Fashion

How to Take Care of Your Knitwear | Knitwear Care Guide

The days of leaving the house without layering are officially behind us, and we’re now embracing the autumnal options with cardigans, sweaters, and scarves galore. Investing in quality knitwear is an absolute must for the colder seasons and this year is no exception.  Knitwear care is not only essential for longevity but also to keep it looking good as new. But we know accidents in the washing machine can happen if you don’t take care. So, to avoid any unnecessary mishaps take a look through our knitwear care guide.

knitwear

#1 How to wash knitwear?

Probably the most important question when buying knitwear is how do I wash it? It may seem very obvious, but we can’t stress enough the importance of following washing instructions when it comes to knitwear care. Each piece of knitwear will have different needs. From cashmere to cotton and angora to wool each fabric will need to be washed differently.

Angora

If the composition of your knitwear is angora its vital that you do not use a washing machine to clean it. Wash it by hand in cold or lukewarm water and ensure that you don’t dry clean it, as this may cause it to shrink. If it can be helped, try not to over wash your angora knitwear, unless absolutely necessary. Try to use a neutral PH balanced shampoo or soap and rinse in cool water to get all the soap out. When you dry it, ensure that it is laid flat to avoid the garment losing its shape.

Cashmere

Washing cashmere may seem very daunting. Not only for the fact that the garment was most likely quite pricey because of its high quality, but also it can easily shrink if not done properly. First things first, check the label. Similar to angora knitwear, if you can help it try to limit the amount of washes that your cashmere needs to be cleaned. However, if you do need to wash it, you have two options. Some cashmere garments can be washed in the washing machine or if you want to play it safe wash it by hand – we’d recommend the latter just in case! If you are washing your knitwear in the washing machine set it to a delicate or woollen cycle and choose a cashmere shampoo. Alternatively use cashmere shampoo and wash by hand.

Wool

Most wool knitwear garments will say that they are machine washable on the care label, however we would take this with a pinch of salt. If you use a washing machine, ensure it is set to a gentle cycle for knits to avoid any shrinking and make sure it’s on a cool setting of 30 degrees. We’d also recommend using a mild soap with a low PH. Alternatively hand washing is a safer option, once cleaned don’t twist the garment to wring out the excess water as this can cause your knitwear to lose it’s shape. Lay the knitwear flat and stretch it gently to the correct size and shape.

Cotton

Arguably the easiest knitwear to wash, cotton knitwear can be popped in the washing machine without the risk of shrinkage. However be sure to follow washing instructions and wash on a gentile cycle, laying the garment flat after washing to keep shape.

Acrylic

Acrylic fabrics are found in almost everything, including knitwear, for its durability and easy care. As with our advice above, always read the care label first, but with the majority of acrylic garments you can pop your knitwear in the washing machine on a delicate cycle and cold wash with regular laundry gel. Alternatively if you want to be particularly careful hand wash and lay flat to dry.

#2 Can you put knitwear in the dryer?

There is always a risk when putting your knitwear in a dryer as it can cause the item to shrink. However each fabric will react differently to the heat, we would recommend avoiding putting your knitwear  in a dryer if you can, but take note of the advice on the care label.

#3 Can you shrink knitwear?

Absolutely! If you want to shrink your knitwear then popping it in a dryer at a high heat will achieve this! However if this isn’t what you want we’d suggest avoiding the tumble dryer at all costs.

#4 How to stop knitwear bobbling?

Bobbling is unfortunately an inevitable result of wearing your favourite knit. However, there are ways to reduce the amount of bobbling and to remove them when they do show up. Our top tips to avoid bobbling would be to ensure that when you wash your knitwear, it’s inside out. If bobbles do appear, brush with a lint roller, clothes shaver (yes shaver) or knitwear comb to reduce the appearance.

#5 How to dry knitwear?

As mentioned in the above washing guidelines, with the majority of knitwear to maintain the correct size and shape it’s best to lay the jumper out flat rather than hanging on a drying rack and stretch it out gently to the correct shape whilst damp from washing.

#6 How to store knitwear?

Hanging knitwear can lead to it becoming stretched and out of shape, so we’d recommend utilising the space in your drawers and folding your knitwear.

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Words by Emma Bowkett



Emma Bowkett

Emma Bowkett

Writer and expert


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