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Bare Notes

Seven Tips: Knitwear Care

Seven Tips: Knitwear Care

A little love goes a long way. When caring for your beloved knit sweaters less is really more. Here are a few simple tricks and easy practices that can not only save you time but can help keep your knits looking fresh and preserve the longevity of your garments.

1. Wash Sparingly

Did you know that wool garments are naturally odor resistant? Wool fibres can absorb a large volume of water vapor helping to prevent the build up of bacteria and unpleasant smells. Save your regular weekly washes for your everyday tees and base layers. When you need to freshen up your sweater, we recommend using a fabric freshener spray such as Garment Groom. Hang your sweater up, give it all over mist and let the sweater air out for 24 hours.

2. Spot Wash 

Often we are quick to throw our garments in the wash because we notice a spot or stain. Rather than washing your entire sweater, we recommend spot washing when needed. Spot washing is a great way to remove dirt and stains without having to put your entire garment through the wash. We recommend using a stain remover such as Garment Groom for less severe stains. Spray spot liberally, let sit and use a cool damp cloth to dab and lift the stain out. For more severe stains, spray generously first and follow with spot washing the area in the sink using a mild detergent and cool water.  

3. Use a Delicate or Wool Specific Laundry Soap

When you need to wash, follow the instructions on the care label first. If your garment can be hand washed, we recommend washing with a delicate or wool specific laundry soap. Why? Many regular laundry detergents contain harsh chemicals or build in bleaching agents that can agitate the woolly fibres. Wool fibres are delicate and agitation can cause shrinkage and damage the fibres.

Detergent Recommendation: The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo.

4. Steam to Re-Shape and Remove Wrinkles 

Wrinkles and creases will generally resolve on their own by laying the garment flat or hanging for 24 hours. If your sweater has experienced stretching on the shoulders from hanging for a long period of time you can try using a steamer on a warm temperature on the shoulders to re-shape. This will help the fibres shrink back to normal. Be careful not to steam other areas of the garment. If you hand wash cool, you can iron or steam your garment on a cool temperature setting to remove wrinkles and re-shape.

5. Never Hang Your Sweater When Wet

Water adds weight to your sweater therefore avoid hanging knitted garments when wet. This will stretch out your sweaters and they will lose their shape. Instead, gently press the water out of the garment, (avoid twisting or wringing out water) re-shape, and lay flat to dry on a towel. 

6. Use a Sweater Comb to Remove Pilling 

With regular wear, nearly all knitted garments will generate some pilling on the surface as a result of abrasion. We recommend using a sweater comb to gently remove pills from your knitted garments. We prefer the use of a comb over a sweater stone for more delicate garments.

See our Cedar Sweater Comb for more information.

7. Store Smartly 

Moths and insects are attracted to dirt in natural fibres and wool garments. If you are storing your wool garments for a long period of time we recommend giving it a good clean first! Always store folded to avoid stretch. Pack into a sealed, dry container. We recommend adding some cedar balls or cedar sticks to the bin. Cedar is also a moth and insect deterrent. If you don't have cedar, other scents that moths detest are lavender, rosemary, mint and eucalyptus. Adding a few drops of essential oil to a paper towel and throw into the bin prior to sealing.