How to Care for our Sweaters
Posted on October 05 2020
October in Seattle pretty much sets the stage for our favorite time of year, Sweater-Weather! While sweaters are always in fashion, this year they are the hallmark of Fall fashion. You’ll find this obvious as you peruse our deep assortment of styles. Every brand we represent is vying to make you the perfect cozy for the crisp days ahead—and we agree that they’ve done an excellent job!
While we all own many sweaters and are quickly acquiring more into our wardrobe, one topic that we find is often missed is how to properly care for your sweaters. Yarn is quite durable and with proper upkeep you can savor your sweater collection for many years to come.
How do I De-Pill my sweaters?
Let us dispel the myth that expensive yarns won't pill (i.e. cashmere). All knits, yes ALL knits, will pill. What is pilling? Pilling is a result of the friction (rubbing) on area's repeatedly causing fibers to ball up (pill). The good news is that you can de-pill your sweaters which keeps them looking brand new. For chunky knits we recommend using a stone shaver and for flatter knits we adore a tool called the Gleener. When de-pilling always work the tool in one direction.
What if you don't have either of those on hand and you need to do an immediate de-pilling? Well, you can simply pull the balls off by hand or use some tape to grab the fibers. Caution: when using tape be very gentle so as not to distort the shape of your sweater.
Should I wash or dry-clean my sweaters?
First, we always recommend you follow the guidelines set forth by the manufacturer as this will yield you the best results. Most knits are perfectly safe to hand wash. First fill your sink, tub or a basin with cold water. Add a mild detergent and stir it into the water. Next, submerge your sweater, swoosh it around for about half a minute and then leave to soak for a full 30 minutes. Side note, you may add fabric softener with your soap prior to submerging your sweater into the bath.
Once finished cleaning, drain the water and refill with clean water. Gently rinse the soap from your sweater. Once all the soap is rinsed it's time to squeeze out the excess water. Note, avoid the strong desire to wring your sweater! Rather, smoosh it together like pizza dough and softly push it against the edges of your sink/tub, rotating and squeezing until a good amount of water is removed. Next, lay out a towel on the floor and lay your sweater flat on half of the towel. Fold the other half of the towel over the top of the sweater and then gently roll your sweater like a sleeping bag. This will soak up the remaining excess water. Lastly, make sure your sweater is properly reshaped & take out a dry towel to lay your sweater on or lay flat on a drying rack. Never put your sweater in the dryer.
My sweaters clean but how do I soften it & remove the wrinkles?
You've perfectly and naturally cleaned your sweater but it doesn't feel quite as good as it did when you bought it and it's a bit wrinkled. What should you do? We recommend buying a portable, hand-held steamer if you don't already have one. This tool will bring instant joy and simplify your life! Hot steam gently relaxes the fibers in your sweaters and thus makes it feel softer and voila! wrinkle free. It's like magic!
How often should I wash my sweaters?
Sweaters need less maintenance than most clothes we wear. If they are free of stains, deodorant and sweat then you can wear them at least three to four times before needing to be cleaned. Be mindful that bugs love our body oils and scents left on the fibers of our clothes. Yarn fibers are delicate so remember, less is more.
How should I store my sweaters?
Never, we repeat NEVER hang your sweaters as a means of storage. Yarn is heavy and hanging it will create pointy shoulders and stretched out sleeves. We recommend always neatly folding your sweaters and storing them in a natural fiber tote. If you must hang a sweater then fold it in half over the rod of the hanger and preferably with tissue under it to prevent an imprint.
What does it mean if I see Moths flying around or near my sweaters?
Houston, we have a problem! Those pesky little moths, also known as clothes moths, feed off of natural fibers. So that means our sweaters are prey to these little buggers (pun intended). If you see moths that means they've laid their larvae which is what is feeding on our beautiful, and often expensive items. YUCK! The remedy is to clean everything at once as well as the closet or area where these items are stored. The larvae is microscopic and you'll really only notice they were there by the large hole in your sweater they created when snacking. So clean, clean, clean! In a future blog post we'll share all the wild tips and tricks to getting your home clothes moth free.
It's summer, what do I do with my sweaters until Fall returns?
First, it's imperative that you clean all of them once you're finished wearing them for the Fall/Winter seasons. While it's timely, simply doing this will keep the bugs away and preserve the long life ahead that your sweaters are meant to live. A little "spring cleaning" goes along way! Make an afternoon of it. Light some incense, put on your favorite album and surrender to some domesticity bliss!
We hope you've enjoyed our steps on how to care for your beloved sweaters! Have more questions? Please send us a note. We'd love to keep the conversation going.
XO The Horseshoe Team