Skip to Content

What happens to cashmere if it gets wet? How to dry?

Wearing a sweater looking out a rainy window

Cashmere is a high-end, luxury material that’s going to cost you a pretty penny if you choose to buy an item made from it. So of course, you want your cashmere to stay beautiful and keep looking amazing. But what happens to cashmere if it gets wet? Do you know how to dry cashmere the right way? If you’re going to spend the money on cashmere, it pays to know how to take care of it.

Why Cashmere?

Wearing a wool cardigan on a gray day

Cashmere is one of those luxury materials that you hear about when people talk about designer clothing. It’s famously expensive and known to be incredibly soft and luxurious. The reputation is true. Cashmere not only feels amazing, it drapes beautifully. Cashmere is used to make all kinds of clothing items. You’ll find it most often in coats, dresses, sweaters, socks, scarves and many other knitwear items.

What’s Cashmere Like?

Cashmere is a type of wool but it’s definitely a cut above standard sheep’s wool, a material that is inexpensive and widely available. Cashmere is made not from sheep’s wool but from goat hairs. Specifically, this wool is made from a type of goat that lives only in one region in Asia. There is a limited number of goats and therefore, a limited supply of cashmere.

Why Does Cashmere Cost So Much?

The rarity of the material and the softness and beauty of cashmere make it highly expensive and prized among fashionistas and fashionistos of all kinds. So if you are lucky enough to own an item made of cashmere, you want to know how to take care of it so that it will continue looking and feeling incredible. If your cashmere gets wet, you need to know what to do. Can cashmere even get wet in the first place?

Can Cashmere Get Wet?

Wearing cashmere in the snow hood and face

Cashmere is a type of wool so naturally, you will wear it during fall and winter weather, maybe early spring. That means the weather is likely to be chilly and damp when you have on your cashmere. What if it rains? Do you have to go running for cover or can cashmere get wet?

Women's 100% Cashmere Sweater Pullover Casual Solid Color Warm Knit Jumpers Red L

All wool is naturally resistant to moisture in that it’s able to absorb a lot of moisture relative to its own weight without feeling too heavy. The moisture evaporates quickly, so wool dries quickly. Cashmere and other wools are perfect for wearing in the damp and wet because wool is warm and yet breathable. It absorbs moisture without making you feel sweaty under the sweater and it protects you from getting wet.

Cashmere Scarf, vimate Winter Thick Black Cashmere Scarf Shawls and Wraps for Women and Men

Cashmere absorbs about 30 percent of its own body wet without making you feel wet underneath the cashmere, which is pretty good. The material is also naturally hypoallergenic, so even if it is wet it won’t release any materials that might cause you to have a reaction.

Escalier Women's Double-Breasted Trench Coat Wool Jacket with Belt Wine M

The one drawback is that cashmere can have a sort of “wet” smell to it, an odor somewhat like a wet animal or wet hair. That’s because cashmere is made from goat hair and the earthy scent of these fibers never quite fades. The odor is particularly noticeable when the material is wet.

Jenkoon Women's Wool Trench Coat Winter Long Thick Overcoat Walker Coat (Red, Medium)

Water won’t harm cashmere, particularly not rain that will not be hot. Heat can cause cashmere to shrink, as it causes all wool to shrink. But you will use water when you wash cashmere, so it does not harm the fabric if you get it wet.

Women's Winter Wool Trench Coat Wrap Large Collar High Low Jacket Outwear with Belt

However, when cashmere and other types of wool get wet, the fibers are more susceptible to damage. That means the cashmere can more easily be stretched or pulled out of shape, so you need to handle wet cashmere with care and dry it properly when it does get wet.

How to Dry Cashmere

Wearing knitwear outside on a chilly day

Don’t ever wring out cashmere. Twisting the fibers can cause them to become stretched out or misshapen. You also don’t want to put your cashmere in the dryer, as heat will cause the wool fibers to shrink and change the shape of your cashmere.

This does not leave you with a lot of options. But you also can’t hang up cashmere or any other wool item. The weight of the wool can cause the item to stretch out on the hanger, which will damage the shape of the item. This means that the only way you can safely dry cashmere is to let it air dry naturally while it’s laying flat.

Spread the cashmere item out on a towel. Gently, roll up the cashmere and the towel to squeeze out excess moisture. Next, spread the cashmere out on a clean, dry towel. Let it sit there and air dry on its own. You may need to flip the garment over after a few hours and you might need to wait as long s two days, depending on the thickness of the item, for it to completely dry.

If you need to iron cashmere, steam iron it. Do not place the item directly on the material.

What Happens to Cashmere if it Gets Wet?

Wool sweater outside torso only

Cashmere, like all types of wool, is resistant to moisture and odor. This material is actually pretty good at getting wet, as it will help you stay dry even when it does get wet. Wool has been worn for thousands of years because it’s such a high-performance material. If your cashmere gets wet, gently brush off the water with your hands. Don’t pull the fabric. Brush it off and then lay the cashmere out flat to dry. If cashmere gets damp or wet, let it dry the right way and it should be ready to wear once again.


Cashmere and Cotton – How to Wash Cashmere – A Complete Guide to Caring for Cashmere

Martha Stewart – Skip the Dry Cleaners: Here’s How to Wash and Care for Cashmere and Wool Sweaters

Sewing Is Cool – Is Cashmere Breathable? (Does Cashmere Make You Sweat)