being one of the softest fabrics on Earth. It also has a reputation for shrinking when washed in hot water or put in a hot dryer. This is because cashmera shrinks when exposed to heat over long periods of time — especially when combined with water.

How Much Does Cashmere Shrink?

You should never wash any garment made from natural fibers — including cashmere — without reading the tag first (if there is one).

Does Cashmere Shrink When Washed? Unshrinking Cashmere Guide

How to Shrink Cashmere

Your cashmere sweater may have shrunk in the wash. Sure, no sweat. The cashmere sweater needs to be shrunk.

Cashmere garments can be easily shrunken, but there are a few things you should know first. For instance, cashmere can be shrunk in cold water, though doing so will cause it to pill more quickly. You can permanently damage your clothing by washing it in hot water or drying it in a hot dryer. The following is a guide for safely shrinking a cashmere sweater by one size.

First, soak the item in a sink full of cold water and agitate it gently for about five minutes, or until all of the wrinkles have disappeared. The next step is to use cold water to wash off the soap and to dry off nearly on a towel (about 20 minutes).

Second, toss two tennis balls into the dryer with your sweater (do not use fabric softener). Dry it in the dryer on a low heat setting for 15 minutes each time until the sweater fits properly again (which could take several cycles).



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