Does Cashmere Shrink?

Posted by Jessica | Updated on October 21, 2022

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Yes. Cashmere is prone to shrinking when exposed to moisture and high-heat. So, to keep your cashmere from shrinking, do not wash it in warm to hot water.

That’s not to say that you have to dry clean your cashmere, unless, of course, the label says so.

As long as you wash it in cool water, you should be fine.

Another tip for keeping your cashmere from stretching is to hand wash it. Machine washing will pull and stretch out the fibers, so you’ll want to stay away from that.

You’ll also want to stay away from fabric softener as it can cause the fabric to stiffen.

Does Cashmere Shrink In Hot Water?

Yes, Cashmere is highly vulnerable to high-heat and moisture.

Even if you hand wash your cashmere pieces, if you use hot water it will still shrink.

Washing cashmere is if you want to shrink your garment purposely.

To do this, you can hand wash it in hot water. You can also dip your Cashmere in a wash bin filled with very hot water.

Does Cashmere Shrink When Hand Washed?

Not necessarily. For as long as you don’t wash it with hot water.

In fact, handwashing is the ideal method to wash cashmere.

That’s because machine washing tends to pull and stretch the fabric.

If you want to purposely shrink your cashmere you can hand wash it with warm water. Or you can put it in a tub filled with hot water for a couple of hours.

Will Cashmere Shrink In The Dryer?

Yes. Cashmere is vulnerable to heat and will quickly shrink when exposed to hot air.

Also, heat doesn’t only shrink cashmere. It also makes it feel scratchy.

Even if you dry it without heat, you risk getting the fabrics pulled and stretched inside the dryer.

The best way to dry cashmere is to lay it flat to dry.

Do not hang it. The water and fabric weight will drag the shoulders, causing them to stretch and lose their shape.

The only time I’d recommend tossing your cashmere in the dryer is if you want to purposely shrink it.

To do this, turn your cashmere inside out. Doing so will help protect the sheen.

Put your cashmere in the dryer for 10 minutes. The shrink will be evident almost instantly, so you would want to check the item from time to time.

Check if you’ve reached the size you like. If not, try rerunning it for a short spin.

Why Does Cashmere Shrink?

Cashmere is made of wool fabric. And like all wool fabrics, it’s inherently sensitive to high-heat and moisture.

Some consider cashmere the highest quality wool. But that also means it’s sensitive and needs to be handled with care.

Cashmere is vulnerable to any heat, machine washing, and drying.

That said, you don’t necessarily have to take your cashmere to the dry cleaners all the time. Unless, of course, the manufacturer instructs you to do so.

You may simply hand wash your cashmere with cool water and lay it flat to dry.

Once dry, store it in your closet folded.

These three steps should be enough to keep your cashmere’s shape intact for a long time.

Does Cashmere Shrink When Dry Cleaned?

No. Most cashmere fabrics are labeled as dry clean only.

That’s because cashmere is susceptible to water and heat. When you wash cashmere with hot water, it will likely shrink.

And when you wash with cool water in the machine, the fabric is exposed to constant pulling. With prolonged exposure, the machine will eventually destroy the material.

Unlike machine washing, dry clean involves almost no water usage.

The cleaning procedure does not use water. Instead, it is a liquid cleaning agent.

The fabric is then exposed to heat to dry. This heat can cause your cashmere to shrink, but not significant enough to make a difference.

That said, repeated dry cleaning can cause cashmere to become brittle.

The best way to keep cashmere from shrinking is to hand wash it and lay it flat to dry.

Does Cashmere Shrink Over Time?

Wen cared for properly cashmere won’t shrink over time. 

If you take the incorrect washing and drying methods, you will notice shrinking immediately. For example, if you expose cashmere to high temperatures, the shrinkage will be immediately noticeable.

If you wash cashmere by hand and avoid using the dryer for extended periods, then your cashmere will retain its shape and size for years to come.

The key to long-term health is proper care.

Does Cotton-Cashmere Shrink?

Yes, cotton and cashmere shrink. Cotton and cashmere are fabrics that are both prone to shrinkage. When combining these two fabrics, they are still prone to shrinkages.

The among of shrinkage depends on the specific blend of cotton and cashmere. For example, 95% cotton and 5% cashmere would likely shrink less than a 95% cashmere and 5% cotton blend.

Cotton shrinks more than cashmere. Thus, blends with more cotton tend to shrink less than blend with more cashmere.

Does Silk-Cashmere Shrink?

