Every year at the end of September I get a little sentimental about letting summer go. Then I get my beloved knit sweaters from the summer camp and with them the anticipation of the cozy autumn time moves in – into the closet and into my heart. Suddenly I can’t wait to romp through the colorful leaves with Maik and the dwarf, collect chestnuts and cook pumpkin soup.
In fact, we’ve already found time for all these wonderful fall activities during that long first weekend of October. I was accompanied by my favorite knit sweaters and my new set of merino hat and merino scarf from my label Schleifenfanger, a project close to my heart that I would like to present to you very soon in a separate blog post.
Caring for sweaters properly – this is how it works:
- Store carefully: The right storage of beloved woolen things is already half the battle. Before storing them, they should definitely be cleaned (I’ll tell you more about washing my wool sweaters under point 2) – then they taste only half as good, even to nasty moths. Nevertheless, it is advisable to add a moth bag or lavender pillow. However, the zippered storage bags* I use for storage are inherently relatively airtight, so I don’t have to worry about my favorite knits.
- washing wool: You can wash your sweaters at a maximum of 30 degrees on the wool program in the washing machine – or simply by hand. So she is treated gently. An ecological wool detergent is better than a conventional detergent. We use Sonett olive detergent for wool and silk, which we buy around the corner in the bulk shop. Some also swear by wool shampoo, which can be bought from Disana, for example – or use “real” shampoo directly, because human hair and animal hair are relatively similar in structure. You can simply add this to the detergent compartment in the same dose as detergent. By the way, here you will find great instructions for a lanolin bath, which you can use to grease wool and soften scratchy wool.
- Dry sweater properly: After washing, carefully pull your knitwear into shape. Then you can spread out your sweaters on a towel and roll them up to squeeze any remaining wetness out of the material. Finally, you should dry woollens lying down so that nothing warps. I usually put them on the tumble dryer over a thin muslin cloth or towel. You should avoid direct heat, for example from a heater, because it can also damage the fibers.
- Getting knits back into shape: Despite all the care, it is possible that your woolen items will look a little wrinkled or warped after washing. I already introduced you to my steamer* in the post about my favorite clothing care tools. I think it’s perfect for sweaters in particular, because you can carefully steam them into shape instead of flattening the fibers with an iron.
- Remove pilling: The next step is to remove the annoying knots that unfortunately also form on high-quality woolen items as a result of abrasion. I used to use a lint razor* for this, which worked pretty well on some sweaters. I didn’t get anywhere with others. You finally recommended the miracle brush* to me via Instagram. Honestly: without this really simple and inexpensive tool for wool care, I can’t do anything anymore! I use them to defuse woolen jackets and coats and remove pilling, but also for the finest woolen items, such as wool and silk. In principle you brush it over the sweater, pilling is removed, but the rest is not damaged.
- Repairing Holes in Sweater: If you unpack your woolen items and discover that they have holes, it’s time to fix them! Sometimes the material becomes thin at the elbow or there are already holes in the sweater from wear and tear or moths. You can find lots of great tutorials on YouTube on how to plug holes easily. If you would like to delve deeper into the subject and repair more items of clothing, I recommend our THE MENDED CLOSET repair course. There you will learn everything you need to know to easily repair your clothes.
- Store woollens lying flat: As nice as it looks when the wool sweaters are sorted by color and hanging in the closet – they don’t love it. Here it is like drying: the knitted fabric stretches over time. What remains are warped sweaters that no one likes to wear anymore. I therefore recommend that you store your woolens lying flat. Folded according to Marie Kondo and placed one after the other in a shoe box or drawer, you have all the sweaters in view and can more easily choose what you feel like today.
A long life for self-knitted things
I am happy if I was able to give you one or two tips on how to properly care for sweaters and enjoy them for as long as possible. Especially with self-knitted pieces (I presented the cream-colored cardigan here, the golden-brown one is also self-knitted after “The Sunday Cardigan” by Petite Knit) you put so much love and work into the result that it would be a shame not to wear it for long.
Oh, the last (and perhaps most important) tip on the subject of “care for your jumper properly” comes right at the end and doesn’t have that much to do with actual care: Make sure your knitwear is of good quality when you buy it! The proportion of synthetic fibers should be as low as possible, the finish durable and the design timeless. With the right care, you can do something to ensure that the parts last for a long time.
Do you also have a great tip for caring for sweaters or woolen clothing? Feel free to share them in the comments. I am excited!