Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Pop quiz -- where does cashmere come from? If you said, "goats," you're right. Yep, the downy undercoat of goats that live high in the mountains of Mongolia. They need it to keep warm. You need it to be warm and fashionable. Cashmere is finer and more delicate than human hair, so be gentle with it. No harsh detergents, just a light touch will keep your cashmere scarf in great shape.
Fill a basin or sink with cold water. Warm water may affect the dye, so cold is best.
Squirt a little wool wash in the basin: be frugal -- you aren't doing dishes. Stir the water a little with your hand to distribute the soap but not enough to make bubbles.
Add the scarf to the basin. Gently push it down under the water and hold it there to make sure the whole scarf is totally submerged.
Let the scarf soak for about 15 minutes. Don't move it around. Just let it relax in the water.
Gather the scarf up in both hands, making sure that no parts are trailing. Lift it from the water, and squeeze it gently to remove some of the water. Cashmere is very fragile when wet, so be careful.
Spread the scarf on a clean towel and roll it up. Gently press on the roll to remove more water.
Lay the scarf on a flat, waterproof surface. Gently coax it into shape and let it dry.
Use a breathable bag or box to store a cashmere scarf for the season. And be sure to wash it before storing it.
To prevent creases when you store the scarf, roll it up loosely or fold around tissue paper.
Avoid getting makeup on your scarf -- lipstick looks better on you.