Growing up in West Cork, our climate is not the best. All year round we do experience a lot of rainfall and the coastal winds are a killer in the winter. My closet was filled with knit jumpers, trousers and lots of wooly socks. Did I know how to take care of my knitwear? Absolutely not! When the weather is cold, you know exactly what you want to reach for when getting dressed in the morning, not your beautiful blazer, and not your fancy work top. No, when the weather is freezing like it is right now, you want to reach for a trusted, comfy, and you don't want to part with knit jumper and trousers. From early October to the end of winter or even all year round in my case, a knit jumper or trousers is undoubtedly your best option. And like any other thing that keeps you warm and cozy, knitwear garments require love and care. While they’re extremely delicate, they can last through many wears and many seasons if you treat them the right way.
Taking care of your knitwear is not only essential for longevity but also keeps it looking as the day you bought it. Taking care of your knitwear is actually quite easy, so don’t let that stop you from investing in quality garments. Since wool is naturally stain-resistant, odour-resistant and also grease-resistant, you should not wash your knitwear garments that often. Knitwear garments can be worn several times before washing and sometimes hanging up your garments on a windy day is enough to refresh your favourite knitwear. HannahMaria Shanahan loves natural fibres and it is what makes our knitwear garments so soft and cosy to wear. But keeping them soft and beautiful requires a little TLC. Follow these simple steps and you'll keep yours looking (and feeling) lovely for years to come.
HannahMaria Shanahan knitwear care instructions
Wool has naturally self-cleaning properties and will keep its shape and quality for longer with the right kind of care. It is important to be mindful of how you care for your garment to ensure its longevity please follow the below steps.
1. Wool should be washed on the wool setting (usually gentle action at 30°C). If your washing machine does not have a wool cycle, use the cold water wash or wash cycle for delicates.
2. Use a neutral, mild detergent that is preferably Woolmark recommended (look for the Woolmark symbol on the packet). Do not bleach your item.
3. It is recommended that you flat dry after washing in between two towels. Do not hang. Quick tip, you may even notice that your washing machine or tumble dryer has the Woolmark Apparel Care symbol on it, which means that your machine has passed rigorous and independent testing and has been approved by The Woolmark Company.
4. Be gentle when ironing, use a pressing cloth and iron on the wrong side of the fabric on low heat. A pressing cloth is essential to prevent shiny marks on wool and to help prevent scorching. This piece of fabric is used between the face of the iron and the item you are ironing as a protective shield.
HannahMaria Shanahan tips and tricks:
1. Where to buy a pressing cloth? A pressing cloth can be purchased at a fabric shop or online. You may also use a white cotton dish towel, a piece of muslin, a white handkerchief, or any cotton fabric that will not transfer color or dye to your garment.
2. Snags: ( when the stitch comes out of the knitwear garment) are a little frustrating because they seem unfixable, and you risk the knitwear garment unraveling with any little possibility that the snag gets caught on something. Snags are not completely fixable, but luckily, they can be placed on the inside, so they’re no longer an issue on the outside. Simply turn the knitwear garment inside out, insert a crochet hook into the same stitch as the snag, and carefully pull the snag through.
3. How to remove dandruff and hair: Use a soft hairbrush or a soft toothbrush will help you quickly brush off anything on your knitwear and this also helps if you have house pets (cat hair etc). Just make sure not to brush too harshly on your knitwear or it will loosen the yarn and create pills.
4. How to reduce the itch: (Note – Pure wool can be a little itchy, especially with the first wear). To help minimise this, we recommend you wash with a wool-friendly fabric softener/conditioner. Allow the knitwear garment to thoroughly swirl around the water and let it sit. You can also try adding half a cup of hair conditioner instead of fabric softener, for extra softness. Just make sure you avoid 2-in-1 conditioner/shampoo combinations and heavy hair masks. Also stick to hydrating or standard conditioner, rather than other formulas meant for volumizing or thickening.
5. How to store your knitwear after winter: It is important to know how to properly pack up your sweaters when you’re storing them for spring and summer. Properly clean them, fold them, and put them in clothing storage bags (that are breathable) or boxes (as long as they’re made out of cotton or canvas). Add in a small satchel filled with lavender or cedar wood to prevent moths or other bugs from ruining the yarn. Do not put your knitwear in vacuum-sealed bags. It might seem like it’s saving space, but locking in moisture can cause yellowing or mildew.
Wring or stretch knitwear garments
Wash in high temperatures
Dry in direct sunlight