11 Ways To Take Care Of Your Knitwear
When we think about knitwear, we consider it an investment. We want to share our top tips with you on keeping your favorite fall and winter sweaters looking like new every single year—so stick around, and take notes!
1. Don’t wash it after every wear
The higher a garment’s natural fiber content (as opposed to synthetic fibers), the less it needs to be washed. Sheep’s wool is a natural and 100% biodegradable material that doesn’t stain easily or absorb surrounding smells. On the other hand, merino wool is self-cleaning and naturally breaks down bacteria from the skin—meaning you can wash it even fewer times than you would with sheep’s wool. Unless there are visible dirt marks or odors, try to minimize the frequency with which you wash your knitwear garments.
2. Hand-wash instead of machine-wash
Woolen sweaters should be hand-washed or machine-washed on low heat. Washing your precious knits at high temperatures puts the garment at risk of shrinking—through a combination of heat, water, and agitation. Doing so may also cause irreversible damage to the fibers, so ensure you clean it with care and results will pay off.
How to hand-wash your knitwear:
- Place the garment inside a bucket of cold water with some wool cleaning detergent, letting it soak for 2-3 hours
- Gently rub the fibers together to remove visible dirt and stains
- Drain excess soap and water
- Lay flat to dry
3. Let your knitwear air dry
Another no-no when it comes to taking care of your knitwear is placing it in the dryer. Lay your knitwear out to dry at room temperature to avoid shrinking or shape-loss. When drying flat, ensure the garment has no twists or folds so it won’t lose its original structure.
4. Steer clear of clothing hangers
As mentioned above, knitwear loses its shape if stored incorrectly. Placing knitted sweaters on coat hangers will only cause the yarn to stretch, droop, and depict an unflattering shape after some time. Utilize the space in your drawers to neatly fold your delicate knit garments to maximize their lifespan.
5. Alternate between your favorite sweaters
Wearing the same sweater over and over might sound like the ideal way to style yourself every week—but it’s important to rotate them to allow the fibers to rest and return to their shape after being used. Why not switch between grey, beige, and black sweaters on a rolling basis? Pair them with your favorite jeans or knitted leggings for the ultimate cozy outfit.
6. Brush or comb them regularly
Wool has a natural layer of keratin designed to keep animals warm in harsh temperatures and high elevations. The tiny pockets of air within the fibers act as a source of insulation that traps air inside and is able to regulate body heat. As a result, these sensitive fibers need great care and grooming. Ensure you gently brush or comb your woolen sweaters after every few wears to keep the hairs dirt-free and in their rightful place.
7. Become a pilling pro
Remember those tiny balls of fabric that show up on your sweater after just a few wears? We’ve found the ultimate remedy to make you a home-pilling professional. Shaving your knitwear with a razor or electronic fabric remover seamlessly gets rid of any bobbling (where two pieces of your sweater rub together and form a small clump). It’s best to shave bobbles off your sweaters as soon as you notice them—because the longer you leave it, the harder it is to reduce their appearance. This simple trick keeps them looking good as new!
8. Store your sweaters safely
In the summer months, your knitted sweaters are probably in hibernation. But high temperatures call for insects of all kinds—and your wool or cashmere sweater will be the first place they will want to hide. To combat this, place cedar balls or blocks inside your closet. The dark-colored heartwood of cedar becomes the ultimate repellent for moths and flies, and its natural oils kill larvae. Even better, it’ll keep your knitwear smelling divine all season long until fall comes around.
9. Massage with baby shampoo
Especially when washing cashmere, baby shampoo is a well-known method to make even the softest of sweaters even cozier. Baby shampoo helps keep your knitwear soft-to-the-touch, odor-free, and can even prevent light stains. Plus, it’s so inexpensive that you won’t need to hold back on using as much product as your heart’s desire.
10. Cold water baths
Purchased an expensive sweater that’s constantly itchy? Soak it in a cold bath with a generous dose of liquid fabric softener for 30 minutes to one hour to totally transform it. A mixture of conditioner and cold water will get the fibers clean and give it an ultra-flexible stretch.
11. Follow the garment care labels
Before taking online advice, be sure to read the care label so you know the correct way to wash and dry your knitwear. For example, most cotton can be machine washed, however cashmere wool should be hand-wash or professionally cleaned for the best results. If the care label isn’t useful, a second opinion will become your plan B.
Knitted clothing evidently requires a decent amount of love and attention. From pilling to folding and cold water baths, there are an abundance of ways to care for your garments. Do you have more care tips we haven’t mentioned? We’d love to hear them. Be sure to let us know on Instagram @tailoredindustry if you use any tips mentioned above, or head over to our website to learn more about how we create our own 3D knitted garments.
Happy sweater weather!