Coveted for its luxurious softness and lightness, cashmere fibres absorb dye to deliver a beautiful intensity and vibrancy of colour. A well-made garment, crafted from superior-grade cashmere yarn, will not only last a lifetime, but should prove an heirloom for future generations if well cared for.
At Winser London, we use expertly-sourced top-grade Mongolian cashmere, hand-combed from the under-bellies of free-range mountain goats who live in one of the harshest climates on the planet. The long, strong, downy fibres that grow to keep them warm are then spun into the highest-quality, super-fine yarns. Our cashmere knits are a supremely soft two-ply weight, so are perfect for year-round wear and will become a cherished wardrobe staple for decades to come.
However, not all cashmere is the same quality, and there are a proliferation of ‘bargain cashmere’ garments on the market that don’t necessarily deliver the value they might initially appear to offer. They are often made from cheaper ‘short-fibre cashmere’ produced from goats farmed at lower altitudes, that haven’t developed the softest, weather-resistant underbelly hairs. Lower-priced cashmere garments are therefore often more prone to pilling and developing signs of wear, and thus are not the investment pieces we might think they are.
CASHMERE CARE TIPS
STORE WITH CARE and cashmere garments will reward you by looking ‘box-fresh’ at every wear:
- Avoid folding down the centre of the garment, instead copying retailers and folding sleeves inwards from the shoulder line, then folding once horizontally so the lower edge meets the neckline.
- Store in a clean drawer or shelf, preferably in a stack of no more than three garments.
- Many of us wear cashmere year-round, but if you choose to store garments away over the summer, ensure they are freshly laundered, and store in a specialist garment bag or box (not cardboard), ideally wrapped in acid-free tissue paper, away from light or heat.
- Common clothes moths and carpet beetles are the biggest enemy of cashmere. They are attracted to garments that are contaminated with food, residual oils and dead cells from human skin, perspiration or deodorant, so to minimise the risk of damage only store freshly-laundered garments.
- Store with lavender bags or cedar wood balls, or line the drawer or shelf with anti-moth paper. Check garments regularly - moths tend to deposit their larvae in the folds of garments, and it’s the larvae that eat the fibres and create those tear-inducing holes. The lifecycle of a moth is about 21 days, so get into the habit of doing a monthly check, shaking out garments in fresh air.
- If you discover evidence of moths in your wardrobe, try Entopest sticky traps, which kill the male Common Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella). To get rid of moths from a cashmere garment, place it in a sealed plastic bag (with as much of the air squeezed out as possible) and put it in the freezer for at least two weeks. Leave to defrost at room temperature for 24 hours. This will kill the moths and won’t have any negative effects on the material.
LAUNDER WITH LOVE and your cashmere clothes will last longer.
- DRY CLEAN: if your garment has embellishments, buttons or is of a loose knit, dry cleaning is the best option. Take to a reputable cleaner, and ask them to return the garment folded, not on a hanger.
- HAND WASH: soak individual garments for a few minutes in a clean bowl of cool - lukewarm water, using a small amount of specialist laundry detergent such as ‘Woolite’ or baby shampoo. Do not use fabric softener. Rinsethoroughly to remove all soap residue, agitating gently, without ‘rubbing’, using fresh, clean water until it runs clear.
- MACHINE WASH: place the knit inside-out in the machine on a cold or 30 degree woollen or ‘delicates’ cycle with a slow spin speed, using a small capful of woollen detergent such as ‘Woolite’ or baby shampoo and no fabric conditioner.
- DRYING: after washing, do not wring. Shape and lay the garment flat on a thick towel. Roll it up and gently press out the excess water without rubbing. Unroll and reshape if needed. Air dry flat on a mesh drying rack (see Lakeland, John Lewis or Amazon), away from sunlight and direct heat. Never tumble dry.
- PRESSING: if your cashmere garment is creased, either use a steamer, or turn inside out and lay the garment flat on a towel then cover with a clean, damp cotton or linen cloth. Press lightly with a steam iron on a low temperature setting.
MAINTENANCE AND MENDING - just like us, our cashmere needs a little TLC to look and feel its best.
- While cheaper short-fibre cashmere is more prone to pilling (bobbling) than high-quality longer staple fibres, a small amount of pilling is an inevitable consequence of wear, especially in areas that suffer friction, such as under-arms or where a cross-body handbag might rub. Use a specialist de-bobbling comb, available from Lakeland, Amazon or John Lewis, and gently comb the surface of affected areas.
- Avoid wearing with jewellery, accessories or clothing that might damage delicate cashmere fibres. Belt buckles, brooches, pendants, jacket or coat fastenings and bags are the main culprits.
- If moths or carpet beetles have feasted on your cherished cashmere garment, or perhaps you’ve worn through elbows or snagged it, help is at hand. Specialist repairers can work miracles with intricate ‘invisible mending’ techniques that can restore your garment to as-new quality. We recommend http://cashmerecareservice.co.uk for their complete re-dressing and repairing service.
