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How to Care for a Wool Sweater

Written by Benjamin Antoni Andersen Published on October 24, 2020 in Essentials Designer and instigator of Red Hat Factory, constantly hungry for mountainous adventures.

A Red Hat Factory wool sweater is knit the old way with 100% wool, and is therefore in demand of a bit more care than your average cotton hoodie.

Like a nice pair of leather shoes needs their oil, our tailored hand knit sweater, the All Man’s Right, needs some love. These are general tips for most wool sweaters though, so feel free to use the guide for your own home knit sweater as well.

Nothing beats a hand knit wool sweater.

The most important points

  • Wash at 40° wool setting.
  • Don’t hand wash.
  • Don’t tumble dry.
  • Dry laying down.
  • It will require patching up.

But please continue reading.

Washing your wool sweater

My mother actually warned me not to hand wash my sweaters. The gentle lapping of the wool setting on the washing machine is better, since it repeats the same patterns back and forth without twisting the wool.

If your wool setting centrifuges it, don’t worry. The setting knows what it’s doing.

Drying your wool sweater

First of all: For God’s sake, do not tumble dry any wool! That turn it into something else entirely.

While that is obvious to a lot of you, the next advice is not equally intuitive.

I did the mistake that I hung one of my sweaters it up to dry. This resulted in a bad stretch. Wool sweaters have to dry laying flat. For example, spread it out across a wash stand.

Patching up a wool sweater

If you have some skill in knitting or in sowing you may patch the sweater up yourself. Otherwise we offer a patching service for buyers of our own All Man’s Right sweaters.

You’ll want to know a few things about tearing and patching.

How often do you need to patch it up?

This varies a lot from person to person, but I’ve found on my four wool sweaters I’ve needed about a patch every third year (on each sweater). The most important thing is to patch it up as soon as it gets a tear, before it starts unravelling.

Patches look like patches

Yes. We won’t be able to perfectly patch it up, so like a scar, it’s going ot get strong again, but the memory of the injury will be visible. This, in my opinion, is something positive. The lore of your sweater only grows. Also, the coloring of different batches of yarn differ slightly, so the patches may also have small color varieties. (Which in my opinion is totally epic).

Wool sweater with patch.
The patch on one of my wool sweaters’ elbow.

It think that is all you need to know to be ready to adopt a genuine hand knit wool sweater, and ensure a long and happy life for it.

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