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, fur, sequins, and beads add to a sweater's special look. Caring for these delicate knits requires special attention.

Purchasing Tips

Before purchasing a sweater, 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 are meant for less active wear.

  • Check the seams of knitted sweaters for unraveling and fraying, which may occur if the edges not bound properly.
  • If the sweater you wish to buy has trim on it, ask the shop about their return policy.
  • Many times the fabric will hold up to the rigours of life in general, but the trim is most often the weakest part.

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 most often best to lay them flat to dry, unless the label says it's safe to tumble-dry the sweater at low heat. Some sweaters are gentle-cycle washable and others may require dry cleaning. Avoid using alkaline-based detergents on woolens and other animal fibers.

  • If you have any doubts about care procedures, discuss it with us.
  • Tumble dry at low temperatures, if recommended on the care label. Otherwise, lay flat to dry.
  • Keep sweaters clean. Treat stains right away. When spills are blotted immediately and professionally removed, stains won't develop later.
  • If wool sweaters get wet, let them dry at room temperature away from heat, then brush.
  • Check knitted sweaters for unraveling and fraying, and secure any loose yarns.
  • 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.

Cleaning Problems

Different fabrics can present different challenges to cleaning sweaters. Dry cleaners are well versed in all the various styles and fibers. In most cases, your dry cleaner will get the job done with a minimum amount of fuss on your part.

However, sweaters and knit garments, depending on their fiber type, are susceptible to various problems, including stretching, shrinkage, pulls, and pilling, both from use and cleaning.

Some stretching on knit items should be expected as a normal circumstance of wear and care. 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 by washing or cleaning procedures.

If you have any questions about caring for your sweaters please get in touch.

Scott Townsend