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The How-To Lounge: Caring for Your Sweaters

Spring has sprung, and it's time to start thinking about retiring those coats, hats, scarves and sweaters. Your better sweaters should last for several seasons, and you'll need to care for them well to make that happen. Let's review a few tricks for protecting and storing our favorite winter knits.

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  • Never hang your sweaters; they'll stretch and lose their shape. Always fold them neatly to prevent wrinkles
  • No matter the fabric or designer, sweaters pill where parts of your body rub together -- that's mostly under your arms or at your elbows. To keep your sweaters looking fresh and clean, de-pill them as often as you can. Your dry cleaner can shave the pilling off with a razor, or you can opt to gently pull them off yourself
  • If you spot a hole or a snag, repair it ASAP
  • Before you retire your knits, wash them. Body odor, perfume, and dander can permanently stain your clothing
  • Most people think it's best to dry clean cashmere and other delicate knits, but hand-washing is better and leaves the fabric softer. Hand wash, or machine wash on the most gentle cycle. Let them dry flat!
  • When you're ready to store the sweaters, skip the moth balls. Instead, use cedar balls, cedar chips, or dried bay leaves. I like to store sweaters in garment bags.
  • Please remember to keep your stored sweaters in a dry environment. If you live in a humid climate, open the bag a few times during the summer and air out the garments or mildew might develop

Maybe I'm weird, but I like these kinds of chores!


lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
i am REALLY creful with sweaters. because of this i have been able to use them with each of my 3 girls :) i love the sweaters with beads or special designs on them. it's a big money saver to treat them well enough that you can hand them down. i think the gentle washing and lying flat to dry is the biggest thing (i also wash them inside out to reduce pilling).
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