Hurray For Sweater Weather! Here’s How to Keep Yours Looking Brand-New
November 4, 2022
From early fall to the end of winter, a sweater is unquestionably your best friend. And like any other BFF, sweaters require love and care. While they’re extremely delicate, they can last through many wears if you treat them the right way. Here are 8 sweater care tips to help you properly take care of all your knits so they can last as long as you want them to:
- Remove Pills the Right Way
Is there anything as annoying as pilling on a favorite sweater? Unfortunately, all sweaters pill—it’s caused by rubbing during wear and typically occurs around the elbows, under armpits, and on sleeve. (But it can occur anywhere on the sweater.) To remove pills easily, hold the sweater flat with one hand and slice the pills off (one at a time) with a razor. You can also buy a pill remover. Warning: Don’t pull on them—it will only cause the pills to get worse.
- Turn Visible Snags Inside Out
Snags (AKA when the stitch comes out of the sweater) are the worst because they seem unfixable, and you risk the sweater unraveling if the snag gets caught on something. Snags are not completely fixable, but luckily, they can be placed on the inside so that they’re no longer an issue on the outside. Simply turn the sweater inside out, insert a crochet hook into the same stitch as the snag, and carefully pull the snag through (a safety pin will also work in a pinch). You’ll no longer be able to see the snag, and you won’t run the risk of the snag getting caught on something.
- Know How to Wash…And When!
Most sweaters should be hand washed so they last longer, and the fabric stays intact. To hand wash, fill a sink with cool water, add a few squirts of gentle laundry detergent, submerge the sweater, and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse it under cool water. To dry, gently squeeze water out of the sweater (never wring it out) and roll it up in a towel (like a sleeping bag or sushi roll) to suck up all the excess water. Finally, lay it flat on a drying rack or clean towel to dry. (Note: Make sure to follow the directions on the label!)
- To Extend Washes, Wear A Shirt Underneath
Even gentle hand washing can wear down the quality, fabric, or softness of any sweater over time, so if you wear your sweaters frequently, consider wearing a T-shirt underneath to extend the time in between washes. Wearing a T-shirt acts as a barrier between the sweater and skin, limiting the number of outside forces and smells the fabric interacts with. Since things like sweat, body odor, oils on the skin, and deodorant can cause wear and tear, the sweater stays intact longer when you wear a layer underneath that acts as a barrier.
- Remove Hair and Lint
Thanks to the soft wool, knit, or cashmere that we all know and love, the fabric of sweaters can sometimes act as a magnet, attracting and sticking to dust, lint, dandruff, or strands of hair. A child’s soft hairbrush or a soft toothbrush will help you quickly brush off anything on the sweater. (For an easy fix, make sure not to brush too harshly on the sweater or it will loosen the fabric and create pills.)
- You Can Save An Itchy Sweater
Is there anything worse than a sweater so itchy that it loses all its coziness? In order to turn itchy back to soft and cozy, add liquid fabric softener to the cold water when you’re hand-washing your sweater. Allow the sweater to thoroughly swirl around the water and let it sit.
- Store Sweaters Properly
Repeat: Never hang sweaters. Hanging will cause sweaters to stretch out and create peaks in the shoulders. To store them in a way that maintains their shape and quality, keep sweaters folded or rolled in drawers or on shelves.
- Pack Up Sweaters After Winter
Yes, all good things must come to an end, and when sweater season is over, your sweaters deserve to be stored the right way for extra protection and to help hold shape through the spring and summer months. Don’t just throw them in bins as is and hope for the best. Take the time to properly clean them, fold them, and put them in clothing storage bags (that are breathable) or boxes (if they’re made of cotton or canvas).
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