Spring is here and that brings spring cleaning! Now is a good time to start thinking about caring for your sweaters and getting them ready for storage. There may even be some heavier weight sweaters and knit accessories that you can retire for the season. Here are some tips to help you get your sweater drawer in tip-top shape!
1. Gently Remove Pills
Pills on a sweater are unavoidable. They can be removed gently by holding the sweater flat and shaving them off with a razor. Be careful not to cut too close and risk damaging your sweater! A manual pill shaver or lint brush can also be used.
2. Hand Wash
Hand washing is best. Over time dry cleaning can dull the sheen on yarns. Machine washing and harsh detergents can shrink, mangle, and destroy your fine woolens. Unless you've had a spill or excessive perspiration wash your sweaters after about 4 wears. Simply fill a tub or sink with tepid (avoid hot) water and a soft detergent. My favorite wash is Wool & Cashmere Shampoo from The Laundress. It comes in a delicious cedar scent! Submerge your sweater (right side out and cardigans buttoned) and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse well under cold water. Do not wring the excess water out, gently squeeze instead.
3. Dry Flat
Lay out your wet sweater flat on a clean towel. Roll up the towel to carefully squeeze out any extra water. Dry the sweater flat on a drying rack so air can enter on top and bottom. Be careful not to have it near heat which can add to shrinkage.
When dry, if your sweater needs a little shaping or has wrinkles, give it a little steam! A steamer is your best friend and will not only bring life back into a garment, but also sanitize it. All items are washed and steamed before entering our vintage shop. I couldn't live with out my steamer, both for the shop and for my personal wardrobe!
5. Store Sweaters Folded
All knits should be stored folded neatly in a drawer. Hanging will cause your sweaters to droop and grow, plus you could get the dreaded pointy shoulder from the hanger. Keep in your drawer ready to wear or store in a cloth box that can breathe until Autumn. Keep a sachet of lavender or cedar to keep the bugs away!
Follow these steps and the investment you've made into a sustainable wardrobe will be worth it! Maintenance is key, especially for the items that you love the most!