Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guide to Knit Care

As the temperature decreases, the emergence of thick, cozy knit sweaters, scarves, hats, and even shoes increases. Knit is a practical, yet stylish fabric that provides warmth, comfort, and durability; however, knit fabric has the potential to overstretch and distort if cared for improperly. Check out the Guide to Knit Care edition of FashionableCare to learn important knitwear details that will help you keep knit garments looking new.

Unique button
When purchasing knitwear, ask the sales representative for extra buttons. If the buttons fall off, it can be nearly impossible for the seamstress to find a perfect match, which can alter the appearance of the garment.

Purchase knit separates together within the same season to ensure perfectly matched items. Dye lots can vary—often dramatically—from season to season.

Breathable sweater bag
Avoid hanging knits because gravity can distort the garment’s shape. Store knit garments in breathable sweater bags to help them retain their shape and keep them clean.

After the winter, store knit garments in a cedar chest or in a cedar-lined closet to keep them fresh and free from insect damage.

Or for long-term storage, enlist the climate-controlled, off-site storage facilities and services of Garde Robe to free up space in your closet.

Clean knit garments at least once per season and/or shortly after being soiled. Invisible stains, such as hairspray or oil, oxidize over time, making them difficult to remove.

If you choose to hand wash knits, follow these tips:

  • Wash one garment at a time.
  • Fill a tub with approximately 6” of lukewarm water.
  • Use Ivory Snow flakes to develop a few suds as you agitate the water.
  • Place the garment in the tub, gently lifting and lowering the garment.
  • Do not twist the fabric.
  • Empty the tub, and then gently press out the excess water; do not wring or twist the garment.
  • Fill the tub with water, and then place the garment back into the tub, lifting and lowering the item to rinse.
  • Gently press out the excess water; do not wring or twist the garment.
  • Rinse the garment in fresh water to thoroughly remove all soap.
  • Lay the item flat on a dry towel. Press the garment with another dry towel to remove excess water.
  • Do not allow the garment to lay on a wet towel.

Knit blocking is the process of changing the size or shape of a knit garment, or returning the knit item to its original dimensions by redistributing the knit weave. No alterations are involved. Typically, it’s possible to reduce knits to half-size or increase a size and a half without over-blocking. Margaret's has over 50 years of knit-blocking experience.

More Information
For more information on knitwear care, traveling tips, storage ideas, cleaning solutions, repairing and restoring techniques, and more, download the Guide to Knit Care edition of FashionableCare.