Guide: Taking Care of Your Knitwear
By Wardrobe Consultant Alice Fine, A Fine Wardrobe
In the wise words of Carrie Bradshaw, “I like my money where I can see it: hanging in my closet”. No matter how expensive or inexpensive your sweaters may be, they’re still an investment and taking care of your nice clothes is just as important as having the nice clothes. The first step to prolonging the life of your knitwear is proper storage.
So you’ve bought a great new jumper that you are super stoked about. You’ve worn it a few times, washed it, and then…dump it in a drawer? Hang it in your closet (yikes)? Leave it on a chair in your room until you’re going to wear it again? Perhaps your answer is all of the above, and that’s okay! But if you want to up your sweater care game…keep reading. In this blog I’ll give you my top four tips to keep your knitted investments in good condition.
1. Fold, Don't Hang
This is really important because knitwear, even cotton, can become warped and stretched if it hangs for too long, especially if it is a chunky and heavy jumper. Hanging your jumpers can also weaken the yarn fibres, meaning they might get holes faster. And if the jumper is hanging it’s more prone to snagging on other hanging items, etc… So, the best way to store your knitwear is folded in drawers.
2. Make Sure It's Clean
Moths in particular love going for any tasty remnants on your knitwear. Basically, moths love anything animal-y (food, hair, skin particles) so make sure you hand wash/machine wash/dry clean your knitwear before storing it.
If you’re hand or machine-washing your knitwear, make sure to use a delicate detergent, or knitwear specific one - links below. It’s also a good idea to de-pill any sweaters before storing them, so that it looks as good as new the next time you want to wear! Dry cleaning can include harsh and environmentally unfriendly chemicals, but steaming your knitwear can eliminate moth larvae - use the steam setting on your iron or if you have a clothes steamer that will also work. Some knitwear detergents:
Eco Wash for Cashmere and Wool, The Clothes Doctor, £14
The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Set, Net-A-Porter, £35
Delicate Detergent, Kinn Living, £7.75
Steamery Delicate Wash, COS, £17
3. Invest In Sweater Bags
This is maybe the most important point. There is some debate on whether plastic bags are better than cloth, but I personally prefer cloth bags so that your clothes can get some air and breathe. Also, if you live in a humid area, a plastic bag could potentially trap in moisture and could lead to mildew or discolouration.
Each piece of knitwear should be stored in a separate bag in case one piece has moth eggs that could spread to the other pieces.
Cashmere Sweater Storage Bag, The Cashmere Centre, £3.95
Transparent Zip Seal Clothes Storage Bags, Lakeland, £5.99 for 10
Sign up to Alice's mailing list for info on pre-ordering cloth sweater bags with pockets at afinewardrobe.com
4. Include Fragrances That Moths Hate
Have a couple of lavender or cedar sachets in your drawers, or pop a cedar block in each sweater bag to repel insects…plus it just smells really good. I also spray my knitwear with a bit of lavender water to add another layer of scent protection. And the lovely scents wafts out every time when I open my drawers.
Top tip: Cedar blocks should be sanded each season to ensure it releases its scent.
Cedar Wood Balls, Arket, £5
Fragrance Bag, The Clothes Doctor, £4.50 or on subscription service
And there are my top tips for keeping your clothes as good as new for as long as possible.
Alice Fine is a wardrobe consultant based in Glasgow, Scotland who provides a holistic approach to your wardrobe. With years of experience in the fashion industry, Alice is an expert in fit, style, clothing care and overall wardrobe health.