Repairing, darning and reviving cashmere: Love Cashmere, Hawick

Friday, October 7th 2016
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Few things given me more pleasure than looking after good clothes, and being rewarded with a better-lasting and even better-looking wardrobe.

This happens most obviously with leather products like shoes and bags, and arguably with some suits and jackets. But less so with knitwear, which can be hard to maintain and repair.

I’ve written in the past about darning my own sweaters (usually moth holes) and about altering them by sewing up the side seams. But these are all essentially amateur attempts.

I was particularly interested, therefore, when a friend recommended a Scottish outfit called Love Cashmere, in Hawick.

Primarily a knitwear brand, Love Cashmere also offer a Re-Dress & Repair service, where they:

  • repair small pulls, holes and dropped threads;
  • wash the knitwear and remove any stains
  • de-pill, de-fuzz, press it and send it back

All for £26. I sent them two sweaters to try it out: a red Loro Piana ‘roadster’ sweater and a navy Al Bazar piece in a similar style.

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The Loro Piana one had a large moth hole in the centre of the chest, which made it pretty much unwearable, as well as one in the ribbing.

Both sweaters were much loved and worn, and also had a lot of fuzz and pilling going on.

It’s hard to reflect the issues accurately in pictures, but included here are the before and after shots, showing how much the pieces have been improved.

The before shots are shown above, the after shots below.

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The moth holes were not easy to repair, as one was a relatively large cut and the piece itself was a marl with lots of shades of red and orange. But they still did a very good job - certainly better than anything I would have done.

The pilling was completely removed. This is something you can do yourself to a certain extent, but again I’ve never managed to do it to this level, despite trying various tools.

And almost most importantly, both sweaters feel like new.

The washing and pressing, together with the de-pill/de-fuzz, makes it feel like you’re unwrapping a completely new sweater (for £26). I’m genuinely excited about wearing them both again.

I was also interested to discover that Love Cashmere can both alter sweaters and stretch them (to an extent).

So rather than my attempts at slimming the waist by sewing it, for example, they will link up the side seams and overlock them - both neater and more reliable.

I have also stretched sweaters in the past by wetting them, using a rack or similar to stretch the arm/body, and leaving them overnight. The results were OK, but unpredictable.

Love Cashmere do it regularly, though they warn that only small changes are possible.

Still, we all know that just an extra half inch on a sleeve can make a big difference.

I will be trying both additional services in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I highly recommend the basic care service: great results and great value for money.