Avoiding Stretching and Distortion: Proper Storage for Knitwear

Follow guidelines on washing methods, strategic folding techniques, organizational systems, pest protections and consistent inspections that respect the delicate textures of knitwear.

February 8, 2024
min read
Subscribe to our blog and get a FREE Red Cedar Sachet.
a piece of cedar wood on top of cedar chippings
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Shipping rates apply. £1.95 UK, £4.95 Other
In this article:

Knit fabrics require informed care preserving their structure avoiding distortions compromising integrity over years treasuring favorites. Follow specialist storage fundamentals allowing beloved knits displaying enduring elasticity through respectful treatment holding shapes season after season no matter months resting folded away.

Preparing Your Knitwear for Storage

Before packing knits out of season, preliminary steps preempt preservation pitfalls down the road:

Strategic Washing

Clean knits before storage eliminating unseen inset eggs and shedding loose fibers lowering pilling with handling.

  • Hand wash delicate cashmere and merino pieces with wool soap avoiding felting machine risk.
  • Use mesh garment bags protecting snag-prone textures from abrasions when machine washing sturdier knits.
  • Reshape while damp post-blocking on flat towels preventing stretch distortion then fully air dry.

Inspection and Repair

Examine closely under bright light seeking existing insect holes, loose buttons or torn seams needing reinforcement patches before storage. Address issues proactively now or destruction continues unseen while packed away allowing exponentially increasing casualties discovering next season. Ounce prevention worth pound cure!

Prepare properly ensuring knitwear enters storage clean, conditioned and secure from threatening variables compromised over time sealed away this season.

How to Wash Wool Knitwear

Fragile wool and cashmere protein fibers require gentler handling protecting scale structure avoiding collected friction damaging delicate sweaters over repeat washings. But skipping cleaning also risks yellow discoloration and moth egg transference. Balance both through:

Hand Wash Method

  1. Dissolve pure soap flakes or hydrogen peroxide wool wash sparingly in large basin filled with lukewarm soft water. Too much harsh detergent degrades wool over time.
  2. Submerge garment loosely allowing water penetrate fibers. Soak 20 minutes gently encouraging dirt release from embedded cuticle layers.
  3. Drain gray water without agitating or wringing sweaters preserving structure. Refill tub and gently press suds out protecting shape.
  4. Absorb excess moisture by rolling knits in towels before blocking flat pre-storage.

Machine Wash Care

When hand washing proves impractical for large textured knit blankets and heavy cable sweaters, choose machine washable blends with nylon or poly reinforcement preventing excessive shrinkage. Take precautions:

  • Wash inside out securing zippers protecting exterior fibers
  • Use mesh garment bags preventing friction and snags
  • Select cold water delicate cycle without bleach or fabric softener
  • Dry flat avoiding heat damaging delicate synthetic fibers

Evaluate tradeoffs handcrafting specialized care preserving irreplaceable wardrobe heirlooms versus utilitarian functionality machine washing provides simplified through busy lifestyles. Both nurture knits their own way.

Proper Storage for Your Knits

Ideal knitwear storage evenly preserves dimensional stability avoiding distortion from moisture, light exposure, folding indentations and insect threats. Assemble optimal environment:

Breathable Bin

Allow airflow circulation preventing humidity buildup with mold risks using canvas, mesh or cotton storage allowing ventilation unlike airtight plastic trapping condensation from temperature fluxes.

Cedar Scenting

Line bins with cedar blocks or cedar chipping sachets deterring moths seeking protein fibers to lay larvae. Bonus - aromatic wood also absorbs ambient moisture regulating equilibrium preventing mustiness.

Dark Conditions

Store knitwear away from sunlight preventing fading vulnerable dyes over prolonged exposure through windows or closet lights.

Room Temperature

Avoid drastic heat swings from vents or appliances overdrying fibers or storing near exterior walls dropping temperature inversely from outdoor shifts.

While vigilantly guarding against varied dangers from light, moisture and moths tax knitwear over long storage, breathable darkness anchored at room temperature nurtures stability keeping weaves and stitches preserved as treasured heirlooms surviving through seasons resting ahead.

knitwear hanging in the closet

Folding vs Hanging

Storing knits folded conserves space but risks imprinting creases challenging reversing later. Compare pros and cons choosing best options for precious pieces.

Folded Pros

  • Stacks utilizing vertical real estate instead wasting room to hang space
  • Allows organizing multiples categorically into labeled divider bins

Folded Cons

  • Heavy items flatten lightweight pieces stored below
  • Imprints stubborn creases on textured fabrics
  • Limit accessibility unstacking to access items daily

Hanging Pros

  • Weight remains distributed preventing compression distortion
  • No fold lines embed across texture
  • Easy to glance through organized options

Hanging Cons

  • Consumes greater footprint than folding
  • Potential hanger indentation along shoulder seams if too thin

Evaluate lifestyle logistics and knitwear composition guiding ideal storage solutions. Texture, space and frequency of use dictate decision thoughtfully weighing wardrobe reality with preservation priorities.

Why Drawers Are Best for Knitwear

When selecting the ideal storage solutions for precious knitwear, sturdy drawers outperform other options by protecting fabrics from lighting, pests, dust and distortion over time.

Gentle Dark Spaces

Drawers block light exposure that can fade dyes and degrade fibers inside clothing over many dormant months tucked away unseen. Dark, enclosed spaces preserve knits best.

