These care tips keep wool sweaters beautiful for a long time

These care tips keep wool sweaters beautiful for a long time

Sweaters made of cashmere, mohair or merino wool are fashion classics, but they are not easy to care for in terms of laundry and storage. So that you don't just enjoy your favorite sweater for a whole winter, we reveal the best care tips for the sensitive natural fibers.

Kathryn Robinson

What could be nicer than walking on cold days wrapped in a new, warm winter sweater through fog, rain or snow? It is all the more annoying if the sweater shrinks after the first machine wash or loses its fluffy feel. How to avoid this scenario and store high-quality knitwear made of mohair, merino wool or cashmere in spring and summer clean and safe from moth infestation, we explain in our care guide especially for wool sweaters, knitted dresses and Co.

Knitting fashion: proper care, washing and storage

1. Cashmere

Cashmere garments are particularly luxurious, but they also require careful handling and care. Soft cashmere wool is particularly popular in winter because it is comfortable to wear and regulates body temperature in summer.

Where does cashmere wool come from?

Cashmere is considered one of the finest natural fibers in the world. This is mainly due to the elaborate extraction: for cashmere wool, the fine under-hair in the fur of cashmere goats is combed out. The majority of the cashmere products available from wool come from Mongolia, China, Iraq or Afghanistan. An animal produces a maximum of 200 grams of wool, which is not even enough to produce a single cashmere sweater.

What should be considered when caring for cashmere?

Unpleasant smells evaporate from cashmere if the garment is well ventilated - this way you save a few washes at the same time. As a rule, it is only necessary to wash the cashmere part after wearing it for the third time. For stains, cashmere sweaters should never be soaked. Otherwise, the fine wool fibers are soaked with water, the sweater loses its shape. Brushing and scrubbing with a sponge is also a sure death for every cashmere item. In addition, cashmere should always be lying down and never stored on a hanger.

Extra tip: cashmere wool tends to pill. If you disturb the wool nodules too much, you can carefully remove them with a special wool razor. After two to three such treatments, the pilling problem will resolve itself, since all loose cashmere fibers will then have been removed.

How do I gently clean cashmere parts?

Cashmere garments can be put into the washing machine! This is even a safe way to clean cashmere fashion with care. Because with hand washing there is a risk that the cashmere wool absorbs too much water and loses its shape. Instead, you should clean your cashmere clothing in a wool wash or in a cold or hand wash at 30 degrees Celsius. The addition of a special cashmere detergent also ensures gentle cleaning. After the wash cycle, the cashmere sweater should be lying down and dried on a dry towel so that the fibers do not warp. Alternatively, you can put cashmere clothes in the dryer after washing them for 15 minutes at the cold level.

How do I protect cashmere from dirt and moth infestation?

Unfortunately, moths love cashmere wool. Therefore, you should not only ensure that your wardrobe has sufficient moth protection throughout the year, not only for long periods of storage. Fragrance bags with cedar or lavender not only smell pleasant but also keep moths away from luxurious knitwear. Store cashmere items as cool and dark as possible, light plastic bags protect the sensitive wool from dirt and dust.

2. Mohair

Mohair is a very fine and therefore sensitive natural fiber that is extracted from goat's hair like cashmere.

Where does mohair wool come from?

Mohair is made from the fur of the Angora goat - and should not be confused with Angora wool, which comes from Angora rabbits. While the wool of young goats is very fine and is ideal for light spring and autumn fashion, the hair of older animals is particularly warm and is mainly used for winter knitting.

What should be considered when caring for mohair?

Mohair wool gives sweaters, cardigans and the like a soft feel and also ensures high wearing comfort due to its low weight. So that the wool fibers stay cuddly for a long time, you should definitely rely on careful care.

How do I gently clean mohair parts?

Light soiling can be carefully treated with a mixture of lukewarm water and a little wool detergent. For larger stains, mohair parts should be professionally cleaned. Since the fine natural fibers easily felt, you should only clean mohair clothing in a wool wash at low temperatures of up to 30 degrees or alternatively by hand. When handwashing, pay attention to the water temperature, which should never be hot, but only warm. Soak the mohair part for a maximum of 15 minutes and use a special wool detergent. After washing, rinse with clear water and squeeze out gently - rubbing or wringing can damage the delicate natural fibers. Warning: Mohair must not be tumble dried as the friction in the drum causes the fibers to become matted.

