Essential Tips for Caring for Knitted Clothes

Essential Tips for Caring for Knitted Clothes

How to Care for Knitted Clothes: Tips and Guidelines

Taking care of your knitted clothes is essential to ensure they last for years to come. Knitted garments are delicate and require special attention to maintain their shape, color, and overall quality. Whether you have a favorite sweater, scarf, or hat, following a few simple tips and guidelines can help extend the life of your beloved knits.

First and foremost, when it comes to washing knitted clothes, it’s important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Be sure to check the label for specific washing instructions, such as whether the garment should be hand-washed or machine-washed, the recommended water temperature, and whether it can be tumble dried or if it should be laid flat to dry. By following these instructions, you can prevent unnecessary damage and preserve the integrity of your knitted clothes.

It’s also advisable to use a gentle detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics when washing your knits. Harsh detergents can strip away the natural oils in the fibers, leading to shrinkage and loss of shape. Look for detergents that are free from harsh chemicals and additives that can cause irritation or damage to your garments.

When it comes to drying your knitted clothes, it’s best to avoid hanging them on a clothesline or using a tumble dryer, as this can cause them to stretch or lose their shape. Instead, lay them flat on a clean, dry towel or a mesh drying rack. Gently reshape the garment while it’s still damp to help it retain its original shape. Avoid wringing or twisting your knits, as this can damage the fibers and lead to distortion.

Lastly, proper storage is key to keeping your knitted clothes in pristine condition. Fold them neatly and store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and exposure to moisture. If you have moths or other pests in your area, consider using mothballs or cedar blocks to deter them and protect your garments from damage.

By following these simple tips and guidelines, you can ensure that your knitted clothes remain in excellent condition and continue to bring you warmth and style for years to come.


Proper washing is essential for maintaining the quality and prolonging the life of knitted clothes. However, it is important to handle them with care to avoid damaging the delicate fibers and causing them to shrink or stretch. Follow these guidelines to wash your knitted clothes effectively:

  • Read the care label: Always check the care label attached to the garment for specific washing instructions. This will give you important information about the recommended water temperature, washing machine settings, and whether hand-washing or machine-washing is suitable.
  • Hand-wash when necessary: If the care label advises hand-washing, fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a gentle detergent. Gently swirl the garment in the soapy water for a few minutes, paying attention to any stained or soiled areas. Rinse the garment in cool water until the water runs clear.
  • Machine-wash with care: For machine-washable knitted clothes, select a gentle or delicate cycle with cold or lukewarm water. Use a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics. To prevent tangling and snagging, place the garment in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before placing it in the machine.
  • Avoid using fabric softeners: Fabric softeners can leave a residue on knitted clothes, which can make them lose their shape and absorb odors more easily. Instead, opt for a fabric conditioner specially formulated for delicate fabrics or use a natural alternative like white vinegar during the rinse cycle.
  • Reshape and lay flat to dry: After washing, gently reshape the garment by stretching and smoothing it with your hands. Avoid wringing or squeezing it to remove excess water, as this can damage the fibers. Lay the garment flat on a clean, absorbent towel or drying rack to air dry. Avoid hanging knitted clothes, as this can cause them to stretch and lose their shape.
  • Store clean and dry: Make sure the knitted clothes are completely dry before storing them. Moisture can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, which can damage the fibers. Avoid storing them in plastic bags, as this can trap moisture and cause the fibers to become musty. Instead, fold them neatly and store them in a cool, dry place.

By following these washing guidelines, you can keep your knitted clothes in excellent condition, ensuring their longevity and enjoyment for years to come.


Properly drying your knitted clothes is essential to maintain their shape and prevent stretching or shrinking. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • After washing, gently reshape the garment by laying it flat on a clean towel. Smooth out any wrinkles and align the seams and edges.
  • Avoid hanging knitted clothes to dry as they can stretch under their own weight and lose their shape.
  • If you don’t have a flat surface available, consider using a drying rack or mesh screen to support the garment.
  • Never wring or twist knitted clothes to remove excess water as this can damage the fibers and cause them to lose their elasticity.
  • Instead, gently press the garment between layers of a clean towel to absorb the excess moisture. Repeat with dry towels until most of the water is absorbed.
  • Avoid exposing knitted clothes to direct sunlight for prolonged periods as this can fade the colors.
  • Instead, place the garment in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat sources to air dry. Ensure proper air circulation to prevent any musty odors.
  • If needed, you can gently pat or reshape the garment while it’s drying to help it maintain its original shape.

By following these drying guidelines, you can ensure that your knitted clothes stay in great condition and last for a long time.


