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Can you shrink cashmere without ruining it?

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Dee*Jay

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A girlfriend of mine just cleaned out her closet and "donated" to me--I kid you not--TEN perfectly good cashmere sweater sets. The thing is, she''s a 10 regular and I''m an 8 petite. So the under shells generally fit (I''m a little bustier than the is) but the cardigans are a bit big, especially in the sleeves. I looked into getting the sleeves shortened but it was going to cost a fortune (and I wasn''t very confident that it would look right when it was done), so I''m hoping for a miracle. Can you shrink cashmere *just a little* and without ruining it?
 

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Leila

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DJ, I''ve heard you can shrink cashmere if you wash it in warm water and also running it throught the dryer briefly on low heat. I think you have to be careful though since it can shrink drastically. But you''ve got 10 so maybe you can do a little experimenting?
You lucky girl!
 

nejarb

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Hi DeJay,

You can put the sweaters in a washing machine, but you need ot realize that you are going to transform the fabric from a knit to a felt. The longer the wash cycle, the more the fibers will felt together. If you use soap or warm/hot water or both, this will speed up the process, so just use a little bit of soap at first and try it with luke warm water. You may end up liking the way the fabric turns out and it will fit better. Or, you may not like it at all, but once the fabric is felted, you can cut it and it won''t unravel, so you could do sonething else with it if you wanted to. Also, a knit fabric will shrink in length more than in width as it felts.
 

Dee*Jay

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Oh... that maybe doesn''t sound so good... Does that mean that the under shells (which I don''t need to shrink) would then have a different texture than the cardigans once I wash them?
 

Julian

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Yaaaaaaaay on getting so many cashmere sweaters!

Noooooooooooooooo to shrinking them!


Don''t ruin your beautiful cashmere! My DH accidentally washed a cashmere sweater of mine & tossed it in the dryer. Oh my. The cashmere did shrink, but in the most horrible way. The weave ended up so densely packed, it was all jammed together and rough. I had to throw it away.

Only dry clean!
Sometimes gentle handwashing can be OK for some sweaters, but make sure to air dry them lying flat.

I love the look of slouchy cashmere tops with skinny pants or skinny jeans. You will look BEAUUUUUUUTIFUL in those soft cuddly sweaters! How adorable and sexy will that be? Big, slouchy cashmere top with skinny pants w/boots or skinny jeans... just roll up the sleeves a little and you''ll look fab!
 

Dee*Jay

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So, Julian, you really think it''s ok to roll up the sleeves? I have to do that on almost everything (the plight of the short-armed is a miserable one... ) but I was afraid it would make it look like I raided my mother''s closet if i did it with these nice sweater sets! Sometimes I fold the extra length up inside the sleeve but these keep coming back down.
 

nejarb

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yes, it''ll be different from the shell.

if the bottom of the sleeve is ribbed this will not work, but if it isn''t ribbed, you could maybe try just felting the bottom of the sleeve (just dip it in boiling water) and then it will make a band that''s easier to stay folded up or pushed up on the arm?
 

winternight

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Can you get a different estimate on shortening the sleeves? Sometimes prices vary widely. I wouldn''t risk shirking the cashmere. I love cashmere - wearing it right now. I agree that the slouchy look might work.
 

Julian

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Another big slouchy shirt with skinny jeans look... Kind of cute, no? She belted hers, which I think you could do if the cashmere was light enough...


vb35.jpg
 

Dee*Jay

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Hmmm... ok, now you''ve got me thinkin''...

BTW, where do I get the skinny thighs to go in the skinny jeans?
 

Miranda

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I''m not sure it''s a good idea to put them in the washer and dryer. I did this once with a cashmere blend and it came out looking like matted pet fur. It''s a nice look
 

Dee*Jay

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Matted pet fur?!?


Never mind... I will be slouchy and like it!
 

Julian

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Yes, Dee*Jay! I know you will look so adorable & sexy!

There's something about a petite woman a little "lost" in a big beautiful sweater with skinny jeans/pants. You can belt it, too. Sometimes it makes you look even smaller and more adorable! Since you're blessed with curves AND petite, just make sure that you're wearing something slimming on the bottom!

The sleeves rolling down... I feel you on that one! Happens to me, too. Try rolling VERY long (nearly to your elbows) ONCE, then roll that in half. (I hope that makes sense!) That holds better than rolling multiple times in smaller rolls. LOL. I sound like I'm making sushi or something!!! LOL.
 
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