Caring for your knitting
Caring for Knits
It is important to check washing instructions found in your knitted garments and on your skeins of yarn. Labels that say “Dry Clean Only” should not be washed. However, labels that say “Dry Clean” can be carefully hand laundered. Do not machine wash a garment unless directed on the label as the agitation may cause it to shrink or change shape. Always hand wash knits with buttons or other embellishments.
Machine washable items should be turned inside out and placed in a mesh laundry bag or pillow case. This will reduce the amount of pilling that occurs from the fabric rubbing against itself. Use cool water on gentle cycle. Most dirt will be removed in a two minute cycle. Use soaps that are easier on fabrics and formulated for gentle cycle or hand washing. Some detergents such as “Eucalan” or “Soak” do not require rinsing. Some baby shampoos can be an alternative. Do not use standard detergents or products containing chlorine bleach which are intended for removing tough and greasy dirt.
When hand washing, do not over soak. Soaking too long can cause colors to bleed or fade or can alter the size. It can also loosen the glue holding embellishments. Rinse with cool water by gently pushing the water through the garment until the water is clear.
Soften harsh fabric wool by adding a capful of hair conditioner to the rinse water. Do not use fabric softeners.
Spots and Stains and Smells
Remove marks and odors promptly. Perspiration can cause discoloration if not laundered within 48 hours. For getting food or alcohol out of wool, the American Sheep Industry Association recommends placing a towel under the stan and gently rubbing it with carbonated water . Begin in the center of the spot and work toward the outside. Immerse red wine spots in cold water. Rub lipstick stains with white bread. A perfume or cigarette scent on a fabric can be eliminated by hanging it outdoors, out of the sun, for a few hours. Good Housekeeping suggests the fabric be washed according to label instructions and rinsed in a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water.
Garments labeled “Easy Care” can be tumbled dried with caution, but bulky knits should always be dried flat to avoid stretching. Before washing a wool or cotton sweater, measure and trace the shape on a clear sheet of paper. After washing, squeeze out excess water, but do not wring. Roll your garment in a towel to absorb moisture. Lay garment on a mesh screen or place on a dry towel. Dry flat away from heat and sunshine. Lay sweaters on the clean traced paper and gently reshape it to fit the outline. Pat into the desired shape. To speed up the drying process, occasionally turn the garment over while drying being careful to reshape. After drying, remove any wrinkles with a hand held steamer of steam iron held two inches away from fabric.
Never hang knitted garments, because they can easily sag, be pulled out of shape and left with unsightly humps and bumps. Most garments are best stored flat or gently folded. Never stuff them into crowded drawers. To prevent wrinkling, it is good to fold with a sheet of tissue paper inside. If pressed for space, garments can be folded lengthwise and hung on a wooden or reinforced hangers. Place a sheet of tissue paper between the bar and the garment to prevent creases.
Information compiled by Jackie Taylor
from the following sources.