Proper storage of knitted clothes is crucial to maintain their shape and quality. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Cleanliness: Always make sure your knitted clothes are clean before storing them. Dirty clothes can attract moths and other pests that can damage the fabric.
  • Fold, Don’t Hang: Knitted clothes are best stored folded rather than hung. Hanging can stretch the fabric and cause it to lose its shape over time.
  • Use Acid-Free Tissue Paper: When folding your knitted clothes, place acid-free tissue paper between the folds to prevent friction and minimize the risk of creases.
  • Avoid Sunlight: Direct sunlight can fade the colors of your knitted clothes. Store them in a dark, cool place to prevent any discoloration.
  • Avoid Moisture: Excessive moisture can promote the growth of mold and mildew. Ensure that the storage area is dry and well-ventilated to prevent any damage to your knitted clothes.
  • Protect from Moths: Moths can be a common problem for knitted clothes. To protect your garments, use cedar balls, lavender sachets, or moth repellent products in your storage area.
  • Store Separately: Avoid storing your knitted clothes with items that have zippers, hooks, or any sharp edges. These can snag or damage the fabric.
  • Check Regularly: Periodically check your stored knitted clothes for any signs of damage, pests, or moisture. Early detection can help prevent further damage.

By following these storage guidelines, you can ensure that your knitted clothes remain in good condition and last longer.

Dealing with Pilling

Pilling is a common issue with knitted clothes, but it can be easily managed with proper care. Pilling is the formation of small balls or pills on the surface of the fabric, which can make the garment look worn and old. Here are some tips and guidelines for dealing with pilling:

  • Use a fabric shaver: A fabric shaver is a small handheld device with a rotating blade that can remove pills from the fabric. Gently run the fabric shaver over the affected areas to remove the pills. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Try using a pumice stone: If you don’t have a fabric shaver, you can try using a pumice stone. Rub the pumice stone gently over the fabric in a circular motion to remove the pills. Make sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Hand wash delicate knits: Hand washing delicate knits can help prevent pilling. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the garment in the water and then rinse thoroughly. Avoid wringing or stretching the garment.
  • Avoid wearing knitted clothes with rough surfaces: Rough surfaces, such as Velcro or rough textured fabrics, can cause friction and increase the likelihood of pilling. Be mindful of what you wear with your knitted clothes to reduce pilling.
  • Store knitted clothes properly: When storing your knitted clothes, fold them instead of hanging to prevent stretching. Avoid storing them in humid areas or in direct sunlight, as moisture and sunlight can weaken the fabric and increase pilling.
  • Follow the care instructions: Always check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure proper care for your knitted clothes. Different fabrics and knitted items may require specific care, such as gentle machine washing or dry cleaning.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can effectively deal with pilling and keep your knitted clothes looking fresh and new for a longer time.

Removing Stains

Knitted clothes can easily get stained, but with the right approach, you can remove most stains without causing any damage to the fabric. Here are some tips to help you remove common stains from your knitted clothes:

  • Act quickly: The faster you address a stain, the easier it will be to remove. As soon as you notice a stain, try to remove it promptly to avoid it setting into the fabric.
  • Blot, don’t rub: When dealing with liquid stains, blot the area gently with a clean cloth or paper towel. Rubbing can spread the stain and damage the fibers of the knitted fabric.
  • Pre-treat: For tougher stains, pre-treat the affected area before washing. You can use a mild stain remover or a mixture of water and dish soap. Apply the solution to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
  • Test the cleaning product: Before using any stain remover or cleaning product on your knitted clothes, test it on a hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage to the fabric.
  • Hand wash: Knitted clothes are often delicate, so it’s best to hand wash them rather than using a washing machine. Follow the care instructions on the garment’s label and use a mild detergent specially formulated for delicate fabrics.
  • Avoid hot water: Hot water can shrink or damage knitted fabrics, so always use lukewarm or cold water when washing stained clothes. Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue.
  • Drying: Gently squeeze out excess water from the knitted garment, taking care not to twist or wring it. Lay it flat on a clean, dry towel and reshape it to its original size. Avoid hanging knitted clothes to dry as this can cause them to stretch or lose their shape.
  • Professional cleaning: If you’re uncertain about the best way to remove a stain or if the stain persists, it’s advisable to seek professional cleaning services. Professional cleaners have the expertise to handle delicate fabrics and can effectively remove stubborn stains without causing damage.

By following these guidelines, you can keep your knitted clothes looking their best and ensure they last for years to come.

Ironing and Steaming

Ironing and steaming are two common methods to remove wrinkles and creases from knitted clothes. However, before you begin, it is important to check the care instructions on the item’s label. Some knitted fabrics may be sensitive to heat and require special care.


1. Set your iron to the appropriate temperature for the fabric. Knitted clothes made from natural materials like wool or cotton typically require a lower heat setting.

