It’s finally time for the return of our favorite autumn staples, like pumpkins, hot coffee and sweaters. Your sweaters make up a crucial part of your layered autumn style. This year, protect your favorite pieces from damage, shrinkage, discoloration and unsightly bumps with these tips.
Great care starts with paying close attention. Read your sweater’s label, and don’t ignore its warnings. Your sweater may be safe to go in your washing machine, or it may require a gentle cycle, or even a hand wash. If you want your sweater to look good for a long time, listen to the label.
Know Your Fabrics
Synthetic fibers, such as polyester, acrylic and rayon, are often safe for a machine wash. Natural fibers, however—such as cotton, wool and cashmere—require a hand wash. Two pumps of wool or cashmere-specific shampoos (or baby shampoos!) in a sink filled with warm water makes a great soak for your sweater. After letting it sit for 10-15 minutes, rinse it twice and gently press the excess water out. If you wish to add softener, refill the sink with cold water and add liquid fabric softener. Swirl until soaked, and then rinse again. Lay the sweater over a white towel to dry to avoid any stretching or distortion.
Sweaters take up a lot of space in drawers, so it can be tempting to hang them in your closet instead. Doing so, however, will very likely result in lumps, bumps and stretching. To prevent this type of damage, fold your sweaters and put them in drawers, or fold them in half and lay them gently over a cloth hanger.
Because sweaters are typically worn with another layer underneath, they don’t require washing after every single wear. Cotton, silk, and cashmere sweaters only need to be washed after every two or three wears. Wool and synthetic blends can be worn up to five times between washes.
Fix Stretched-Out Sweaters
If you have managed to stretch your sweater despite your best efforts, don’t despair! Wet your sweater and throw it in the dryer until completely dry. The more water you use, the more your sweater will shrink, so be careful how much water you use, and where you use it.
Pills are uncomfortable and unsightly, but they can often be easily removed. Take a simple razor and gently graze over each pill, one at a time, to remove them without damaging the sweater fabrics. It’s tedious, but still less annoying than wearing a pilled sweater.
We hope these tips will help you look and feel your best as you dress for success this fall.
Look good, feel good, dress well – Squire Fine Men’s Apparel