How To Take Care Of Your Knitwear
To keep your cashmere or woolly items in pristine condition this season and beyond here are my top tips. After all, if like me, you love wearing cashmere it ain’t cheap and as an investment buy you want to maximise the cost per wear.
1. Keep dirty woollies out
Moths LOVE dead skin, food debris and body odour. So if you don’t want the hell eaten out of your knits always put clean wool back in your wardrobe.
2. Keep moths at bay
I use the John Lewis lavender bags, hangers and sachets with concentrated lavender oil (dabbed on cotton wool) to top up. Moths are put-off by the scent and they pong less than mothballs.
3. Hang or fold?
Storing knitwear on a hanger can stretch it (especially if it is an open weave or very sheer), so you’re better off keeping it folded. Avoid stacking garments in piles more than five-deep, though, or they’ll crease.
4. Wash as little as possible (use sweat catchers!)
You may say I’m contradicting this with point one. However, sometimes all your knitwear needs is a bit of fresh air – hang outside your window or on a clothes-horse in the garden. Avoid your knitwear making contact with your armpits by wearing a short or long sleeve T-shirt underneath. I love the Uniqlo HEATTECHrange which I call my ‘sweat catchers’. You can throw them in the wash daily.
5. Bag it up
Don’t allow your knitwear to get stretched to death in the washing machine! The spin cycle gives your delicates a right pummeling. Keep the shape and fit intact by using laundry bags which I also use for bras and other delicate silk blouses – from John Lewis bags.
6. Keep it cool
NEVER wash your knitwear over 30 degrees and use the ‘hand-wash’ or delicate cycle (shown by two double bars) on your machine. I keep my laundry bag hanging on the back of my door so once it’s full I put the washing machine on. Otherwise, my delicates get mixed up with the kids muddy PE kit that needs to be washed at 40 degrees and above.
7. ‘Honey, I shrunk the woollies’
Don’t put your woollies in the tumble dryer. Unless you want your cashmere to shrink, and end up on your 11-year-old daughter.
8. Tape off your bobbly bits
This is a great quick fix – brown parcel tape is best. However, too many bobbles suggests a shopping spree to replenish is required.
9. A spoonful of vinegar
When hand-washing (when did you last hand-wash?!?) cashmere, add a few drops of vinegar to the water. It acts as a softener and helps get rid of smells.
10. Holey knits
If you get holes in wool or cashmere clothing and mum or granny aren’t around to darn, www.cashmerecareservices.co.uk will fix them for you for £29 per item. Just pop it in the post – they will deliver it back.
11. Move to the dark side
Store your knitwear somewhere dark. If knitwear is exposed to light – on a rail, for instance – it will fade over time. However, don’t forget to check your knits regularly for those dreaded moths – they love dark spaces!