2. Place a clean cloth or garment inside out over the knitted item to prevent direct contact with the iron.

3. Gently press the iron on the cloth, moving it in a circular motion to remove wrinkles. Avoid stretching the fabric.

4. If the knitted garment has ribbed cuffs or collars, iron them by rolling a towel or cloth underneath and running the iron carefully over them.


1. Fill a steamer with water and heat it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Hang the knitted garment on a clothes hanger or lay it on a flat surface, such as an ironing board.

3. Hold the steamer a few inches away from the fabric and gently move it up and down, allowing the steam to penetrate the fibers and relax the wrinkles.

4. For stubborn wrinkles, gently pull the fabric taut and run the steamer along the wrinkle to help smooth it out.

Remember to always test a small, inconspicuous area of the garment before ironing or steaming the entire item. If the knitted fabric is particularly delicate or prone to stretching, it may be advisable to only steam it, as ironing can sometimes flatten the texture. By following these tips, you can keep your knitted clothes looking their best and prolong their lifespan.



Knitted clothes are prone to wear and tear over time. To ensure the longevity of your beloved knits, it is important to address any repairs promptly. Here are some tips and guidelines for repairing knitted clothes:

  • Identify the problem: Before you begin any repairs, carefully examine the garment to identify the specific areas that need attention. Look for holes, loose threads, or weakened seams.
  • Choose the right tools: Having the appropriate tools on hand will make the repair process easier. You’ll need a yarn needle, knitting needles, stitch markers, scissors, and matching yarn or thread.
  • Repair small holes: Small holes can be fixed by using a yarn needle to weave the surrounding stitches together. Carefully secure the thread at the back of the fabric to prevent unraveling.
  • Mend large holes or tears: For larger holes, you may need to knit a patch to reinforce the damaged area. Use matching yarn and knitting needles to recreate the pattern, or consider finding a similar yarn to use as a patch.
  • Reinforce weakened seams: If seams are coming apart or becoming weak, you can use a yarn needle and matching yarn to reinforce them. Follow the original seam line and sew over it with small, tight stitches.
  • Replace missing buttons: Knit garments often have buttons, and if any are missing, it is important to replace them. Find buttons that match in size, color, and style to maintain the overall aesthetic of the garment.
  • Consult a professional: If you are unsure about how to repair a specific issue or feel overwhelmed, it may be best to consult a professional knitter or tailor. They will have the expertise to address more complicated repairs or delicate knitted fabrics.

Remember to be gentle when repairing knitted clothes, as they can be fragile. With proper care and regular maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your knitted garments and continue to enjoy them for years to come.

Long-Term Care

Proper long-term care is essential to keep your knitted clothes in good condition for many years. Here are some tips to help you care for your knits:

  1. Store them properly: When not in use, fold your knitted clothes neatly and store them in a cool, dry place. Avoid hanging knits, as this can cause them to stretch out of shape. Consider using acid-free tissue paper to prevent any color transfer or damage.
  2. Prevent moth damage: Moths and other insects can cause significant damage to knitted items. To prevent moth damage, store your knits in airtight containers or use moth repellents such as lavender sachets or cedar balls.
  3. Rotate your wardrobe: To prevent excessive wear and tear on your knitted clothes, rotate your wardrobe. This means not wearing the same knitwear piece every day, allowing them to rest and recover between wears.
  4. Avoid direct sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading and damage to your knits. If storing your knits in clear containers, make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight.
  5. Regularly inspect for damage: Check your knits regularly for any signs of damage, such as loose threads or holes. If you notice any damage, repair it promptly to prevent further unraveling or worsening of the damage.

If you follow these long-term care tips, your knitted clothes will stay in excellent condition for many years to come.


What is the best way to wash knitted clothes?

The best way to wash knitted clothes is to hand wash them in cold water with a mild detergent. Avoid twisting or wringing the garment, and instead gently squeeze out the excess water. Lay the garment flat to dry, preferably on a clean towel.

Can I put knitted clothes in the washing machine?

While it is generally not recommended to put knitted clothes in the washing machine, some may be machine washable. Always check the care label on the garment for specific instructions. If machine washing is allowed, place the garment in a mesh laundry bag to protect it and use a gentle cycle with cold water.

How do I remove pilling from knitted clothes?

To remove pilling from knitted clothes, you can use a fabric shaver or a sweater stone. Gently glide the fabric shaver or sweater stone over the surface of the garment to remove the pills. Avoid applying too much pressure to prevent damaging the fabric. Afterward, you can use a lint roller to pick up any remaining fibers.

Can I hang knitted clothes to dry?

It is not recommended to hang knitted clothes to dry as this can cause them to stretch out of shape. Hanging the garments can also create unsightly hanger marks. It’s best to lay knitted clothes flat to dry on a clean towel or a drying rack. This will help them maintain their original shape and prevent any stretching.


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