How do you keep your favorite sweaters in tip-top shape? These tips from The Soap and Detergent Association will help you get your knits back in shape. Along with price, these other considerations are important when purchasing a sweater:
Construction. Harder, tighter yarns are more durable than soft, loose ones, which tend to stretch easily. That’s why a fisherman’s knit sweater is more suited to rugged, outdoor activity and a cashmere sweater is better suited for the office.
Care requirements. Sweaters can be machine-washable, hand wash only or dry clean only. Read the care label before you buy so there are no surprises later on! Choose care styles that match your lifestyle.
Trim. Special trims, such as suede, leather or beads may influence the care requirements. Follow the care label.
Cleaning. Read and follow the care label instructions, which may include one of the following methods:
• Machine washing. When in doubt about water temperature, choose a cold-water wash. Use a detergent formulated for delicates.
• Hand washing. Gently swish the sweater around in the wash. Do not rub or wring. Rinse thoroughly, then roll the sweater in a towel and press gently to remove excess moisture. Some washers have hand wash cycles to save some time. Always use a gentle soap specifically made for knits.
• Drying. Hand wash-only sweaters should be dried flat. Machine-washable sweaters can sometimes be dried in the dryer on low heat. Check the care label to be sure.
• Blocking. Soft, hand wash only sweaters may lose their shape during washing. To restore them, trace the outline of the sweater onto a piece of brown or craft paper before cleaning. Use it as a pattern to block the sweater to its original size and shape. Otherwise, you may end up with several sizes smaller than before you washed it!
• Dry cleaning. In-dryer cleaning kits, (such as Dryel) can be used to remove odors and light soil. For stains and heavy soil, take dry clean only sweaters to a professional drycleaner.
Daily Care. Sweaters should be folded for storage. Hanging a sweater can stretch it out of shape. And always be careful what jewelry you wear with your sweater. Some knits are delicate and easily snagged.
Source: Soap & Detergent Association
For more information contact Kim Reid, Extension Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.