Sweaters Questions

April 22, 2011 7:03 pm


“What is the proper way to fold a sweater?”

A. Since hanging sweaters can cause them to lose shape or stretch, the best way to store sweaters is to fold and place on a flat surface, such as a drawer or closet shelf. To avoid wrinkles or bulges, you’ll want to be sure to fold them properly.

Watch our clothing care expert, Arthur Anton, Jr., demonstrate the right way to fold a sweater in our quick (49 sec.) video.

“What do I need to know about buying and caring for cashmere sweaters?”

A. According to the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute, which tests garments to assure that labeling meets industry standards, the popularization of cashmere in the last three years has put a glut of substandard cashmere on the market. For example, a white cashmere sweater should not yellow as it is not bleached and no brighteners are added. Better grades of white cashmere are the yarn’s natural color, a softer shade of white that’s somewhere between white and ecru. Purchase your sweaters from a reputable company, look for a brand you trust, check the label to ensure it is 100% cashmere, and ask about the testing policies for verifying the label information.

Here are some tips to make your purchase last longer:

  • Allow your deodorant to dry completely before slipping into your sweater.
  • Don’t spray yourself with perfume while wearing cashmere because it stains the fiber.
  • Extra yarn usually comes with a good cashmere purchase and it should be saved for reweaving needs, if the sweater is torn or has holes.
  • If the sweater is stained, have it dry cleaned as soon as possible.
  • Fold sweaters with tissue and store flat in a drawer or on a closet shelf.
“A couple of my thin fabric sweaters have stretched out of shape. Is this due to the way they are cleaned?”

A. In the cleaning business, this is known as “the classic Jersey knit problem.” The weight of the garment can cause it to stretch just by being worn or hung up. This tendency to stretch can be aggravated by the action of the cleaning and finishing process. At Anton’s, we take the precaution of placing these knits in a mesh bag for cleaning and dry them at a reduced temperature. We make sure there’s no pressure or stress on a garment during the finishing process. This extra care produces very pleasing results.

“It’s the time of year for sweaters. What should I know about taking care of them?”

A. Because there are so many different sweater fibers––acrylic, angora, camel’s hair/cashmere/mohair, chenille, and wool––it’s important to understand the care for each one. Here are a few care tips:

  • Pay close attention to the care label. Don’t assume anything. Acrylic, for example, can look like wool. The care of each can be quite different.
  • Keep sweaters clean. Treat stains immediately. When spills are blotted immediately and professionally removed, stains are not as likely to develop.
  • Give your sweater a good shake after each wearing to remove fluff and dust.
  • Brush your sweaters after each wearing. This helps revive the nap, if there is one, and removes any surface soil.
  • If a sweater gets wet (and they do!), let it dry at room temperature away from the heat and sunlight that can cause fading and then brush with the nap.
  • If a button falls off or a small hole appears, repair the sweater quickly. The hole may get bigger if left unattended.
  • Carefully remove any fuzz balls, also called “pills,” that seem to grow on a sweater. These are caused by simple wear and rubbing. To remove the pills, carefully use a sweater shaver, depilling comb or even the hook side of Velcro. Avoid pulling them off as this can further damage the fibers.
  • Fold sweaters with tissue and store flat in a drawer or on a closet shelf. Avoid hanging sweaters from the shoulders because weight distorts a sweater’s shape.
  • If washable, make a pattern of knit sweaters before washing by tracing the outline of the sweater on a large piece of paper. This will help block it back to its original size and shape.