Q: Does cashmere shrink/stretch/pill/itch?
Yes, yes, yes, and no, but allow us to elaborate.
Cashmere can shrink or stretch depending on conditions.
Hot water will shrink cashmere (merely soak and then dry) whereas cold water and some vigorous pulling will stretch it out. We say vigorous pulling because it’s a bit of process: if you have a cashmere sweater that you’d like to make bigger, you’ll want to soak it in cold water and then place both of your arms in the torso and move them apart, stretching the fabric evenly. The same goes for the arms. Stretch, then relax. Stretch, then relax. If you aren’t careful, you can accidentally pull holes in the fabric and turn it into an expensive, lumpy little blanket.
Never place your cashmere in the dryer as you’ll felt it. This pulls the hairs apart (you’ll know if you made this mistake because it sheds, tremendously) and causes it to pill up.
Which brings us to our second point: yes, cashmere pills. That's when a fabric forms little balls of fluff all over it. This occurs when washing and stretching causes the fibers to separate, and then abrasion across the surface forms them into spheres. While perhaps unsightly, the doesn't affect it's durability. They're easily removed with a de-piller which you can find on Amazon for under $10 (no affiliation).
And finally, does cashmere itch? No, it does not! It may get lumped into the same bucket as notoriously itchy sheep's wool, but wool's fibers are 3-4 times as thick. Cashmere is soft enough to be worn comfortably against bare skin. If your cashmere itches, it's either not pure or you could have a slight allergy to it. Don't take our word for that though, we're not doctors.
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