Gorgeous pashmina shawls and wraps make elegantly cozy additions to any wardrobe. But how should these delicate cashmere-blend accessories be cleaned? Read on for a comprehensive guide to specialized methods for laundering pashmina while avoiding damage to the luxe fibers.

What is Pashmina?

Pashmina refers to the exceptionally soft and warm shawls and wraps woven from cashmere wool and silk. Originating in Nepal and Kashmir, pashmina comes from Changthangi cashmere goats. Their long winter coat fibers create sumptuously soft pashmina fabrics.

Authentic pashmina contains at least 30% pure cashmere woven with fine silk or cotton. Lower quality “faux pashmina” may have little to no cashmere content. Always check fiber labels closely.

Why Special Cleaning is Essential

Pashmina’s delicate blend of fibers requires great care during cleaning:

Cashmere – The downy soft goat hair easily felts and shrinks when agitated or scrubbed. It loses fluffiness with harsh detergents.

Silk – Silk fibers get damaged by strong cleaners and high heat. They become dry and brittle when over-washed.

Dyes – Rich dyes that produce pashmina’s vibrant colors bleed and fade easily. They must stay wet during cleaning to avoid running.

Embellishments – Some pashmina shawls feature delicate beadwork, embroidery and trim that can snag on washing machines.

The special properties of pashmina limit everyday laundry methods.

Hand Washing Pashmina

Given its delicate nature, pashmina must be hand washed very carefully:

Supplies

  • Mild, sulfate-free shampoo or soap
  • Wide-tooth comb or brush
  • Vinegar (for soak)
  • Soft towel (avoid terrycloth loops)
  • Embroidery hoop or laundry net

Instructions

  1. Brush gently with a wide-tooth comb to remove loose dirt and lint. Avoid pulling or tearing the delicate fibers.
  2. Soak pashmina in lukewarm water with a tablespoon of white vinegar for 5 minutes. This helps dissolve oils and perspiration residues.
  3. Apply a small amount of mild sulfate-free shampoo or soap dissolved in water. Gently massage into fibers. Do not wring, twist or scrub!
  4. Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Support the fibers when rinsing and lifting from water to avoid stretching and distortion.
  5. Lay flat to dry on top of a soft towel. Avoid hanging to prevent stretching the wet fibers.
  6. Air dry out of direct sunlight. Direct sun can bleach and damage fibers.
  7. Lightly steam when nearly dry to smooth out wrinkles and restore fluffiness.

With proper specialized cleaning, pashmina can safely be hand washed at home.

Dry Cleaning Pashmina

Pashmina shawls and wraps can also be taken to professional dry cleaners for specialized treatment.

  • Ask if they have experience with cashmere blends
  • Mark any snags or stains requiring extra attention
  • Request gentle cycles and low heat for drying
  • Wrap beaded areas with tissue or netting
  • Air out at home after cleaning to freshen

For busy schedules or very delicate pashmina, trust the experts to handle with care.

Stain Treatment for Pashmina

Unfortunately pashmina still remains prone to stains from makeup, food, and other grime. Make sure to treat any spots as soon as possible:

  • Dab gently with a soft cloth – avoid rubbing and damaging fibers
  • Blot stains with water and a bit of mild shampoo
  • For oily stains, apply a pinch of cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb residue, then brush off
  • Use diluted vinegar for ink stains
  • Try lemon juice for small food or makeup stains
  • For tougher stains, seek professional dry cleaner stain treatment – home remedies can sometimes set stains on luxury fabrics

Act quickly on stains to avoid permanent damage to delicate pashmina.

Storing Pashmina

Proper storage and handling will keep pashmina looking luminous between wearings:

  • Avoid direct light exposure which fades colors – store in breathable dark place
  • Keep away from heat sources like radiators or vents
  • Store loosely folded in a breathable garment bag – do not hang
  • Use cedar blocks to repel moths in storage areas
  • Keep pashmina shawls separate from other woolens which can transfer lint
  • Transport wrapped in tissue to prevent snagging
  • Wear a scarf underneath pashmina wraps to prevent makeup and oil transfer
  • Detangle fringe and embellishments gently and patiently

With some special preventative care, pashmina will last and retain its luxe softness.

Caring for Pashmina FAQs

Here are some other common questions about maintaining pashmina:

How often should pashmina be washed?

Only 2-4 times per year for gentle wear. Spot treat stains between washes. Too frequent laundering damages delicate cashmere and silk fibers.

Can you put pashmina in the washing machine?

Never – the agitation will felt, shrink and destroy a pashmina’s fibers. Strict hand wash only.

Is dry cleaning safer than hand washing pashmina?

Dry cleaning can be slightly harsher than hand washing but involves less handling that could stretch and distort the fabrics.

Does pashmina have to be dry cleaned?

No, pashmina may be hand washed successfully at home if done delicately with proper drying. Dry cleaning is not mandatory.

Can you use wool detergent on pashmina?

Avoid standard wool detergents which are too harsh. Use only specially formulated silk/cashmere shampoo.

How do you get dog hair off a pashmina shawl?

Use a sticky fabric roller or masking tape gently rolled repeatedly over the surface to remove pet hair without damaging delicate fibers.

How do you wash a stained pashmina fringe?

Dip just the stained portion of fringe briefly in diluted shampoo. Dry flat away from heat. Do not immerse the entire shawl.

With the right care methods, pashmina can stay soft and luminous for years. Bring your treasured pashmina pieces into Laundry Pile in Austin, TX for specialized professional cleaning. Our experts are trained in delicately hand washing and dry cleaning cashmere, silk and other fine fabrics. We’ll treat even the most troublesome stains on your pashmina while maintaining the beautiful drape and sheen. Trust Laundry Pile with your luxurious pashmina and keep it looking vibrant for generations.

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