Most of us learn to clean and maintain our knitwear with experience, such as washing a wool sweater in hot water and discovering that it turns into a washcloth ‘is this not ?). If you are a beginner, someone who receives a knitted gift, or even an expert who needs a reminder, these tips will help you clean and properly maintain your knitwear.
Before washing your knitted clothes by hand…
Read the label
It may sound stupid, but do not assume that the fiber content completely determines how to treat a yarn. Some yarns may be delicate and must be hand washed or dry cleaned. Before immersing your project in water, check the label to make sure that the thread can tolerate a dip.
In fact, the yarn label can tell you everything you need to know about your knitwear, beyond just washing. Can you iron it? Is it going to stretch? All this information is usually included on the label.
A word about machine washable wool
Machine washable yarns (called “super-wash”) are great for knitwear, gifts and clothes that you plan to wear and wash.
That said, if you know that you will take the time to take care of your knits, it is perfectly acceptable to choose a thread that is not machine washable. You will have more choice of yarn too!
Take a test on a sample first
Do not unravel your samples once you have reached the right sample! Samples are a great way to test the behavior of a project when it is washed. After its completion, try to wash it and dry it. Has it shrunk? Has everything become blurry? Keep testing until you are sure of yourself.
The rule # 1 in knitting storage? No hangers! Any knitted garment will stretch and fall when placed on a hanger. If you have already put a knitted sweater on a hanger, you know how it can deform your shoulders and makes the cut closer to the mop than the fitted garment.
Can I wash a knitted garment by hand in a machine?
The only way to know if a hand-knit garment is machine washable is to look at the label of the thread. The label should tell you if the fiber can be washed in a regular machine.
Even if the wire label indicates that it is machine washable, do not treat it like any other machine washable item. You must be careful in all cases. If in doubt, choose a gentle cycle.
Dry your flat knits
In general, and even though the yarn label indicates that you can put the knit in the dryer, I let it air dry on a towel to absorb the remaining water.
After washing your knits, if they seem distorted or wrinkled, you can block them again: they will become like new again!
When dealing with knits, the key is to use your own instinct. If you are worried that the item will not stand up to washing in the machine, just wash it by hand.
The common sense and instinct of a knitter is seldom lacking.