How do I protect mohair from dirt and moth infestation?

With mohair, fragrant lavender bags are a good remedy for a moth infestation. Clean clothes made of mohair wool are safely and neatly stored in a plastic bag in a dresser or closet.

3. Merino

Merino wool is very fine and provides a slight sheen in sweaters. The luxurious natural fiber is easy to care for, but relatively expensive, which is why many sweaters only work with a small amount of merino. Garments made of merino wool are often used for functional clothing and underwear due to their heat and moisture regulating and antistatic properties in the sports sector and are also well suited for allergy sufferers.

Where does merino wool come from?

Unlike cashmere and mohair, merino wool is also a product made from sheep's wool. Merino sheep are completely shorn compared to angora or cashmere goats. A sheep produces a large wool mass per shear, but it only weighs between two and four kilograms. This makes Merino the lightest of natural fibers and particularly suitable for delicate laundry.

What needs to be considered when caring for Merino?

In contrast to other natural fibers, the merino fiber is robust and hard-wearing. Therefore, there are fewer care instructions to be observed than with cashmere or mohair wool.

Extra tip: After buying merino clothing, you will notice pilling because the short fibers loosen on new goods. Therefore, you should not wait too long with the first wash at the beginning to remove the fibers before the unsightly wool nodules develop. The common wash with clothes made of coarser cotton creates friction that loosens loose merino fibers.

How do I gently clean parts made of Merino?

Merino wool can be safely put into the washing machine, but should not be warmer than 40 degrees and with low spin speed. Note the care label on the garment, which may give recommendations for using wool detergent. If this is not the case, you can clean sweaters and other parts made of merino wool with normal detergent. However, do not use fabric softener as this can destroy the fibers in the long run. Merino wool dries very quickly and can be dried hanging on a clothesline or drying rack.

How do I protect Merino from dirt and moth infestation?

In addition to clothes moths, silverfish and larvae of bacon, carpet and museum beetles particularly like merino fibers. Therefore, prevent by storing your merino clothing with dried sprigs of rosemary, thyme and lavender. The essential oils keep unwanted pests away and at the same time ensure a pleasant scent of laundry. Store sweaters made of merino wool in a cool, dry place and, if necessary, packed in a plastic bag in the closet.

Your knitwear will survive the summer

With sensitive knitted parts, it is important to take preventive measures against dirt, fading and vermin in the warm months. With these storage tips, your winter sweaters made of mohair, merino and Co. will stay beautiful for a long time:

  • Moths etc. are attracted to skin and sweat residues. Therefore, only store freshly cleaned knitwear.
  • You should also empty the pockets of cardigans or knitted dresses before storing them, as these can cause marks or discoloration.
  • Packed in special vacuum bags, thick winter sweaters can be stored in a space-saving manner - however, make sure that only insensitive parts are vacuum-packed. Merino wool, for example, is sensitive to pressure and should not be stored in a vacuum bag.
  • Plastic storage containers with an airtight lid protect winter clothing in summer from dust, dirt and moth infestation and can be stacked on the cupboard, under the bed or in the basement, garage and attic. Cardboard boxes, on the other hand, do not offer reliable protection against vermin, since pests can eat through the box or crawl through cracks.
  • To prevent unpleasant smells, you can add scented sachets with essential oils or dried herbs. Freshly scented clothing awaits you in the cold season.
  • A piece of wood drizzled with cedar oil in a wardrobe or chest of drawers keeps moths and other vermin from nesting.
  • While plastic containers are safe storage for several months, you should never store knitted sweaters in ordinary plastic bags, for example from shopping, over the summer months: residual moisture could cause bacteria and mold to settle. Special bags or boxes are ideal for keeping sensitive parts dry and clean.
  • Do not store knitted clothing on hangers for several months - this would destroy the structure and shape of the garment. Ropes should always be stored horizontally. A space-saving and the fiber-saving alternative is to store the sweaters rolled up individually.
  • If you want to be on the safe side against moths, wrap delicate wool pieces in tissue paper. This additional protective layer prevents moths from biting through.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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