Different garments have different needs to maintain their novelty. Come winter, our closets are loaded with sweaters and other knitted garments. These types of clothes are fragile in nature. Hence, they require extra attention while washing, drying and storing.
Some people prefer to get their woolens dry cleaned always. Unknowingly, sometimes they spend more on dry cleaning than what they actually spent on buying. This expense can be avoided if you can afford little time, effort and patience while dealing with these delicate clothes. Few things that should be taken care of while washing and drying your woollies at home are:
Firstly, read the care label in your knitwear. The clothes which are marked as “Dry clean only” should not be washed at home. The manufacturer knows the best way to care for the garment he has made. They should be taken to the professional cleaners. Otherwise, it may shrink, bleed, loose its sheen or fine texture or get pinned. The way these labelled clothes come out of the drycleaners cannot be imitated by all you care. Always choose a reputed drycleaner. Remove your clothes from the dry cleaning bags as soon as they come. There can be moisture locked inside these bags that may ruin your clothes if kept in them for too long.
Before washing these delicate clothes, check, whether the handwork is intact or not if there is any. If it has some loose seam just sew it back before washing.
Never wash your woolens in washing machine. No one can bear the horror of ruining their expensive woollies. The regular cycle of your washing machine can ruin them harshly leading to shrinkage, distortion, fading, tearing of fibres or pinning.
Only hand washing is the right thing to do with these clothes. Always separate your sweaters according to their colour. Do not soak the light ones with the dark at least. Never over soak these clothes. A 15 to 20 minutes of soaking is more than sufficient to remove all dirt.
Do not use hot water for soaking or washing woollen clothes. They can shrink in hot water and may also lose their brightness, sheen, softness or shape.
If you have a handwork done on your sweater, you should turn it inside out while soaking itself. These kinds of clothes do not need much rubbing or scrubbing. Just soak them for few minutes and rub gently the inside surface and then swirl them in buckets filled with clean water. They will get perfectly clean.
Never use detergent powder on your delicate knit wears. It will harm your clothes. Instead, use a baby shampoo or a mild liquid woollen shampoo having no chlorine or toxin in it.
After dipping for few minutes, rub your clothes gently with your hands. Rinse them in cold water buckets till all soapy content goes away. After rinsing, do not wring them with too much force. Press water out of them squeezing them gently with both hands.
Machine dryers are injurious for your woolens. Do not use them to dry these clothes. Woolens cannot bear the spinning process of washing machines. The correct way is to lay them flat on microfiber mats or towels to dry in shade where there is fresh atmosphere. It will keep their shape intact. Hanging them while drying may ruin their original shape. Also, do not dry them under strong sun. Before laying knit wears on the mats, remove their wrinkles they have gathered in the washing process by shaking them.
It is always better if you do not wash your woollies too frequently. After wearing a wool knitted cloth, if it is not soiled, just hang it outside for some time under mild sun to dry out any sweat or moisture present in it. However, never hang them in strong sunlight as it can damage the cloth. Let your cloth breathe out in shade where there is fresh air. Hang them using proper padded hangers. If there is any dust, a fine firm bristled brush can be used to brush the cloth.
This care routine will take some time and effort for sure but your costly delicate knitted apparels will certainly remain like new with your personal touch. This way your woolens will look great forever without burning big holes in your pocket.
With a little more care you can maintain your favourite sweaters with perfection at your own home.