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How to care for your natural fibre knitwear...

A little while ago we shared a knitwear care guide with our email subscribers - but as we get lots of questions on how to care for our knitwear, we've decided to share it here too!

Knitwear can last a long time, and is actually fairly easy to care for with a few products and a little time! The best part is that unless it's soiled, you can actually get away without washing it very often, as Wool is naturally self cleaning!

Read on to find out what to do when you do need to clean your knitwear....

Many yarns today carry washing instructions that say they can be machine washed. However we feel that when so much time, love and care has been put into handknitting our garments, when we are asked for washing advice for handknits, we always recommend hand-washing.

Sometimes people are put off buying handwash clothing, but it’s really quite easy to care for them. If you buy one of our handknits it will most likely be 100% natural fibres. This means that nature has already done most of the hard work for you in keeping the garment clean.

Knitwear made from natural fibres doesn’t need washing very often at all. Of course, if it’s stained with food, or in the case of baby knits, usually milk, then it needs to be washed. Other than this, knitwear can be worn many times before it requires a wash. This is because it contains a substance called lanolin, which works like a dirt repellant and self cleaning agent on the fibres.

So here’s how we wash our own handknits;

1. Fill the sink or washing up bowl with the correct dilution of washing detergent and cool water.

2. Submerge the garment in the water, and ensure the water has soaked into all parts of the garment.

3. Leave to soak for about 10 minutes.

4. If your detergent is a “no-rinse” detergent, just gently squeeze the water from the garment. If a rinse is required, then just empty the bowl, refill with just cool water, submerge the garment again and ensure all suds are loosened from the garment, before squeezing the water out again.

5. Lay the garment it flat on a dry towel. It may be a little misshapen at this stage!thats OK, we can deal with this later!

6. Roll the garment up inside the towel, like a Swiss Roll,then “squish” the roll gently to remove some more water.

7. Unroll the towel, and now you can put right any misshaping of the garment. What you do with the garment at this stage can make a huge difference to the life of your garment, it can be gently pulled back into shape, legs and sleeves pulled out, collars uncurled etc.

8. Then just leave to dry on the towel in a warm place, away from the direct sunlight (if you leave natural fibres in the sun they will yellow).

And that’s it! Once it’s dry you can give the garment some TLC, gently picking off bobbles, or pulling through any woven-in ends that are now poking out on the garment.

We don’t like to recommend any one particular detergent, we’ve tried pretty much all of those on the market, and there isn’t really a great deal of difference, and you will have different requirements anyway, for example whether you have sensitive skin or whether you’d prefer to have fragranced or fragrance-free.

For a visual guide, check out our reel on Instagram @littlefigstore!

- Michelle x


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