It’s all too easy to neglect your knitwear and end up just throwing it into the washing machine along with everything else. After all, who’s got the time for hand washing every jumper separately? While it might seem like an unnecessary chore in the days of washing machines with wool cycles and extra-gentle laundry detergents, looking after your knitwear correctly can make all the difference in keeping your garments looking and fitting like they did on day one. Premium knitwear – such as those with wool, cashmere and cotton fabrics – isn’t manufactured from cheap synthetic products like many fast-fashion pieces and are categorised as delicate clothing, so it makes sense to follow care instructions carefully and look after your investment. It will look better, feel better and last longer.

We’ve pulled together a guide that answers some of the most important questions we get asked by our customers. Let’s start off by looking at the best way to wash your luxury knits without them falling apart.

How often should I wash knitwear?

Your knitwear shouldn’t be washed after every wear. Given that these fabrics are delicate in nature, washing can be a harsh process on the fibres, so this needs to be kept at a minimum. For most premium fabrics, you should only wash after every 3-5 wears. Before you throw it in the laundry basket, if it has no obvious stains or smells, chances are you can wear it again without washing.

Can I put knitwear in my washing machine?

Yes, but be gentle! High temperatures and fast spins can cause the fibres to break down and you’ll age your garments much faster. Instead, opt for a low temperature – a maximum of 30 degrees – on a gentle wash setting. Many machines have cycles specifically designed for knitwear, but you can’t go wrong with an extra-gentle hand wash setting. Knitwear can also act more like a sponge than other materials, so make sure you don’t mix coloured items – always wash separately.

How do I hand-wash knitwear?

Your other option is to hand wash in the sink or bathtub; this way you have more control to ensure the longevity of your garments. Add your knitwear, one at a time, to cold water and add a small capful of non-bio detergent or wool detergent. Agitate the fabrics gently (don’t rub or scrub) to make sure the detergent can get to work and remove any dirt. Let soak for 10 minutes or so and then rinse thoroughly with cold water before drying.

Now we covered the basics of washing your knitwear, how about the drying process?

How do I dry my knitwear?

The drying process is just as important as washing, as this will maintain the shape and fit of your knits. As tempting as it may be, don’t wring out your garments after washing, as this can twist and distort the fibres. Instead, gently squeeze out the excess water and lay flat on a dry towel before rolling up and squeezing again gently. The towel will absorb the rest of the excess water.

Unroll the towel, lay your knit flat and mould back into shape. The fibres are very pliable at this stage so it’s important to get the desired shape. To finalise the drying process, allow the garment to dry naturally whilst laid flat. Never hang to dry as the fibres will stretch and you won’t be left with a great fit. Similarly, don’t dry on a radiator as the heat can shrink the fibres.

Our Top Knitwear Care Tips

  • Follow the washing and drying instructions on the label carefully.
  • Wash knitwear by hand or on a gentle, cold wash in the washing machine with no harsh detergents.
  • Only wash if you need to.
  • Reshape your knitwear when damp and dry flat.
  • Don’t hand knitwear, store it folded in a drawer.

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