Growing up in Southern California, where the weather is warm, the need for sweaters is limited. Once I moved to Portland, I quickly realized that my summer wardrobe would not cut it. I immediately shopped around Portland thrift shops to find a new wardrobe. After a few years and some practice, I learned the difference between the yumminess of a cashmere sweater and the itchiness of others. But being a student, those cashmere pieces were far and few between. I learned how to take care of my knits to extend their life and how to shop at Portland resale shops to find those quality garments. And today I am going to chat about all things knitwear; what is what, how to care for them properly, and how to store them to avoid those damn moth holes.
Dre’s Knitwear Guide
The queen of queens: Cashmere. Made from goat’s hair, is long lasting, adapts to temperature, and is incredibly soft. Honestly, it was hard for me to wear anything other than cashmere when I discovered it. The price point can be higher than usual and that is where your local Portland consignment shop comes in! At HWGA, when fall intake begins, there is almost always a guarantee that you will find some cashmere whether that be a sweater, a cardigan, or even a dress. Cashmere heaven!
Another cozy option: Merino Wool. Made from sheep hair. It has a great shine and is very soft. It is great to retain heat while also being breathable. Another guarantee we have at the shop.
Lambswool: made from the hair of a 7 month old sheep that is soft and comfortable.
Sheep’s Wool: is extremely elastic and recovers to its natural shape quickly. It’s a great layering piece because of its breathability.
Acrylic: meant to imitate wool. Is a low maintenance fabric which makes it very popular due to its affordability.
Each culture has their own pattern of knits which leaves us with a plethora of choices. Here are some of the most common:
Ribbed - ridges on both sides and it offers a lot of stretch. They’re ideal for tops and cardigans because of its amount of elasticity.
Cable - resembles braided rope and is great for that winter chill.
Fair Isle - this technique creates patterns through a variety of stitches done in a way that makes it look seamless.
How to Care for Knitwear
This ensures the longevity of your knits. If hanging is unavoidable, buy cedar hangers because they help maintain shape as well as deter moths. Those buggers. You can also place lavender sachets in between layers of the folded clothes to also deter those pesky eaters and leave your clothes smelling and looking good.
Have you ever experienced switching out your closet from summer to winter, and when you start pulling out your sweaters begin to see holes that weren’t there before?
If you happen to see holes in your sweaters doesn’t mean that that’s the end of them. The art of mending is a wonderful solution to those pesky holes. Visible mending is an art form and the results can be truly beautiful. Here are some examples to gather some inspiration for your next mending projects.
When they start looking worn, grab an eclectic shaver and shave that sucker. This will help them look as good as new.
Tip: This is also a great way to revive those worn out corners on an upholstered couch.
Fill the tub with warm water, add mild laundry detergent, soak for 10 minutes, and gently press (not wring) when removing water.
Place in a mesh bag, add gentle laundry detergent, and make sure to set the machine on a hand wash cycle (making sure that the water is cold and there is low-no spin).
Dry Knitwear Flat
This is an effortless way to make sure your knitwear retains its shape. Stretch it out slightly, weigh down the edges as this helps keep its elasticity.
And that’s it friends! A guide to keeping your knits in tip-top shape. If you have any other advice on what you do to keep your knits looking good - drop them in the comment section!
Till next week,