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How to care for knitwear

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

As we race towards winter, our wardrobes are becoming filled with knitwear in all styles, colours, and materials. To maintain the quality of our knitwear, it is essential to understand how to properly care for it. 

  • General knitwear care 
  • Cashmere 
  • Merino wool
  • Lambswool

General knitwear care 

Before delving into how to care for specific types of knitwear, here are 5 general knitwear care tips. 

  • Be aware of how you store your knitwear. Before hanging all of your knitwear in your wardrobe, be mindful of its material and evaluate whether hanging is the best option. For example, you should never hang wool or cashmere as this will result in the fabric stretching, and your garment becoming misshapen. 
  • Shave away the bobbles. Bobbling occurs when two pieces of fabric rub together for an extended period of time, and can also occur when washing. To maintain the quality of your knitwear, regularly shave away any bobbles using an electronic bobble remover or an electric razor. 
  • Brush regularly.  You should be brushing your knitwear regularly with a soft clothes brush. This will remove any lint and hairs lingering on your clothing.
  • Rotate. Make sure that you are rotating your knitwear regularly. If you wear certain items excessively without giving them time to re-shape themselves, your garments will end up losing their shape forever. 
  • Invest in cedar balls. Moths love to nibble away at knitwear. To keep the moths at bay, store your clothing with cedar balls.

Cashmere 

Cashmere is an extremely soft, luxurious, and delicate fabric, which is made from the hair of Kashmir goats. Only a limited amount of cashmere is harvested each year, which is why it is considered a luxury fabric that must be taken care of when washing

Machine washing 

Despite some washing machines having a special knitwear/wool cycle, NEVER wash cashmere in the washing machine. The material is much too delicate and your clothing will end up misshapen and damaged. 

Hand washing 

To hand-wash your cashmere, mix a basin of warm water with a gentle detergent. To be extra precautious, you can buy cashmere specific laundry detergent. Submerge your garment in the water and soak for 10-15 minutes. After this time, carefully rinse the detergent from your item using warm water. Once you are satisfied that all of the detergent has been washed out, remove your clothing from the water and press out or squeeze as much excess water out as you can. Do not wring out your item as this will cause unnecessary damage. 

Drying cashmere  

To dry your cashmere, do not put it in the tumble dryer as this will cause it to become misshaped and can result in irreparable damage. Instead, lay out a clean, dry, towel and place your knitwear, flat, on top of it. Keep it away from direct sunlight, and leave it to completely air dry. 

wool fashion

Merino wool 

Merino wool is a type of sheep’s wool. It is known for being extremely soft and naturally resident to odours. 

Machine washing 

Sheep’s wool, in general, is strong and has a great deal of elasticity. This makes it acceptable to put in the washing machine without damage being caused. Of course, before putting your item in the washing machine, always check the care label for specific washing instructions. 

To machine wash your merino wool, always use a gentle, or wool and knit, cycle at 30 degrees. Any other temperature or cycle could shrink your clothing. For detergent, it’s best to use a milder option with a neutral PH.

Hand washing 

To hand wash merino wool, begin by filling a basin with warm water and a mild detergent. Submerge your knitwear in the mixture, and leave it to soak for around 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, carefully rinse your garment in warm water. Once you’ve rinsed your item, squeeze as much of the water from it as you can without wringing or twisting the clothing.

Drying merino wool 

To dry your merino wool wrap it in a clean, dry, towel, and gently squeeze your garment to remove as much water as possible. Unwrap your clothing from the towel, and lay it flat on a fresh dry towel. Leave it to air dry in a cool location. 

Image by Breibeest

Lambs wool 

Lambs wool is taken from a sheep at their first shearing and is naturally soft, smooth, and elastic. It is the highest quality sheep’s wool you can find. 

Machine washing 

Even on a gentle cycle, lambs wool is far too delicate to machine wash.

Hand washing 

To hand wash lambs wool, mix a mild detergent, with a PH level below 7, with cool water. If you need hot water to dissolve your detergent, you must leave the water to cool before you submerge your knitwear. After submerging your item in the water, swirl gently, remembering not to twist or wring the garment as this will result in it losing its shape. 

Drying lambs wool 

Never put lambs wool in the tumble dryer. This will result in your knitwear becoming misshapen and, potentially irreplaceably, damaged. Instead, once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your garment, remove it from the water and place it on a dry, clean, towel. Make sure to stretch your item out to its original shape, before leaving it to air dry. 

Photo by Alex Smith from Pexels

If you want to ensure that your knitwear is adequately cared for when being washed, then leave it with us. We will pick up, dry clean, and re-deliver your knitwear to you, completely contactless. 

To book your Laundryheap service, head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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How To Care For Cashmere

Cashmere is a super soft, yet very delicate fabric that requires extra care when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. 

Here’s how to care for cashmere garments to maintain its quality and keep it in good condition for years to come:

Washing Cashmere

When going to wash cashmere, always use a small amount of gentle/mild detergent. You don’t want to use any ‘heavy’ detergent on the garment as it will be too rough for the fabric fibres. You can also have the option to invest in a cashmere shampoo or even use baby shampoo. 

There are several ways you can wash your cashmere garment that will keep it in good condition:

  • Dry-Clean: If your cashmere garment is woven, loose knitted or stained, then this is the ideal option to get it cleaned. 
  • Hand Wash: Mix in a few drops of detergent/shampoo into luke-warm water and allow the knitwear to soak, gently squeezing water through the fabric.
  • Machine Wash- Delicate/ Wool Cycle: Only machine wash cashmere on a delicate or wool cycle at a temperature no higher than 30°c, as it’s the most gentle on your knitwear.

Drying Cashmere

Whether you hand wash or machine wash your cashmere, you should remove the excess water by laying it flat on a towel, roll the cashmere within the towel loosely and apply light pressure along the roll. 

Unroll the towel, straighten out the garment if necessary and allow the cashmere to naturally dry flat. Keep it away from direct sunlight, heat and do avoid the tumble dryer.

Hanging knitwear on a clothes hanger to dry must be avoided, as the heaviness of the wet garment can cause it to stretch and ruin its original shape.

Storing Cashmere

When you’re not using your cashmere knitwear, fold and store it away in your wardrobe, shelf or drawer as you normally would. Just be sure to keep it away from heat, direct sunlight, damp and dusty places.

If you’re storing your cashmere away due to a change of season, don’t store them in cardboard boxes or regular plastic bags. Instead, opt for a a zip-up breathable storage bag and store it in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. Make sure it is clean before doing so!

Everyday Care

  • Pilling: Cashmere is susceptible to pilling, but you can always prevent and remove them! Simply lay your knitwear flat and gently comb the surface with a cashmere comb. This will remove loose fibres and pills.
  • Removing Creases: The best way to remove creases from cashmere is by using a hand-held steamer, as the heat does not directly come into contact with the fabric.

If you need your cashmere knitwear cleaned by a quality dry-cleaner, you can book a collection with laundryheap!