Merino sheep are one of the toughest and oldest breeds in the world, thriving through the searing summer heat and freezing winter months on the slopes of New Zealand’s rugged Southern Alps. As a result of years of evolution, they have developed a uniquely soft, lightweight fleece that helps regulate their body temperature, keeping them cool in the summer, and insulating them against extreme cold in the winter.
Mother Nature’s own technically-advanced, sustainable and bio-degradable fibre, merino yarn is able to adapt to its environment, acting as a wearable thermostat that can be worn year-round for optimum comfort. With its innate wicking-qualities, it absorbs moisture away from the skin, helping you feel dry and comfortable in the heat, which is why it is often used as a sport and activewear base layer.
Winser London have sourced an extra-fine worsted spun yarn with a soft, lustrous finish to use throughout our merino collection. This high quality-yarn ensures minimal pilling on wear, and delivers a beautifully tactile finish to our knits, which all benefit from the natural crease-resistant properties and unparalleled softness and comfort of merino, without the bulk and sometimes itchy finish of other wools.
MERINO WOOL CARE:
Our merino garments are machine washable at 30 degrees on a wool cycle with a slow spin speed. We recommend laundering inside-out, using a small capful of woollen detergent such as ‘Woolite’ and no fabric conditioner. After washing, do not wring. Shape and lay the garment flat on a thick towel. Roll it up and gently press out the excess water without rubbing. Unroll and reshape if needed. Air dry flat on a mesh drying rack (see Lakeland, John Lewis or Amazon), away from sunlight and direct heat. Never tumble dry. If your merino garment is creased, either use a steamer, or turn inside out and lay the garment flat on a towel then cover with a clean, damp cotton or linen cloth. Press lightly with a steam iron on a low temperature setting. When packing, we suggest rolling rather than folding to ensure garments are ready to wear when you arrive at your destination.
For centuries, silk - an ultra-fine protein fibre produced by silkworms - has been coveted for its lustrous finish, but was traditionally the preserve of the very wealthy due to its rarity and the challenges of harvesting. Exceptionally lightweight but durable, this highly-prized fibre can be spun and woven in a variety of ways to achieve different finishes, all with beautiful tactile qualities and a luxurious handle. Like many natural fibres, silk is breathable and helps to regulate body temperature, keeping you cool in the heat and warm in colder weather.
At Winser London, we have collaborated with one of the world’s leading silk cloth producers to produce an exclusive mid-weight silk fabric with a luminous satin sheen and beautiful draping qualities. By adding a touch of elastane to the weave, our stretch silk garments are crease-resistant and have that extra ‘give’ that means you can move without restriction and go about your day in supreme comfort. Add a touch of luxe to denim when you’re off duty, or soften a skirt suit with a sensual under layer for the office: our stretch silk collection is adaptable for every day - and evening too.
STRETCH SILK CARE:
We recommend dry cleaning, especially for darker colours or for garments with stains that need treating. However, if you have a modern washing machine with a silk / delicates setting and a low spin cycle, light colours can be machine washed on a gentle setting using a gentle detergent designed for delicate fabrics. If hand washing, use lukewarm water and do not soak. Do not rub stains as this can cause discolouration. Rinse well, do not wring. Do not tumble dry.
Cool iron on a silk or wool setting.
When we first launched Winser London in 2013, one of the hallmarks of our collection was a capsule range made from an exclusive, premium double-knit fabric known as Ponte di Roma - so-called because the densely-looped structure of the knitted fabric apparently resembles classic Roman bridges.
Sourced from a high-end textile producer, our Ponte di Roma is uniquely constructed using two layers of finely-knitted jersey, which creates a luxuriously smooth, four-way stretch fabric that is highly crease resistant and holds its shape. Our in-house design studio developed a line of dresses and separates that we knew were going to wow women with their stunning smoothing, sculpting qualities and their remarkable comfort.
Customers immediately began to send us their testimonials, delighted with the form-flattering fit the fabric delivered and praising the ‘feel-good’ nature of the garments. The number of women who described their purchases as ‘miraculous’ was astounding - and thus, the Miracle Collection was born.
Over the ensuing years, the Winser London Miracle collection has evolved to become a versatile and extensive range of contemporary style staples, designed to cover almost every occasion in women’s busy lives. These beautifully-cut garments can be mixed and matched to take you from a casual coffee date to a job interview, from shopping trip to business meeting, looking immaculate at the end of a day, after a commute or arriving in a destination from a long-haul flight. As a result, our Miracle garments have won an army of loyal fans, many of whom come back season after season to add new colour ways and styles to their hard-working wardrobe.
CARE: Easy to wear, Miracle garments are also easy-care. Machine washable at 30 degrees, they require minimal maintenance to ensure you benefit from their transformative effect, wear after wear, year after year.