The best ways to wash, dry, and store cashmere clothing items are covered.
Cashmere is considered one of the softest and most sought after materials in the world. For hundreds of years cashmere was only purchased by royalty due to its cost. Cashmere is exceptionally soft and considerably less bulky than other types of natural fibers. It is used to make all types of clothing, but the most notable use is for sweaters.
Cashmere comes from the down of goats. Though most quality cashmere comes from China and Mongolia, it can also come from New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Iran, and India. The down shed by these goats is gathered by either combing or by shearing. The goats have a layer of coarse hair that protects them from the harsh weather and underneath is a layer of soft down. This soft down is what is used to produce cashmere clothing. Once the down is taken from the goats it is sorted and sold.
One of the main reasons that cashmere is so expensive is because the goats that produce cashmere are rare. It takes one goat up to four years to produce enough down for one cashmere sweater. The demand for cashmere is always high, even in times of economic hardship.
If you own cashmere you will want to be very careful about caring for your clothing. This natural material is very delicate and should be handled with care. There are special ways to care for your cashmere that will allow it to remain a beautiful addition to your wardrobe for years to come.
Before you wash your cashmere garment, read the labels carefully. Some items must be dry-cleaned. Never wash an item marked "dry clean only". For those items that can be washed, hand washing is the best way to go. Choose a mild detergent that is meant for delicates. Using cool water, fill your sink. Gently swirl the detergent around in the water. Next, put your garment in the water. Work the suds through the garment very gently, and then leave it to soak for about ten minutes. Empty the water and refill the sink with more cool water. Gently swish the garment through the water to remove the soapsuds. Carefully remove the garment from the water and squeeze to remove excess water. Do not squeeze too hard or wring the cashmere because doing so will warp the fibers. Roll the garment up in a towel and press down. The towel will absorb more of the excess water. Lay the garment out to air-dry on a dry towel. Flip the garment occasionally to ensure it dries completely. Keep away from sunlight and never put cashmere in the dryer.
When your garment is dry, fold it and place it in a dresser or on a shelf until you wear it again. To avoid a crease along the front of a cashmere sweater, fold it in three. Take the arms and fold them over the front of the sweater and then fold the top down to meet the bottom. Never hang cashmere on a hanger; this will cause it to warp.
Take special care when wearing your cashmere garments. Jewelry and watches may tug and pull at the fibers. If the garment pills, gently remove these when the garment is wet.
For long-term storage, choose a good plastic storage container with a lid. Layer the cashmere in tissue paper. Cedar chips or mothballs are a good idea to keep insects from eating away at your clothing. Keep in a cool, dark, and dry place.
For most women, shoes are more than just footwear. More than accessories, they can be the focal point of a whole ensemble. For men, on the other hand, they are often a necessary evil. With that in mind, most men will generally opt for the most comfortable shoe available, with only an afterthought regarding looks.
There are really only four basic types of shoes to be concerned about. Dress shoes, casual shoes, work shoes and athletic shoes. Every shoe under the sun will fall into one of these categories. Let's look at how to choose and wear dress shoes.
The best rule of thumb is to keep things simple. Unless you're working a lounge act in Vegas, busy shoes will only distract people. Stay with highly polished leather shoes when wearing suits or dress pants. Dull or unpolished shoes show a lack of attention to detail. Try to wear shoes that are darker than the color of pants you are wearing, browns and blacks work best. If you're wearing earth tones, you'll want brown shoes. Blue or black pants require black shoes. If you're wearing very light earth tones or white pants, you can also wear tan shoes. When in doubt however, choose black. Stick with low heels and leather soles. Rubber soles are great for a casual date but if you want to dress to impress, hard leather soles are the only way to go.
The rules for casual shoes are a little different than dress shoes. While you should still keep the color-coordination in mind, it's best to avoid overly shiny shoes. Soft leather is always appropriate, whether you're wearing corduroys or khakis. Most oxfords or loafers will fill the bill nicely. Again, it's still best to avoid overly-complex shoes. You want to make the statement, not your shoes. Choose casual shoes that will be versatile enough to go with several outfits. Remember, brown or black shoes are almost always appropriate.
If you're going to wear jeans however, you can toss out a lot of the aforementioned rules. Almost any kind of shoe will work fine with jeans. Yes, even those overly-ambitious ones I warned you about. This is another time to avoid polished shoes, too. Oftentimes you can let your shirt dictate how relaxed a shoe you'll wear.
When I mentioned work shoes earlier, I was more concerned with work boots than shoes. Dress or casual rules will work fine for an office environment. When it comes to hard labor, it's always a good idea to have at least one pair of well-crafted work boots. Choose a pair that's waterproof and offers good traction. Any color will do, but boots that come up over the ankle will provide better support.
Believe it or not, athletic shoes can be the hardest to pick out. Choose a shoe that's specifically designed for the activity you'll be participating in. Running shoes are extremely comfortable, but offer no support for your ankles on a basketball court. If you're looking for an all-around athletic shoe, try a cross-trainer. They offer a fair balance between the different styles.
Now that you know what to wear on your feet when you're stepping out, it's time to learn how to purchase the right shoe for your feet. When you're looking for shoes, wear the right socks for the job. For example, if you're looking for dress shoes, wear dress socks while shopping. This will help you avoid picking the wrong size or buying shoes that chafe. Once you have a pair of shoes on, reach down and press the area between your big toe and the end of the shoe. You should have about a half an inch between the two. So far so good? Great! Now take them for a little walk around the store. Bounce around a little on the balls of your feet, to make sure the shoes will give you the support you'll need. If they rub against your heel or ankle, move along. You don't want to break them in later.
Make sure the shoes you choose are of good quality. Check out the soles to ensure they aren't going to come loose from the rest of the shoe. Look at any stitching for looseness or shoddy workmanship. Pick a pair of shoes with good linings; this will help keep moisture away from your feet. Stay away from shoes made of plastic, they'll make your feet sweat and will eventually warp. Always choose natural materials like leather or cotton. Following these guidelines will help you choose the right shoe every time.
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