Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sweater Envy

I had a little taste of the unusual while driving through Alabama this weekend... cold weather. It will soon be here and if you are anything like me, you have a ton of sweaters. You know the one; the one that goes with everything, the sweater that is perfect with jeans, or the one that keeps you warm at the football game. But do you really know how to take care of it? I thought I did until reading an article in Woman's Day magazine.

Before you begin: Check the label for the garment’s fabric content, rather than the care instructions. Even if the label says “dry clean,” you can handwash it if the primary fiber is wool or cashmere.

Step 1:
Fill a basin or sink with cool water and add 1 Tbsp of a mild detergent that’s free of bleach, such as Woolite Extra Delicates Care; swish the water to create suds. Place the sweater into the water and swirl it around until it’s completely wet. Don’t scrub or stretch the sweater, which can damage the shape and fibers. Let sit for 10 minutes while the detergent breaks down soil.

Step 2:
Gather the sweater in your hands, lift it out of the water and gently press a few times (don’t wring) to remove excess water. Empty the soapy water and refill the basin or sink with cool water. Submerge the sweater and swirl around to rinse. Empty and refill the basin again with fresh water, repeating the swirling process until no detergent remains in the water.

Step 3:
Gather the sweater, gently press to remove water and lay it on a white or colorfast towel that has been spread on a flat waterproof surface. Spread another white or colorfast towel on top so that the sweater is sandwiched between the towels. Starting from the top, tightly roll the towels downward together— they’ll absorb most of the moisture in the sweater.

Step 4:
Unroll and pick up the sweater; lay it on a third white or colorfast towel that has been spread on a flat waterproof surface away from sunlight and heat (to keep the wool from becoming brittle). Gently reshape the sweater, extending the arms and buttoning, if necessary. Let dry. To touch up wrinkles, turn it inside out and iron on low heat with steam (but first, test on a small area).

By the way, looking for some great sweaters? Check out Lands End. They have great sweaters for reasonable prices that always last me at least 3 seasons.


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