How to wash a Pashmina Shawl
The best way to care for you pashmina is to give it a break. Sure, black goes with everything, but why not squeeze a few more options into that cavernous walk-in closet? We can match your sunglasses, your shoes, your lipstick, your mood...
Some of you have asked why we don't put "Dry Clean Only" tags on our pashmina shawls, like the Big Names do. Well, first of all, we think tags look tacky. Secondly, it's easy to damage the shawl in the process of removing a tag. And third, pashminas can be washed by hand. More to the point, dry cleaning can be pretty tough on pashminas!
Now, before we get into this, we must insist that we have no particular expertise in laundering anything, and certainly will take no responsibility for any contretemps. In fact, some of us don't even separate whites and colors. But we have asked around quite a bit, and here is what we got from our most knowledgeable sources.
Naturally, getting clean involves a 12-Step Method. Don't skip steps!!
1. Clean your bathtub thoroughly. Plug the drain.
2. Lay the pash flat, folded as necessary, depending on the size of your tub.
3. Using a hand-held shower, soak the shawl with lukewarm or cool water.
4. Squirt the shawl with a moderate amount of neutral detergent. Baby shampoo is okay.
5. Pat and squush the shawl to make sure the soap penetrates the entire piece.
6. Let it soak for 15 minutes.
7. Unplug the bathtub and let the water drain away.
8. Using the hand-held shower, rinse the pashmina thoroughly.
9. Remove the pashmina from the bathtub, and fold it small enough to fit into a large ziplock plastic bag.
10. Seal the bag and shake for a couple of minutes.
11. Remove the pashmina from the bag and lay it on a fresh, dry towel. Allow to blot for 15 minutes.
12. Push aside the shower curtain and hang unwrinkled from the shower rod. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Love your pashmina shawl? You'll be crazy about a Pashmina Poncho!
[ Or... just give it to the cat and buy a scrumptious new pash for yourself. Right this way ]
Actually, a pashmina shawl does not generally require ironing. Just hang it up, unbunched, and let the wrinkles fall out. For a crisper, more elegant look, you might want to have it professionally pressed; or do it yourself:
a) Prepare the area around your ironing board or table. The shawl is a long piece of fabric, and you don't want to have it mopping your floor. We usually cover the floor area with a clean bedsheet.
b) Pre-warm your steam iron to a moderate heat.
c) Lay out your pashmina on the ironing board and cover it with a thin cloth: you want to avoid direct contact between the pashmina cloth and the iron. Again, a clean bedsheet will do the trick.
d) Iron the shawl from one fringed end to the other. Move the iron up and down, not left and right. Use the steamer liberally.
[ Enough! I'm ready to Order ]
By the way, if you decide to entrust your pashmina to a dry cleaner, you should make sure that the establishment has had experience with this fabric. Tighten every fringe knot beforehand, but be aware that the tassles on the fringes are likely to lose their virginal fluff, anyway. Make sure that the pash is carefully inspected as it is received by the dry cleaner, and be sure to open and inspect it thoroughly at the counter when you receive it.
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