How to Care for Knitwear?


  1. Why Knits Require Special Care?
  2. Gentle Washing Techniques for Knitwear
  3. Proper Drying Is Essential
  4. Store Properly Between Wears
  5. Restore Pilled Knits with Care
  6. Follow These Tips for Knitwear That Lasts
  7. How to Store Knitwear over the Seasons?

Knitwear encompasses those cozy sweaters, cardigans, scarves and hats that we all know and love for their soft, flexible texture. But what exactly makes knits so delicate and how can you keep them looking sensational season after season? Follow this comprehensive guide to caring for knits the proper way.

Why Knits Require Special Care?

Knitwear is crafted by looping and interlocking yarn or fabric to create a distinctive open, woven construction. This gives knits their stretchy, drapable properties. But it also makes them more vulnerable to snags, holes and distortion from agitation.

The individual stitches that make up knitted fabric can easily catch, pull and stretch out of shape if handled without care. Harsh cleansers, vigorous washing motions, high heat and rough handling will all damage the fibers. That's why knits require such gentle care and handling to maintain their beauty.

Gentle Washing Techniques for Knitwear

Aggressive washing is knitwear's worst enemy, so always opt for the most delicate methods. Handwashing in cool water with a mild soap formulated for delicates allows dirt to be lifted without distortion.

If machine washing, use the gentle or delicate cycle and cold temperature setting. Most of the washing machines available in the market allow us to set the washing model for specific material, so choose the Never use harsh detergents, as this abrades fibers. Wash light and dark colored knits separately, as heat damages dyes.

Place knits inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before washing to prevent friction damage. When rinsing, never wring, twist or squeeze knits to extract moisture. Simply press down very lightly to expel water.

Proper Drying Is Essential

Just as crucial as washing is proper drying technique for knitwear. Never hang or line dry knits, as the weight of water pulls fabric out of shape while drying. For sweaters, lay flat on a drying deck and gently smooth back into form as drying progresses.

Lightly blot moisture with a towel rather than rubbing vigorously. Allow knits to completely air dry before wearing or storing. Drape scarves and accessories flat to dry fully. Proper shaping while drying prevents uneven shrinkage.

Store Properly Between Wears

When it's time to put knits away, folding flat helps them best maintain size and shape rather than hanging. Before folding, reshape any areas warped from use and allow pieces to fully dry.

Carefully fold garments along original seams and lines to avoid imprinting creases. Store folded knits in breathable bins or boxes, not sealed plastics which trap moisture. Place cedar blocks or natural sachets inside to deter moths.

Periodically refolding unused cool weather knits also prevents permanent creases from taking hold in fibers. Proper storage extends their wearable lifespan.

Restore Pilled Knits with Care

Inevitably, knits will pill and fuzz over time from friction damage during wear and washing. Resist the urge to shave pills away with a normal razor, as this destroys fabric.

Instead, invest in a specially designed sweater shaver or fabric depiller. Check product instructions, then gently brush problem areas against the knit's grain. The serrated shaver edges catch and remove pills without harming loops.

Place a towel inside for extra protection and work slowly to avoid runs. Focus on frequently pilled spots like cuffs, underarms and abdomen. With proper tools and care, depilling restores a smooth surface. But delicate knits may require professional attention.

Follow These Tips for Knitwear That Lasts

Caring for precious knitwear properly helps maintain the special flexible, fuzzy properties that make it so beloved. Follow these techniques for washing, drying, storing and restoring knits, and they'll stay sensational for many seasons.

How to Store Knitwear over the Seasons?

Meanwhile, caring for treasured knitwear doesn't stop when the seasons change. Proper storage over the spring and summer months ensures that your favorite sweaters, cardigans and cold weather gear stay in great shape for cooler temperatures ahead.

Follow these tips to keep knits fresh for the long haul:

For Off-Season Storage

Before packing knitwear away for the warmer months, be sure to give them some seasonal care:

  • Clean before storing - Wash or dry clean to remove any accumulated oils, dirt or stains that could attract insects or cause deterioration.
  • Fold neatly along seams - Carefully fold along original shaping lines to help garments retain their form.
  • Use breathable containers - Pack in uncovered bins or breathable fabric storage bags. Avoid airtight plastic that traps moisture.
  • Add moth deterrents - Place cedar, dried herbs or essential oils to repel fabric pests.
  • Store in cool, dry spot - Ideal conditions are cool, dark and dry. Avoid damp attics or basements.

Right Before Wearing

When ready to wear stored knitwear again for the cooler season:

  • Reshape on hangers - Let pieces hang 24-48 hours so yarns relax and regain original shape.
  • Freshen up with steam - Use a garment steamer to smooth out creases and refresh the texture.
  • Check for any signs of damage - Do a final inspection for holes, pulls or other issues needing repair.

With proper care, your knitwear favorites will stay primed for wearing season after cozy season.

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