Take care of your ound pieces and they will last a lifetime. Here we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to help you get the most out of your knitwear and silks.
CARING FOR WOOL
Wool fibres differ in structure to other fibres. They are self-cleaning and don’t need to be washed as often. A quick spot clean (dab, don’t rub!) or frequent airing will keep your knitwear fresh for longer. When it comes to stains, time is of the essence, act quickly and never use heat - this will set the stain and make it impossible to remove.
Separate your delicates. To ensure they don’t get mixed up with other laundry items, we recommend storing knitwear and silks separately in your utility area.
When the time comes to wash your woollens, gently hand wash in lukewarm water, using a PH neutral, organic soap. The simpler, the better. Avoid any fabric softeners or harsh, scented detergents (especially those containing bleach) as these will damage the natural fibres. Let you knit soak for about 15 minutes then rinse thoroughly - multiple times if necessary. Don’t agitate the water too much when your knit is soaking as this can cause the wool to felt.
Once clean, gently roll your knit in a large, thick towel, reshape whilst damp and lay flat to dry on an airy surface. A wooden clothes dryer is perfect. In summer, you can place the dryer by an open window or outside in the fresh air. In winter, drying your knits near a radiator will speed up the process. Just be sure to lay them out horizontally on a flat surface. Heavy knits may take up to a couple of days to fully dry. Be careful not to put them away whilst still damp.
We recommend that you do not machine wash your hand knits. The type of yarn we use is thick, but very delicate, with fibres that are not as compacted as those spun into thinner yarns. This provides extra comfort and fluffiness but also means that the knits should be handled with extra care so that they do not lose their shape. An aggressive spin cycle can also be damaging to delicate fibres and can cause just as much shrinkage as hot temperatures.
Dry cleaning is harmful to the environment and the chemicals used will damage and weaken natural fibres over time. A good hand wash gets the best results.
Store your knits in a clean, dry space with lavender bags, cedar balls or bay leaves to deter moths. Moths thrive in dark spaces and love dirty clothes, so keep your knits clean and air outside or by an open window to freshen up between wears. We recommend folding your knitwear, as hanging will cause it to become misshapen. It’s also a good idea to shake your knits out a couple of times during the summer months when they are not getting as much wear, to check for any unwanted visitors.
Some natural pilling will occur during use, especially when your knit is new. Don’t be alarmed if you find your knit bobbling at the start of its life, this is completely natural and a normal feature of the high quality fibres used to spin the yarn. Just like the best cashmere, extra fine merino wool tends to pill more than coarser wool. To remove any pills, use an electric fabric shaver which will cut across the knit, taking away only the extraneous surface fibres. A sweater stone or comb will also do the job, but use carefully - if used too vigorously, these can pull out more fibres from the wool causing it to quickly pill again. The more you shave your knit, the less it will peel until it stops occuring.
If you discover a little hole in your knitwear at any point during its lifetime, don’t be afraid to have a go at darning it. There are many online courses to show you how and results needn’t be prefect. We believe in imperfect beauty! Make a feature out of your mend with contrasting yarn, or if you prefer an exact match, get in touch and we will send you enough wool to darn the hole, free of charge. If you don’t trust your own mending skills or don’t have the time, ask a professional. We can even organise this for you.
CARING FOR SILK
Caring for silk is much the same as caring for wool. Best is to wash by hand. If you prefer to use your machine and have a good quality model you trust with your delicates, opt for the hand wash or delicate cycle and keep temperatures to 20 degrees or lower. Spin cycles should be short and slow - a fast spin can be just as damaging as hot temperatures. Use a mesh laundry bag for further protection, and once the cycle is over, remove your garments quickly and hang to dry.
Avoid using any pegs or clips that will leave marks and indents on the fabric. We like to hang our silks outdoors in a completely shaded spot. The most important thing to remember when taking care of naturally dyed garments is to dry them in the shade and store in a cool, dark place. In this case, the sun is not your friend and will quickly fade colours that are exposed for any length of time. If you have any issues with the colour of your silk pieces, please get in touch and we will re-dye them for you.
Silk pieces should be steamed or ironed on a medium heat to preserve their colour. The warmth of the iron can cause temporary changes in colour, but as the garment cools, the colour will return to normal. Our silk twill pieces will accumulate some electrostatic energy when ironed, but this will dissipate after around 5 minutes. This is a natural characteristic of the silk and nothing to worry about.
Naturally dyed pieces may get stained by sweat which causes a change in the PH levels of the fabric affecting certain colours. Washing with a PH neutral soap will quickly return the colour to its original hue. Natural colours are surprisingly hardy, allowing stains to disappear without permanently affecting the integrity of the original colour.
Silk pieces can be carefully folded or hung on soft padded hangers which will prevent the fabric stretching out of shape. Remember to keep yours in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight - a clean cupboard is ideal. Moths like silk too, so store with dried lavender, cedar balls or bay leaves and shake out regularly.
If you have any further concerns regarding the care of your ound pieces, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org