• Michael Moon

The Wonderful World of Sweaters

As the styles of sweaters change, so do the fibers of this wardrobe staple. Sweaters are made from a variety of fibers, ranging from cotton and wool to silk, rayon, acrylic and more. Natural fibers, such as angora, mohair, cashmere, and Shetland are especially popular. To add to the variety many sweaters contain special decorative trims. Trims such as suede, leather, snakeskin, fur, sequins, and beads add to a sweater's special look. The following tips should make the care and maintenance of sweaters easier:

Purchasing Tips

A good tip for long lasting sweaters is to check to see if it will withstand your lifestyle. If you're an active person or plan on wearing it to dance parties, go for a harder, tighter yarn. Soft, loose yarns tend to stretch easily and often begin to show signs of wear much faster.

• Although not a common occurrence, check to see if the seams on the sweater pull or fray easily. This is also a good indicator of whether or not it will withstand active lifestyles and can tell you of the quality of the overall product.

• If the sweater you wish to buy has trim on it, ask the retailer about their return policy. This is recommended because most times the fabric will hold up to the rigors of life in general, but the trim is most often the weakest part. If the there is a problem with the trim, the store may allow you to exchange it depending how long ago it was purchased and the store's return policy.

Preservation Tips

Follow your sweater's care label instructions closely to prevent shrinkage and stretching. Many sweaters are hand-wash only. In these cases, it is recommended to allow them to dry naturally by laying them flat. Some sweaters are gentle-cycle washable and others may require drycleaning. In any case, avoid using alkaline-based detergents (usually hard-surface only detergents) on woolens and other animal fibers.

• If you have any doubts about the best way to approach an item, you may bring it to us to examine and offer a suitable cleaning method.

• Tumble dry only at low temperatures, if recommended on the care label.

• Treat stains right away. When spills are blotted immediately and professionally removed, stains won't develop later.

• Sweaters with pile may be brushed to lift the fabric and remove any surface soils.

• If wool sweaters get wet, let them dry at room temperature away from any direct heat source.

• Check knitted sweaters for unraveling and fraying, and secure any loose yarns so the sweater can withstand normal use and care procedures without further unraveling.

• Place folded sweaters over padded hangers in a well-ventilated closet or place in drawers. Do not hang sweaters from the shoulders; the weight of the sweater can cause it to stretch. Be sure to empty pockets, remove belts, and close zippers.

• When storing sweaters, be sure to use breathable cloth garment storage bags to prevent yellowing and the development of stains.

• Be sure to put sweaters away only when they are clean as any stains on the item may develop into worse stains or even attract moths (leading to moths eating through the fabric and creating holes).

• Remember that delicate items may require special handling.

Possible Issues When Cleaning

While we are well versed in cleaning many different types of fabrics and treating multitudes of stains, some items may prove more problematic than others to clean. When the sweater is not cared for as directed or the stains on the sweater go untreated for too long then the likelihood of possible irreversible damage goes up.

Stretching, shrinkage, pulls, and pilling, both from use and cleaning may occur even when following the care labels of the items. Some stretching on knit items should be expected as a normal circumstance of wear and care to a given extent. Generally, the softer the knit, the more likely it is to show some change in texture or feel with normal wear, and this may be aggravated with washing or cleaning procedures.

If you have any questions about caring for your sweaters simply come to us and we can give you potential solutions to your needs.