Sweater care 101

With the cooler weather quickly approaching, I’m beginning to swap out my summer clothes for my winter ones. The largest part of my winter closet? Sweaters. What can I say? I love to knit and have a fond appreciation for the finer fibers in life.

My first rule when it comes to sweater care is to invest. Don’t buy acrylic sweaters because they won’t last long, and they’ll look way past their prime after a few wears. Instead, invest in some cashmere, wool, angora rabbit hair, or alpaca sweaters. These tend to be expensive, so places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls are great to begin searching for investment sweaters. Acrylic and even cotton sweaters won’t keep you as warm during the chilly months, either.

My second rule of sweater care is NEVER to hang your sweaters on a hanger. It will stretch out the shoulders and neckline of your sweaters, so unless you like the off-the-shoulder look, keep your sweaters folded.

The third rule of sweater care 101 is to watch out for bugs. This sounds gross, but little moths like to chew holes in sweaters. No matter how clean your house is, the chance of your cashmere sweater getting an unknown hole in it is greater than not. These little bugs prefer finer fibers. What I do to combat these bugs is one of three things. I either store my sweaters in a cedar chest (like the one in the previous picture), keep my sweaters in my basement where it’s colder than the rest of the house, or place lavender-scented things between my sweaters. Before I left for college, my mom made me these little lavender satchels to go between my sweaters. She simply bought some dried lavender and sewed pouches for the flowers. You can also find lavender-scented gel hangers to hang with any wool blazers you might have.

The fourth and final rule is DON’T WASH YOUR SWEATERS … at least, not like you would any other shirt. Again, it sounds gross, but most sweaters will shrink and look like you bought them in the kids’ section if you wash them. Be careful to follow the directions on the tag, and if you handwash them (like most sweaters recommend), use Eucalan soap or stain wipes rather than regular laundry detergent, which can be harsh on these fine fibers.

And finally, all sweaters are prone to ball up and get little fuzzies all over them (especially acrylic sweaters). Rather than throwing your sweaters out or giving them to Goodwill, use a sweater stone on them. It’s basically an exfoliant for sweaters; it will grab the little fuzz balls and leave your sweater looking like you just bought it.