Weekend walks through crisp autumn leaves, hot cups of tea and cosy moments with loved ones – they just wouldn't be the same without your favourite woolly jumper. Timeless and effective against the chill, knitwear makes the cooler months extra comfy. From chunky cardigans to luxurious cashmere sweaters, we’ve put together this guide in order to give you all of the information you need on styles and fabrics. We've also included tips on how you can care for your knitwear.
Made from goat's hair, cashmere is softer than sheep's wool and is used to create elegant, fine knits. It’s not only long-lasting but has great adaptability to temperature; it's spun from delicate hairs which will keep you warm in winter and cool over summer.
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Different clans and cultures have created their own styles of knitting over the centuries, leaving you spoilt for choice. Here are some of the most popular options:
Featuring ridges on both sides of the fabric created through alternating rows of knit and purl stitches, rib knits offer lots of stretch. They're perfect for creating cosy tops and cardigans and feature an ideal amount of elasticity.
Derived from Ireland’s ancient knitting traditions, its trademark cable design remains a wardrobe staple to this day. Resembling braided ropes, cable knit sweaters are comforting against the winter chill.
Originating off the west coast of Ireland, this type of knit is usually off-white in colour and features symmetrical patterns in homage to cable knits. This textured knitting is also used to make socks and hats so you can combat winter in a matching set.
When it comes to looking stylish in the coldest months, a chunky knit jumper is the answer. It’s not only warm but versatile – pair a dark-coloured design with a blazer for a wintery off-duty outfit.
Keep your knitwear looking its best with a few care habits:
Focus on the storage
When it comes to caring for your knitwear, storage plays an important role. Refrain from placing your cashmere and wool jumpers on a hanger and choose to fold instead. This will help prevent any unnecessary stretching and misshaping.
Don’t be afraid to shave your knits
It's hard to stop knitwear bobbling, but you can keep it looking good as new using an electric bobble remover. It acts in the same way as a razor and literally shaves your knitwear, leaving it smooth and revived.
Use a comb
You can also remove any bobbles from your knits before washing with a cashmere comb. Simply use the brush daily and gently rub down the item to remove any excess lint that has formed.
Dry knitwear flat
An effortless way to ensure your knitted sweater or cardigan’s shape remains intact is to dry it flat after washing. Stretch it out slightly and weigh down the edges to help it keep its original elasticity.
Worried about shrinking your woollies? Here are a few tips to help your clothes last longer:
How to hand wash knitwear
- Fill your tub with warm water and add a mild liquid laundry detergent.
- Add the jumpers and soak for ten minutes.
- Remove as much excess water as possible. Gently press rather than wring out when rinsing, as this will prevent any misshaping.
- Once clean, dry the pieces flat out to prevent any stretching.
How to machine wash knitwear
- Place your knits into a mesh bag so you can protect the wool from the drum.
- Load into the machine and add a gentle laundry detergent.
- Set your washing machine to a hand wash cycle or a wool cycle. This will ensure it washes at a cooler temperature and reduce the speed of the spin cycle so as to be gentle with your knitwear.
How to care for cashmere
The best thing about investing in luxury cashmere is its endurance as a winter wardrobe staple. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to hand wash the knit rather than strictly dry cleaning. Simply hand wash your cashmere in cold water using a gentle, mild detergent. Wool wash or baby shampoo also works wonders as it has low-alkaline. Keep your wash times to a maximum of a few minutes taking care to remove it from the water so as to make sure they don’t fade.
Properly storing your knitted jumpers can add on multiple years to their life. The ideal storage spot is cool and dry. We recommend cedar hangers to be used if hanging is your only option. They're specifically designed for woollen clothing and not only help maintain the shape, but they actually act as a moth repellent, leaving your woollen sweaters and cardigans safe from nibbles.
Moth balls and lavender sachets will also deter moths. Lavender has the bonus of leaving your clothes with a lovely scent, so it's a win-win. Simply tuck a ball or a sachet into jumper pockets or between the layers of your folded clothes.
The joy of slipping in to your beloved cosy knitwear during the cooler months can't be beaten. You'll be able to keep yours looking and feeling lovely for longer with our useful guide – though with all of this talk of soft cashmere and chunky cable knit, we can't blame you for having half an eye on your next purchase now, too!