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How to maintain hand knitted items?

  • Mar 22, 2018
  • Comments: 0
How to wash your handknits?

As I have already mentioned in a previous article, machine wash is prohibited only for the brushed mohair sweaters. All of the other sweaters – mohair and wool ones – can be washed quite safely in a washing machine. Of course there are several things one should consider depending on the particular sweater or item.
I’ve used both a delicate cycle and a regular cycle on hand knits, depending on what fiber they’re made from and what the item is. I’ve even wahsed them with some of my usual loads of laundry without worrying too much about it. Low wool content ( 25% to 50%) is OK for the regular wool cycle. However, greater wool content should be treated more carefully. Mohair, because of its fibers and the risk of felting them, should also be machine washed using a delicate cycle.
Using the mesh garment bags that are meant for lingerie is also a very good idea to make sure your handknits are handled delicately and not agitated in the washing machine.

Keeping “gentle” in mind is the clue.Use a detergent that will go easy on your knits. There are plenty of wool washes available so one can easily choose.Softeners are also very applicable with wool knits. Baby shampoo is another good choice for knits.

Usually lace sweaters and other delicate handknit items shouldn`t be machine washed.
If you, however, decide to please yourself with some fun instead of doing the hand washing, you should never tumble dry them. So my process is to dry the item flat on a towel letting the towel absorb the water. If the garment needs re-shaping, I would advise to block it. Then, if it’s still damp after laying flat for a while, one might toss it in the dryer on low heat just to dry it completely. Items absorbing more water might need a frequesnt towl change for faster drying.
There is one major rule in maintaining hand knitted items – never wash them if they are not really soiled !
If a sweater smells unusually because of mis-storage or other reasons, I use the “steam-refresh” option of my dryer and my mohair sweaters ( the naturally fuzzy ones,not the brushed ones!) look just like they did the day they were knitted.Pretty cool option!
wool, mohair
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