From One Mother To Another

As busy Mums, laundry is one more thing on a long list of daily admin. Let me reassure you that while our garments are delicate and do need a little bit of love, caring for them isn’t too timely or complicated.

Here’s some comprehensive advice on looking after your knitwear from a mother who’s Little One wear’s hers almost every day!

Regularity of Washing

My first recommendation would be to limit the number of washes where possible. As our cardigans are a top layer, and not worn directly on the skin, they require less regular washing. Being made of entirely natural fibres, our knits do not retain odours like a synthetic garment, so giving them a bit of an air between wears is often all they need.

That being said…. We know that with babies and toddlers, comes spills and all sorts of messy adventures so washing is of course an inevitability.

Small Stains and Spot Cleans

Being wool, the natural lanolin in the wool is a great built-in repellent. Where cotton knits will absorb liquid, most liquids will bead off woolen garments.

For a quick spot clean – a little milk spill or similar – just try plain cold water to start with. Rinse the affected area with cool water, dab with a clean cloth to remove excess water and lie flat in the shade to dry.

For tougher spots, I have successfully used Sard wonder soap (I think this is gentler than a spray) or a little bit of wool detergent diluted in water. I suggest wetting just the marked area with cold water, soaping up a clean cloth (not the garment directly) and blotting the mark with this gently, then rinsing with cold water. Lie flat, out of direct heat or sunlight to dry. Depending on the stain, you may need to wash the whole garment to fully remove it, if so, read on…

Full Garment Wash

Please resist the temptation to pop your knitwear in the washing machine. Handwashing sounds like hard work but for one little cardigan or pair of booties it is actually really quick and really simple.

Fill your sink or a bucket with cool water and add the recommended amount of a liquid wool detergent (I like to use Martha Stewart’s Lavender Wool Wash or the Ecostore Wool/Delicate detergent)

Fully submerge the garment and swish it around a little bit. The natural oils in the wool will mean it takes a few seconds to absorb the water fully. Do not leave to soak.

Empty the sink, fill with more clean cool water and swirl the garment around gently to rinse out the soapy bits. Drain the water again and gently press the garment against the edge of the sink to squeeze out the excess water. Be careful not to twist or wring it as this can stretch it out of shape.

Place the garment on a soft towel and roll it up to get rid of a bit more water (again please don’t squeeze or twist) then lie the garment flat on clean dry towel somewhere ventilated and out of direct sunlight to dry. I usually place a couple of towels flat across the top of an airing rack and lie our knitwear on top.

In Short...

Limit the regularity of washes to maintain shape

Handwash only

Use wool grade/delicate detergent

Only wash in cool water (up to 30 degrees absolute maximum- I prefer cooler)

Do not wring or twist garment

Lie flat in shade to dry

Do not machine wash

Do not tumble dry

Do not soak

Cool iron

Air between wears to reduce need to clean