Looking after your Hand Knitted and Crocheted Items.
Looking after your hand knitted and crocheted items is really important. With proper care these little treasures can last for a long time. Improper storing and washing are the most usual causes of damage to knitted items and frequently result in the item being ruined. The following advice can greatly prolong the life of the item.
When not used, knitted items need to be cleaned and kept in closed plastic bags to ensure that they’re free and clean of dust. Never store them in bags that contain zippers or buttons that may cause damage. To avoid unwanted insects, items may be stored with cedar balls or dried herbs like lavender and sage. Essential oils are an organic way of repelling them.
If available, always make sure to check the laundering instructions. There is a variety of washable yarns available, such as acrylics, superwash wool, and cotton, which can normally be washed on a gentle cycle in the washing machine in cold or warm water. Most wool products should only be washed by hand, in cool water, due to the fact that the agitation from a washing machine may cause items to shrink. Some wools like the superwash wool have been specifically manufactured to prevent felting.
Laundry detergents are not a good idea because they are too harsh to apply on natural fibres. It is best to use a liquid soap or a detergent-free cleaner. Make sure that your soap doesn’t contain optical brighteners, which can fade yarn colours and by no means use chlorine bleach.
After washing, rinse the item in cool water. Do not twist or wring out. It is best to roll it up in a towel for a few minutes and then lay it on a new towel to dry. It is not good to hang the item because it can easily stretch. In case you don’t know what yarn was used for your item, it’s always safe to just dry-clean it.