Caring For Your Knits
As the weather gets warmer and we start shedding layers, it's important to not neglect your woolens! It's easy so easy to forget about your hats and mittens, sweaters and scarves at the back of the wardrobe or at the bottom of your mitten bin, but don't! Wash and store as soon as possible. Trust me. I have been lazy in the past, only to pull out the knits again in September to find they had been destroyed. My heart sinks when I see the signs of moths. It's devastating. And here's a little secret, moths LOVE dirty wool. It's the first thing they eat. So you must clean before you store.
Steps for Washing and Storing
1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water (too hot or too cold shocks the fibers). Wash like colors together.
2. Use very little soap – best to use a wool detergent because it produces less suds, but in a bind I have used any non-scented detergent. But really, less than a thimble full. We like detergent that is gentle and made for wool. Eucalan makes a lovely one as does The Laundress.
3. Agitate slightly, soak for a bit and then rinse with clean lukewarm water.
4. Squish out excess water – DON’T TWIST OR WRING OUT! When the knits are wet, they are very susceptible to stretching (in that case if you ever want to stretch a piece to be bigger or have longer sleeves, etc. do it while it is wet)
5. Lay flat on a towel and reshape. Roll up in the towel and squeeze out extra water. Reshape again and leave to dry flat on a fresh towel. If you can, place outside but not in direct sunlight.
6. Fold or lay knits flat. Never hang knits, this will stretch them. We have a cedar chest where we keep our knits in the off season. Cedar blocks or a lavender sachet are nice too and will help keep away months. Always wash knits before putting away for the season.
Please note: some garments contain highly saturated and high contrast colors (i.e. bright red with white). Because of this, color bleeding is unavoidable. We recommend spot cleaning or dry cleaning for these garments. We have noted these items on the product pages but if you have any doubt feel free to contact us.
Wool is naturally antibacterial, and does not need to be laundered very often.
Our merino is machine washable. It will not shrink or felt. Please wash in cold water. This helps with color fastness and is gentler on the fibers. Cold tap is fine. Do not put in the dryer. Do not hang dry.
Pima cotton is machine washable. Please check labels carefully. For some pima garments we have used natural plant based dyes. They are lovely and the most earth friendly you can get. When visiting the farm outside Lima, where we do these dyes, our host put his hand into a dye bath and drank it. Because it was just mango. Not something I recommend, but illustrating how gentle these dyes are. However, we have found the color to be less color fast and a little delicate i.e. some fading may occur in prolonged sunlight, or over washing. We have tried to use these dyes sparingly and in ways that are practical for a normal lifestyle with kids. When we use industrial dyes, they are always low impact.
Storing wool and alpaca
Always wash your woolens before storing for long periods of time. Moths love dirty wool. Store in an airtight container. Lavender or cedar are natural moth repellants.