Pussy Caps should never be machine washed.
It will ruin them.
If your Pussy Cap gets dirty and you feel it needs to be washed, dry-cleaning or hand washing are the best choices. Angora fur seems to do better with dry cleaning than hand washing.
Animal fibers have not evolved to handle chemicals and over time dry cleaning can diminish their softness, so dry-clean sparingly. Animal fibered yarns are great at repelling dirt and moisture so they should under most circumstances stay quite clean.
Dangling yarns on the inside of your cap
I leave a few inches of the yarns at the inside top of the cap so that there will be no chance of the knot coming loose and unraveling your cap. I also leave them there so that you can see some of the yarns I've used in their un-crocheted state. When you remove the card that's attached to these yarns untie them or cut the card but don't cut the yarns.
Since Pussy Caps are made with natural animal fibered yarns they're susceptible to moth damage no matter where you live. The best deterrent is cedar wood or cedar oil. You'll notice that your cap smells like cedar when you receive it. I rub each of them with a little cedar oil before shipping just to be safe. If you can, store your Pussy Cap in a cedar box or if not rub a little cedarwood oil on it occasionally. It doesn't kill the moths but the scent confuses them and deters them from munching on the organic material in the yarns. Moths don't eat the yarns - they eat the organic material in it and in the process destroy the fibers.
If you discover that moths have gotten into your Pussy Cap or other woolen clothing you can destroy all stages of the moth by putting your cap in a bag and storing it in the freezer for a couple of weeks. This will kill eggs, pupae and adult moths. Dry cleaning will do the same thing. If you have further concerns about moths please feel free to get in touch with me via email.
1. Always use cool water. Warm or hot water will either shrink the cap or felt the fibers and leave you with something resembling a cowboy hat without the brim.
2. Fill a sink or a bowl with cool water and mix a few drops of Woolite or a natural, non-chemical or organic soap around in it till it's well dispersed.
Don't overdo it on the soap.
2. Immerse your cap in the water and gently swish it around in the soapy water for several minutes until you feel it's clean. You can even leave the cap to soak for ten or fifteen minutes if you'd like and then swish it around in the water some more.
3. Drain the water and very gently squeeze the excess soapy water from the cap.
Don't wring. Squeeze gently!
4. Refill the sink or bowl with the same temperature water that you washed the cap in and swish the cap around in the rinse water. Drain and then gently squeeze excess water from the cap. Repeat this rinsing process as often as is necessary till all traces of the soapy water are gone and the water appears clean.
5. After the last rinse gently squeeze all excess water from the cap and then roll it firmly in a towel to remove even more water. Give the rolled towel a good squeeze but don't wring it. If it still feels too wet, roll it in another dry towel.
6. Lay your cap flat on a dry towel out of the sun and away from any direct heat source and give it a little shaping so that it has roughly the same shape it had before washing. Allow it to dry completely before wearing it again.
7. If you feel your cap needs a little fluffing after it's dry you can toss it in the dryer for a few minutes on a NO HEAT setting. A couple of t-shirts tossed in with it will help fluff it even better. Don't use a towel or anything made of terry cloth because the shedded bits of cotton will tangle with the fibers in your cap and be hard to pick out.
The yarns used in Pussy Caps aren't necessarily delicate - they just need to be washed carefully to maintain their integrity and stay looking nice.