An article long overdue.
When the weather is cold, you know exactly what you want to reach for in the morning — not your silky camisole, not your trendy blazer, and not your fancy work top. No, when the weather is freezing, you want to reach for a trusted, comfy, so-cozy-you-never-want-to-take-it-off sweater. From early fall to the end of winter, a sweater is undoubtedly your best friend. My mother and I always have the same conversation year after year, whether we should invest in good quality, expensive jumpers, or not. We find that most of them bobble and it is very frustrating. Some say jumpers should only last a season, that we are to wear them day in day out and if they bobble not to care. I disagree! Bobbles make a jumper look old and tired and what gets frustrating is that some tend to bobble after only one or two wears.
I prefer to buy a better quality knit, not to wear it every day or lounge about in on the sofa but to look after it. And like any other best friend, sweaters require tender loving care, however delicate, they can last many wears and many seasons if treated right.
Remove the bobbles when you see them!
Is there anything as annoying as a bobbly sweater!? A perfectly fine woolly knit can start to look like an ungroomed dog after a while. Unfortunately, knits bobble — it’s caused by rubbing during wear and is more apparent around the elbows, around the breast areas under armpits, and on sleeves.
To get rid of the bobbles, hold the sweater flat with one hand and slice the bobbles off (one at a time or in a line) with a razor, taking great care as it could damage.
Turn any noticeable snags inside out. (My mum always gives me this job!)
Snags (aka when the stitch comes out of the sweater) are the worst because they seem unfixable, and you risk the sweater unravelling. 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 sweater inside out, insert a crochet hook into the same stitch as the hitch, and carefully pull through.
Remove dandruff, hair, and any undesired fluff, regularly.
Cello tape! Or a sticky roll will help you quickly take anything off the sweater. Gone are the days of the brush!
Know how to wash, and when.
Washing a sweater is never easy. Most of the time, you should always hand wash your sweaters to make them last longer and keep the fabric intact.
To hand wash, fill a bucket or sink with cool water, add a few squirts of gentle laundry detergent, submerge the sweater, and soak for about 30 minutes. Then rinse under cool water. To dry, gently squeeze water out of the sweater (never wring it out) and roll it up in a towel (like a sleeping bag or sushi roll) to suck up all the excess water. Finally, lay it flat on a drying rack or clean towel to dry.
But make sure to follow the directions on the label, and don’t wash too often unless it has been soiled or stained.
And if it says dry clean only (as it does with most wool), then you know the drill: dry clean only.
“The less you wash your clothes, the better. I was told that by the tailors on Savile Row when I worked there and it’s true, clothes last longer if you wash them less and care for them more. And less washing saves water and energy.” – Stella McCartney
To lessen the need for washes, wear a t-shirt underneath.
Since washing can damage jumpers, there are ways to extend the amount of time you need to wash them. Wearing a t-shirt acts as a barrier between the jumper and skin, limiting the amount of outside forces and smells the fabric interacts with. Since things like sweat, body oder, oils on the skin, and deodorant can cause the jumper to loose its shape.
Jump your jumper
Is there anything worse than a jumper so itchy, it looses all its coziness!? In order to bring itchy back to soft and cozy, add liquid fabric softener to the cold water when you’re washing your sweater. Allow the sweater to soak in the water and let it sit.
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.