Chasse en Inde Shawl Mishap - please help!


Jul 16, 2010
Hi, I hope someone can help me as I was literally in tears when this happened.

On Saturday night I was in a restaurant and a waiter spilled sauce onto my treasured Chasse en Inde cashmere/silk shawl.

There were only a couple of small spots and they immediately fetched a clean damp teatowel which I used to dab it gently to remove the residue. You can just about see where it was, mainly on the black border. The restaurant manager told me to send him the drycleaning bill.

The scarf isn't ruined aesthetically but I'm now paranoid about moths being attracted and until it's cleaned I won't feel happy to wear it. It's not been cleaned before, as it was pristine until this happened.

I phoned H New Bond Street and they told me not to tamper with it further myself but to take it to a trusted drycleaner: the one in London which they specifically recommend is Mr Steeds who say "We use hydro carbon fluid which is much softer and more forgiving than perchloroethylene (the Industry Standard) which gives a gentler clean and keeps your garments fresher and looking like new".

BUT ... I've read the scarf cleaning thread which is pretty against drycleaning, and I'm unsure what to do for the best. I do hate that drycleaned smell and I've also found that silk scarves lose their liveliness when cleaned. But there's no specific advice in that thread about these cashmere shawls.

Would I be better handwashing in cool water with a Colour Catcher and either gentle hair shampoo or a specialist dark wash liquid - would have to be in the bathtub as it's so big. It has black and white, as well as gold, olive and orange so there's a lot of potential for colour runs.

Does anybody have experience of handwashing a shawl, or has anybody used Mr Steeds and can report their experience?

I'd be so grateful for any advice - I'm anxious to do the right thing and I need to act as soon as possible.


May 7, 2007
I'm so sorry this happened. I'm afraid I haven't washed either of my shawls but I can understand your anxiety about it - I was terrified before I hand washed one of my silks! I would have thought that if you hand washed it very gently that it would be okay although I'm not sure how you would dry it as I rolled my silk up in a towel then laid it out flat but this would be quite hard which something as big as a shawl.

Hopefully one of the more experienced H ladies will be able to help you more.

I really hope you can get it sorted to your satisfaction.


May 17, 2007
With a GM cashmere I would have no ptoblem taking it to a trusted drycleaner-especially with food stain involved. Do it soon though so the stain does not set in. Others have handwashed but the size is pretty large to tackle. Do not worry too much about it-shawls are meant to be worn and enjoyed.:hugs:


Jul 19, 2009
If there is any chance of grease in the sauce a drycleaner will do a better job of removing it than handwashing IMO. Hermes would not recommend a dry cleaner who cant get great results.
Also, interestingly, I was told that dry cleaning Hermes cashmere shawls will prevent the pilling problem some of us have recently observed.
So dont worry, just take it in to Mr Steeds and let him sort it out. I know its traumatic when things get damaged, but lanit is right, these things are meant to be worn and enjoyed. Good luck!
Lovely shawl BTW!


May 28, 2008
City of London
I have used the H London drycleaning service a lot, and they are wonderful. Had a voile (silk / cashmere) back last Friday and it was perfect.


Apr 1, 2008
Just had a look at the website for Mr Steeds and they are by appointment to HRH so I would send them your shawl pronto. Let us know how you get on, good luck.


May 12, 2007
If the dry cleaner is recommended by H, you should have no worries.

I always send my GM cashmere to the dry cleaners, no problem.


Jul 16, 2010
Thank you all so much for your advice and reassurance! :flowers:

The scarf is now safely in the hands of Mr Steeds, and I must admit I feel much better about that than trying to wash it in the bathtub. Call me obsessive, but I even phoned the restaurant to get details of what was in the sauce, to pass that info onto them (thankfully, no tomato or red wine). I should have it back within a week.


Jun 28, 2010
tortoiseperson: Good luck with Mr Steeds and hopefully all will end up well! I can just give a little advice for the future- the observation of some members here that the colors and their vividness suffers after some time of dry cleaning (however good and modern the service and techniques are) is absolutely true, IMO.
I have noticed that when I hand wash my shawls in Perwoll (liquid and made for silk and cashmere) the colors are more vivid and the shawl is just more "alive". I too use a very good dry cleaners with the newest machines etc.but I found my shawls and other delicate clothes losing their colors slightly...
So do not be afraid to hand wash it and then fold it in a towel to get the excess water out and then flat- dry it. It is absolutely safe, if not better than the best dry-cleaners! :flowers::flowers:


Sep 14, 2006
I agree with Varvara. I do not like dry cleaning chemicals either.
I wash mine and have had great results.
there are several threads on washing them.
the trick is to squeeze as much water out as possible before drying


Jul 16, 2010
Oh dear, I hope I haven't made a wrong decision.

It was the size, above all, which intimidated me - at 140cm square, it almost covered the kingsize bed when I laid it out to photograph!
May 27, 2007
One trip to the dry cleaners won't ruin the shawl, and I would always worry that the shawl was not thoroughly clean if I handwashed it, especially with a food or grease stain. I'm sure it'll come back beautiful, and then you can handwash it in the future for minor soil and odors from normal wear. It's a gorgeous shawl, btw.