Yes, silk cashmere does shrink. Both silk and cashmere are prone to shrinkage at high temperatures. 

When combining these, they will still shrink under the same conditions that cashmere and silk both shrink.

Silk and cashmere are fabrics that are high-quality materials that tend to shrink. 

Regardless of the exact blend combination, silk and cashmere blend will shrink. To avoid shrinkage, you should care for your fabrics properly.

Does Wool-Cashmere Shrink?

Yes, wool-cashmere does shrink. Cashmere and wool are two of the fabrics most prone to shrinkage.

 The benefit is that they both shrink under the same conditions. The best care for wool and cashmere is to hand wash and let air dry.

Following the same process will guarantee that you don’t shrink wool-cashmere blends. 

Regardless of the blend, both wool and cashmere will experience nearly the same amount of shrinkage.

How Frequent Should You Wash A Cashmere

The number of times to wash a Cashmere is not in any rule book. It depends on you.

It helps, though, to minimize washing as much as you can.

Washing, no matter what method, will change the fabric’s quality over time.

Dry cleaning will eventually make cashmere brittle. Handwashing, even in cool water, will ultimately make the fabric softer.

So, the safest way to prolong your cashmere’s life is to not wash it.

The good news is, cashmere doesn’t gather germs because of its antimicrobial properties.

I recommend washing your winter cashmere garments one to three times during the winter.

Before leaving it in a closet for the summer, rewash it before storing it.

You can wash it once or twice until the fall or winter season comes again.

How To Wash Cashmere?

Cashmere is fragile. But that doesn’t mean you should fear damage every time you wash it.

Below are step by step instructions on how to clean your cashmere safely.

Step 1: Filled a tub with cool water

Step 2: Add a Cashmere laundry soap. If you’re having difficulty finding one, use your mild hair shampoo as an alternative.

Agitate the soap and water till it suds. It’s essential to dissolve the soap entirely. Dissolving will ensure that the soap will spread out through the entire cashmere evenly.

Step 3: Place your cashmere in the tub and leave it to soak for half an hour. Add ¾ cup of white vinegar into the tub. The vinegar will help eliminate any stink.

Step 4: Rub your fingers against the dirty areas for the handwashing part. Be gentle. Too much friction might cause holes in your cashmere. You can also gently spin the fabric in the tub by swirling your hand.

Step 5: Empty the tub. Refill it with clean water to rinse the cashmere. Do not expose cashmere to running water, as doing so can cause the fabric to drag.

Step 6: Knead the cashmere-like dough to remove excess water. Press the ball to the edges of your sink or tub. You can also press gently with your hands. Prepare a large clean towel, preferably a white one, so it won’t bleed in the cashmere.

Step 7: Place the towel on top of the cashmere. Roll the two items together and let the water drip. You can also press it lightly. Change the towels if you have to.

Step 8: Get a drying rack and lay your cashmere to dry. Never hang your Cashmere pieces to avoid stretching them. Place it under a shade without any exposure to sunlight.

How To Unshrink Cashmere?

It can be horrifying to see your thousand dollar cashmere to shrink. But there’s hope to fix it. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare a large wash bin filled with cool water
  2. Measure two tablespoons of mild shampoo. Let the cashmere sit in that solution for two hours
  3. Dispose of the water
  4. Press the cashmere lightly with your hands to remove extra water
  5. On a flat surface, pull the edges as you see fit. Don’t tug too hard. You only want to stretch and not damage it.
  6. Hold the fabric with weights to make it stay in a stretched form.
  7. Leave it for an hour. Check the material afterward to see if it’s back to its original size. Leave the fabric stretched for as long as you need
  8. Rinse the cashmere with cool water

Alternative method:


White vinegar isn’t just a kitchen condiment. It can create wonders with your Cashmere pieces, too. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare a tub of cool water. 
  2. Add two tablespoons of white vinegar or borax
  3. Dip the cashmere in the tub for half an hour. 
  4. Pull the edges of your cashmere
  5. Press the fabric lightly to get rid of the extra water.
  6. Tug at the edges and use heavy materials to hold it in place. Check the material afterward to see if it’s back to its original size. Leave the fabric stretched for as long as you need
  7. Rinse the cashmere with cool water


I'm Jessica, mother of two and passionate seamstress.
From a very young age, I've cultivated a passion for the creative arts, from drawing, sewing and now quilting. I saw it as a way to escape, to create, and above all, to please by offering my creations around me. The desire to pass on this passion has become more and more important, this is why I'm sharing my experience and my knowledge online.

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