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How to Properly Wash and Care for Men’s Sweaters

Introduction – Washing and Caring for Men’s Sweaters

The ability to properly wash and care for your sweater collection could very well add many years to the lifespan of each sweater you own. But there are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to properly caring for cotton and wool sweaters. We’ll take a look at the different kinds of sweaters and determine the best way to keep each of them looking great and living long.
daniel-craig-cardigan-sweater
Men’s Sweater Fabrics

The two most prevalent fabrics we see in sweater production these days are cotton and wool. There are many essential differences between these two fibers, and we’ll look at the two major fabrics that are used to produce sweaters and determine the best ways to care for them.

Cotton

Typically, the best time to wear a cotton sweater is in the spring, summer, or early fall, when it’s warm but too warm for a wool sweater. Cotton’s absorbency makes it very comfortable in warm weather.

With this in mind, it may be a great idea to invest in some cotton sweaters for the warmer months. Because of cotton’s durability it is able to be washed frequently, and should be considering the fact that cotton is not great when it comes to keeping its shape, and it will also wrinkle much easier than wool.

With this in mind, taking proper care of cottons by washing the frequently is a good thing to do. In fact, cotton becomes 30% when it’s wet, so you shouldn’t be afraid to throw your cottons in the wash.

Another great thing about cotton is that its molecular structure resists heat damage, so you’re able to iron your cottons frequently as well, keeping them looking fresh all the time. Of course, all sweaters are different, and their labels will reveal the best way to wash them, so make sure you always pay attention to what the label says.

Wool

Wool, although better in the winter months for its warmth, is not as tough as cotton, and must be cared for more carefully. Wool does keep its shape much better than cotton, and it doesn’t wrinkle as much, but when the time comes to care for them, there are things to watch out for.

Heat can very easily damage wool fibers, as can water and bleach, so putting wool sweaters in a washing machine is the last thing you want to do. The best way to treat wrinkles in wool is by using steam, and the best way to wash wool sweaters of stains or dirt is to either get them dry cleaned or hand wash them.
argyle sweater
Ways to Wash Men’s Sweaters

There are a few different ways to wash a sweater, but washing them properly is absolutely essential. The life of your sweater may very well depend on it, so if you want your sweater to continue to look good for years to come, pay close attention to the ways that you should care for them.

Dry Cleaning Your Sweater

Dry cleaning is nearly essential for wool or wool blends. Cotton can be dry cleaned, but it isn’t as necessary as with wool. Machine washing wool will damage the fabric and probably ruin your sweater.

The best way to preserve the color and texture of your wool sweaters is to get them dry cleaned. Hand washing is an option as well, but any stubborn stains should be taken to a dry cleaner.

As many know, dry cleaning you valuable clothing can be a scary process. Click here for a complete overview of how to treat your visit to the dry cleaners and how to ensure that you will not have any of your valuables lost or damaged.

Machine Washing Your Sweater

You can hand wash or machine wash most cotton or cotton blend sweaters (but read the label on the shirt just to make sure). If you’re machine washing a cotton sweater, make sure to do it in cold water. Also, you may want to keep it away from the dryer. Simply lay if flat on top of a dry towel until it is air-dried. You may need to iron as well.

Hand Washing Your Sweater

Some, not all, sweaters can be hand washed, and their labels will tell you whether they can or not. If you have a sweater that can be hand-washed, follow these steps:

1) Gently wash the sweater with cold water and a mild soap or shampoo, then rinse the soap off with the cold water. If there is excess soap in the sweater, refrain from twisting or wringing it out as that may compromise the shape of the sweater by stretching it out. Simply press the sweater gently to remove excess soap and water.

2) To help dry it some, take the wet sweater and lay it on a dry towel. Put the sweater into its proper shape gently as it’s laying on the towel and then roll the towel up with the sweater in it. Press the towel down to remove the excess water, then repeat this once more with a dry towel.

3) Lay the sweater on a flat surface on top of a dry towel until it’s air-dried.

argylevneck

Cashmere Sweater Care

Cashmere tends to be a “special” fabric, especially when it comes to sweaters, so it requires special treatment. It’s not your typical wool, so if you’re looking to wash your cashmere sweater, follow these steps:

1) Gently wash the sweater in warm water with a mild soap or shampoo. Gently press excess water and soap out of the sweater, never twist or wring as this may stretch the fabric out of shape.

2) Take the wet sweater and lay it on a dry towel. Put the sweater in its shape properly and roll the towel up. Once it is rolled up, press the towel to remove excess water, then repeat again with a dry towel.

3) Lay the sweater on a flat surface on top of a dry towel until it is air-dried.

4) Once it’s dry, you’ll want to delicately fold it, trying to avoid creating a center crease. Never hang a cashmere sweater because the fabric will stretch and lose its shape. Lay it flat nicely folded.

Proper Storage for Your Sweater

Sweaters, regardless of the fabric, should not be hung. Doing this will most likely cause them to stretch and lose their shape. You’ll want to fold them properly and store them on a flat surface, either in a drawer or on a closet shelf. You can also roll the sweaters which will help if you experience creases after folding them.

Conclusion

The sweater is a very important piece of clothing, so it should be treated as such. Wearing a sweater will do wonders for how you look, so taking care of your sweaters properly and frequently will keep them looking for for a long time.

They should be able to last a pretty long time, so making sure you take care of them may also save you a few bucks too!

 

 

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About Antonio

Antonio Centeno is President of ATailoredSuit.com and the founder of RealMenRealStyle.com. He has created over 700 articles & videos on men's style, blogs over at the Art of Manliness, and is the creator of the internet's best selling personal presentation course - A Man's Guide To Timeless Style. Antonio has studied clothing design in London, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. He is a former US Marine with an MBA from UT Austin and a BA from Cornell College. He loves to hear from old friends and make new ones.