DIY: Sweater Care

August 21, 2013


More fall prep! Right before the temperature starts to drop, I like to bring out the cozy sweaters, coats, and scarves and get them ready for the season ahead. This includes checking the condition, washing, brushing, and repairing (if necessary). In my previous post - I go through the basics of laundering delicate fabrics. Now on to the next topic- caring for woolens (cashmere, wool, angora, blends) after they've been cleaned.

Pills. You know them - those tiny fuzz balls found on most knit fabrics after a bit of wear. They happen due to friction and matting of the fibers. From the most expensive cashmere and wool to the more affordable synthetics - pilling will happen. They're not pretty. But - with proper care and some affordable little tools (that you probably already own), you can have your knits always looking fresh and fab.


After laundering, it's now time to de-pill. Avoid shaving with a razor - they can lead to holes and do more damage than good. Electric shavers are great, but I prefer not using yet another battery-dependent gadget. Sweater stones get the job done, but they can crumble and they can leave an unpleasant scent. Thanks to Miss Martha, I've discovered you can use a fine tooth comb (I get packs of 5 at the dollar store). If you want something a bit fancier, this D-Fuzz-It comb is a great effective alternative. Lay your sweater on a flat surface. Use one hand to hold the fabric down. Then with gentle, quick short strokes comb through the pills - do not dig into the fabric. Tuck any snags back in and cover it with your finger when going over that area. After combing through, I go over the sweater (or scarf or shirt, etc) with a clothes brush to get the tinier fuzz and lint. I use a compact clothes brush by Redecker (however any natural bristle hair brush could do the trick). The combination of the comb + brush works really well for me.

I got this wool oversized Michael Kors sweater at a thrift store. Have a feeling it was discarded because of all the pilling! Other than that, it's in great condition and now looks almost brand new. 



A few more sweater care tips:
1. Avoid exposure of wool to hot water and sunlight
2. Hand wash (avoid too much friction) with specialty detergent and air dry on mesh rack
3. Best to fold them, do not hang
4. Use The laundress fabric refresh cedar clothing spray to ward off closet pests from munching on natural fibers.
5. During the off-season, store them in breathable cloth bags instead of plastic.
6. Do not wash cashmere and wool after each wear. Wait until at least 6 uses because the natural oils are necessary to keep them in tip top shape.


Hope this post was helpful. I'd love to hear any clothing care tips you swear by! :)

**UPDATE: Just found another great "de-piller"alternative - sand paper or the rough side of  a Velcro. Have you tried any of these methods? 

SHOP SWEATER CARE:

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