4 Quick and Easy Tips for Keeping Your Items Looking Like New
Did you know that one of the oldest known woven garments is dated to be over 5,000 years old?! Now we are not promising your knit alpaca sweater or hat will last that long, but what we can promise is that with the right care, a little time, and a lot of love it could easily outlast your lifetime!
Here are 4 quick and easy things that you can do to keep your favorite sweater, hat, or mittens looking beautiful for years to come.
1) Do not hang your item
Natural fibers (especially alpaca, wool, cashmere, etc) are prone to sag with time. If you have ever hung up a sweater at the end of winter only to come back to it the next season to it being 3 inches longer, this is why! To prevent this store your items flat, either in a drawer or tote.
Now, if you absolutely must hang it up follow this method to prevent as much sagging as possible. Begin by folding your sweater in half.
Next, fold the arms of the sweater into the body so that they are stacked on top of each other.
Take your hanger and put your sweater into the middle of it.
The sweater should now drape over both sides of your hanger. Viola!
2) Make sure to clean your items before storing them for the season
Not only will this make sure your items are ready to go when you need them the next year, but it helps to prevent moths. Need a refresher on how to hand wash? Check out this post for a step by step tutorial.
And speaking of moths…
3) Store your items in cedar or cotton, and with lavender or cedar planks
Fiber moths can be extremely destructive, and very difficult to get rid of once you have them! They can ruin a garment in months if given the chance. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to prevent them in the first place, and I am the biggest cheerleader for prevention!! The moths do not like the strong scent of cedar or lavender, so these work as a great repellent for them. Storing your items in a cedar chest is a great solution. But if you don’t have one (or don’t have the space!) you can purchase a cedar box especially made for storing sweaters, or purchase cedar planks/rounds from your local big box store. I find these in the laundry area where you would purchase irons, ironing boards, etc. Moths also do not eat cotton, so storing your items in a cotton pillowcase or other cotton material can work.
Please do stay away from mothballs or other chemical means of preventing moths. These can oftentimes be toxic to children and animals, plus who wants their clothes to smell of mothballs!
Last words on the subject…if you suspect that you have a moth problem, first take out all your items and see if you can see any visible eggs or larvae. Remove these at once by washing all the garments. Next, vacuum the area and immediately clean out your vacuum (preferably outside if possible). Lastly place all your items in airtight storage bags. I suggest this just in case all the eggs were not removed it will help prevent any further spread. Lastly, if you are still having problems look into getting pheromone traps. These are usually a sticky paper that emits a scent only the male moths can detect and are attracted to it. Once they touch the sticky area, they can’t move. Removing the males from the population helps to reduce the ability to reproduce more.
4) Shave off any pills using a razor
Pilling is bound to happen on any well loved garment. From everyday normal wear to washing, they are pretty much unavoidable. To bring your item back to looking like new, lay it out flat and using one hand hold it straight gently moving a small disposable razor over the surface. There are also many specialty designed pilling tools around the internet to check out. Simply search sweater razor.
And there you have it! 4 simple tips to keeping your items looking like new.