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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cashmere Sweaters: Dry Clean or Hand Wash?

Debating whether to wash or dry clean? 

Bergdorf Goodman recently posted on Twitter:  @bergdorfs: Snowy day activities - dryel cashmere sweaters. If they can do it, so can you ... if you're patient and carefully follow directions. Learn how-to and print out dryel coupons at dryel.com

Truth is, many dry clean only items can be laundered. Clothing manufacturers will recommend "dry clean" if it’s the best way to care for the garment, but according to the Federal Trade Commission, many items including cashmere sweaters are mislabeled Dry Clean Only when in fact they may be washable.

Excluding lined wool or silk suits and coats and anything suede or leather labeled "dry clean only," I initially dry clean new garments labeled "dry clean," then I eventually hand wash or toss them in the washing machine and lay them flat to dry, with great results. 

Exception: investment pieces like Gucci, Chanel or Prada originals or stained garments are best left to a professional dry cleaner.