style - 04.08.2020

How to look after your favorite knits

Nothing more annoying than reaching for your favorite sweater on the first chilly day of fall and discovering a hole that wasn’t here last year…or taking your cardigan out of the washing machine only to realize you didn’t wash it properly and now it’s just big enough for a 6 year old.

We pay so much attention to the quality of our knits, going all over the globe to find the best yarn mills and manufacturers, we want to make sure you’ll have all the info you need to make it last. There are a few rules to follow to insure your fluffy knits stay as soft and good looking as the first day and as knit aficionados we know all the tips and secrets. Let us share them with you!

wordsMathilde Pagnier
picturesJean-Philippe Lebée

WASHING

You’re not going to like it but really, the secret to keeping your knits looking fabulous is to hand wash them. Yes, it’s a little time consuming- but keep in mind that wool doesn’t need to be washed as often as other fibers, so you won’t have to worry about washing them every day.

"the secret to keeping your knits looking fabulous is to hand wash them."

Soak the items one at a time in lukewarm water with just a tea spoon of detergent, making sure to wash the darkest colors last. Gently swish them around and let them soak for a few minutes (don’t forget them as wool can shrink if it stays in water for too long). Rinse twice or more and gently press the water out. Don’t wring out your knits as it might stretch the item out of shape and damage the fibers.

If you’re running out of time to hand wash your sweaters, most washing machines now have a “hand wash” or “delicate” cycle that can be used safely. As long as you set the temperature between 20 and 30°C and a spinning cycle of 800 rpm (if you can go as low as 500rpm that’s even better) you’ll be in the clear.
Don’t use your regular laundry soap when washing your knits. Use a wool detergent or grab a bottle of baby shampoo. It’s soft and gentle and won’t damage the fibers. If you think of it, wool is just delicate hair. 

DRYING

Are you listening? Never, ever hang wool to dry. EVER !

When soaked with water, wool can be really heavy and the extra weight will stretch the fibers beyond repair. After pressing the excess water out, lay your garment flat onto a terry cloth towel and start rolling. Gently press on the towel so that it soaks most of the water, then unroll your sweater and lay it flat to dry either on a drying rack or a clean towel.

REMOVING PILLING

Washing and drying your knits properly can solve a lot of issues but not all. Pilling is almost inevitable when it comes to woolen garments and you’ll have to arm yourself with patience and a couple of useful tools to eradicate the problem. 

Pilling is caused by friction. Wherever fabric rubs against another fabric or against your bag or even against itself (like the under arm section of a sweater for example), pilling will occur. This means the sides of the garment and its sleeves are the most vulnerable spots. It’s good to keep in mind that blend fabrics (made out of 2 or more different fibers) will have a tendency to pill more than pure wool or cashmere. 

"Blend fabrics will have a tendency to pill more than pure wool or cashmere."

How to prevent pilling? You can use a garment brush or a lint roller to brush your knits regularly. When pilling occurs, try using an electric fabric shaver on the most delicate setting or a pilling comb. You can also try to use a razor but be extremely careful as it could easily cause damages or even make holes in your sweater.

STORING

Your sweater is now clean dry and you’ve carefully removed any pilling or shedding. Don’t stop there! Make sure to fold it and put it away either flat in a drawer or on a shelf in your closet. Knits should never be stored hanging as over time the hangers will damage the knit on the shoulders and the weight of the fabric will stretch the fibers (up to 6cm of extra length…not the greatest idea). 

We also recommend to keep an eye out for moths. Those nasty little insects can destroy your most precious sweaters in the blink of an eye. Keeping a moth trap next to your closet is a good way to monitor how big of a problem you have. You can also put a few cedar blocks or cedar wood essential oils in your drawers as the scent drives them away.  When spring comes around, store your woolens in a vacuum sealed bag. We definitely recommend investing in a couple of these bags as they'll help to save space and keep the moths at bay. But whatever you do always wash your sweaters and wool garments before putting them away as moths are more attracted by dirt and sweat.

A lot more could be said about knit care but you are now armed with the most important tips. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll not only extend the life span of your favorite sweater and make it softer over time, you also won’t have to buy new sweaters as often, your bank account and the planet will thank you for it!

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