Pest Protection

The set-in sides, solid frames and closure fronts prevent moths and carpet beetles from accessing clothing inside drawers. Bins lack similar full closure security at the top edges, bottoms or sides.

Dust Defense

Smooth non-porous wood sides shelter clothing from ambient dust and dirt settling whereas free standing shelves or canvas bins allow particulate invasion from the sides over time which can grind tiny holes.

Compression Resilience

Reinforced drawer side and bottom construction provides firm foundations to support vertical storage weight without buckling over seasons. Items store neatly folded or stacked without permanent creases or pile crushing compared to sagging free standing shelving.

For shielding irreplaceable knitwear optimally across threats compromising fabric integrity over inactive storage terms, sturdy secure drawers deliver unparalleled dimensional stability and protection benefits keeping textures intact longer.

wool knitwear ready for storage

Thoughtful Organization Prevents Knitwear Distortion

Before packing knitwear away for lengthy seasonal storage, take time to carefully organize contents to prevent permanent creases or misshaping imprinting fabrics.

Categorize by Weight

Group lightweight knits together, and heavier bulkier items separately. Never place heavy cardigans or coats on top of delicate cashmere tops where weight can crush intricate stitches.

Arrange by Shape/Size

Keep dimensions consistent - fold all sweaters in same direction and stacked evenly. Place taller bulkier pieces on bottom layers as foundation, then build up layers of lighter items on top.

Tissue Paper Layers

Separate categories and individual pieces using layers of acid-free tissue paper to prevent dyes from bleeding into one another. This also avoids pilling from direct contact friction over time stacked.

Store Flat & Smooth

Carefully fold or roll each knit, smoothing out all wrinkles to prevent embedded creases becoming permanent. Before sealing storage bins, inspect layers to ensure even flat stacking throughout.

Though tedious, devoted care while packing away knitwear pays off in longtime clothing protection and preservation keeping treasured fabrics looking pristine for many years between wearings.

Protect With Natural Moth Repellents

Guarding irreplaceable knitwear inside enclosed spaces risks inviting imaginary insects ingesting favorite sweaters silently while sealed shut away forgetting function over form periodically over years until discovers devastation moths manifest shredding holes throughout previously pristine stitching:

Cedar Lining

Natural aromatic red cedar pieces release potent essential oil components repelling moths through undetectable aroma vapor action. Research shows cedar chest panels effectively deter moths better than strong smelling balls scattering little protection comparatively likely encouraging egg harborage.

Herbal Sachets

Small breathable drawstring pouches filled containing lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus and lemon balm botanicals nurtures anti moth properties through volatile vaporous molecule dispersion evenly around knits without direct balled tablet contact risking dye discoloration bleaching favorite brights boldness dramatically.

Regular Inspections Safeguard Knits

Valued knitwear packed away out of sight risks unseen insect damage from moths feeding on fibers while tucked away in storage. Make a habit of regular inspections to catch issues early before they escalate into irreparable destruction over time.

Biannual Assessments

Commit to checking stored knitwear at least twice yearly - once pre-storage before packing items away at the change of seasons, and again midway at the 6 month mark. Physically examine each piece.

Signs to Look For:

  • Tiny holes chewed into the fabric, sometimes with little hardened pellets of frass dropping out
  • Trails of thread damage along seams and edges
  • Visible crawling larvae clustered on surfaces
  • Silk cocoons tucked into crevices

Quarantine and Treat

If infestations are spotted on any garments, immediately isolate them in a sealed bag for safe disposal or freezing treatment. Inspection vigilance catches issues early enough to rescue the rest of the untouched items.

Consistent checks upholding inspection commitments protects Irreplaceable knitwear from horrific surprises down the road. An ounce of effort preserves pounds worth of precious sweaters long term through diligent monitoring ensuring fabrics remain pest free, safe for next year’s wearing adventures.

Conclusion: Preserve Knits Through Conscientious Care

With informed understanding of knitwear's unique care requirements, we can now safeguard these irreplaceable textiles using specialized handling practices that respect delicate fabrics.

The storage fundamentals covered – washing methods, folding techniques, organizational systems, pest protections and consistent inspections – aim to steward knits through seasons of hibernation without comprising structural integrity or aesthetic qualities.

Committing to these gentle practices grants our treasured knitwear the gift of longevity far beyond what off-the-rack garments experience, keeping stitches and textures intact for years beyond tags touting.

Cherish the craftsmanship and memories woven into every threadbare treasure by mending any existing flaws now before storage. Then promise checks ensuring pieces remain in peak condition while they rest between adventures wearing favorites again.

Dedicate mindful care reflecting true apparel value beyond price tags. Follow fundamental guidelines revealed here allowing beloved knitwear displaying enduring elasticity and emerging next season revived as if yesterday wrapped cozy waiting awakened anew. Start future legacy today.

Back to blog
Share this article

About Wood Blocks

Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge to curate a wardrobe that not only reflects your personal style but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. From exploring the wonders of natural mothballs and sustainable garment storage to diving deep into DIY solutions and green living, we're here to guide you on a journey towards a more eco-conscious, stylish, and intentional lifestyle.

Other articles you might like

Shop Natural Red Cedar Mothballs

Pick your bundle based on your home size. You can always add extra blocks, rings and sachets.