Kettle Knit Care
KNITWEAR CARE TIPS
Air out your knits regularly
Air out sweaters after each use, by placing them on a felt hanger outside or near an open window. Hang the garment in humid air if possible, like in a bathroom while you bathe or shower - moisture swells the wool fibres and brings odours and dirt to the surface.
Avoid direct sunlight for too long to prevent the fibres from becoming brittle and the colour from fading.
NEVER use lint combs or similar
Pilling happens when loose fibres rise to the surface of a knit fabric and form a ball of fluff. Lint combs and other branded brushes that scrape at the surface of the garment will damage the yarn plies and increase pilling, making your knitwear look old before its time. Instead use a fabric shaver which can be found in most haberdashers and online to remove pills. Don't use a regular shaver... it isn't worth the inevitable tears. 😋
For fuzzy yarn like Hythe kidsilk use a hair comb to carefully lift the tangled balls away from the fabric below. See my video on Instagram.
Wash only when necessary and preferably by machine
When it comes to washing frequency, trust your nose. Wool has amazing antibacterial properties and jumpers can be cleaned and refreshed by airing out. Wearing a shirt under knits can also help keep them fresh. Considering how time consuming blocking washed knits is, it is worth only washing when absolutely needed!
Wool-washing programs of modern machines are so good that machine washing is even gentler than hand washing. The most important thing is to keep the water temperature cold to warm with no shocking changes in temperature. Use a laundry bag and detergent intended for woollen clothes. Save money and see my tip above on using regular shampoo on your woollens, which is ph balanced for protein fibres like hair...and wool!
Wool is very hygroscopic. It absorbs water and vapour from its surrounding environment far more effectively than other common apparel fibres. You should store knits neatly folded at room temperature, avoiding humid or musty areas, as this will cause woollen clothes to absorb the smell and moisture.
Make sure your knits are clean before storing for long periods as well as dirt can wear down wool fibres and invite pests like moths. I like to store my knits in simple large ziplock bags, which I buy in bulk.