Cuyana Alpaca Cape, Tiger of Sweden Linen Sweater, Community V-Neck Wool Dress
As silly as it sounds, January in California means real winter. There is rain predicted in the forecast for 2 weeks straight and it finally feels cold. We’ve been in a severe drought so while part of me wants to miss the sunshine, I have to say I’m welcoming all of this water with arms wide open. Since this means I’m living in my warm sweaters, I’m taking some time today to share what I look for when buying, and how I take care of my sweaters.
1. Research before you buy.
Do a little research about different types of fabric content before you make your purchase. Although care can be more time-consuming, I prefer to buy sweaters made from more natural fibers like wool, cotton, and linen. Read the washing instructions so you know what you’re getting into. Pure sweaters made from wool or cashmere are usually dry clean only, but some you can get by with hand washing (and it even says so on the label). Make sure it fits! Most sweaters can not be altered if they do not fit properly.
2. Follow care guidelines.
I’ve emphasized this before, but care guidelines on clothing are so very important! On some sweaters you can get away with a hand wash. I wash most of mine on a very delicate cycle in a front-load washing machine. I then lay them flat to dry and reshape a little. If they don’t fluff up right or have wrinkles, I go over them with a steamer. As with my denim, I wear sweaters multiple times between washes unless they are very obviously dirty.
3. Perform routine maintenance.
It doesn’t seem to matter what type of fabric a sweater is made from, they all pill. Some of my sweaters pill less than others, like my alpaca cape, but others pill very easily like my soft wool dress. I am really bad about shaving them regularly, but I should do it before every wear so it is quick. I’ve had to stitch up and patch random snags before, but luckily I’ve never had to deal with any major damage.
4. Store properly.
You should never hang your sweaters. Ever. It depends on the weight, but the fibers will very likely be stretched out of shape and that’s not something anyone wants. I fold mine loosely and store them in a drawer on their own. I try not to pack the drawer too full so they aren’t prone to wrinkles or folding damage.
5. Wear and love often!
Do you have any favorite tips for how to care for sweaters?