Question: I took my cashmere sweater to the dry cleaner and it shrunk! What is the best way to clean cashmere if dry cleaning keeps shrinking it? — Cassie

Ausiello: Hand-washing is the gentlest method of cleaning a cashmere sweater, and will add years to the life of your cashmere garment. Cashmere tends to become softer with each washing, which allows the yarns to bloom. Follow these four simple steps and your cashmere purchase will give you years of luxurious comfort and wear.
1) Gently wash in warm water with a mild soap (shampoo will do) and thoroughly rinse in water of the same temperature. Special care must be taken as wet cashmere fabric can weaken and stretch out of shape. Never wring or twist. Gently press excess water from garment.
2) While supporting the weight of the wet garment, lay the sweater on a dry towel. Ease the sweater back into shape and roll up in the towel. Press to remove excess water and repeat this step with a second towel.
3) On a flat surface, lay the sweater on a fresh, dry towel, until thoroughly air dried.
4) Once your cashmere sweater is dry you will want to fold it carefully, avoiding a center crease. Never hang a cashmere sweater as it will stretch the garment out of shape. Lay flat in a drawer or on a closet shelf. Hope that helps, Cassie!