Caring for your Knitwear

We all love a snuggly wool jumper or cardigan in the winter. I have a bit of a weakness for Vintage Mohair Cardigans - I have one in almost every colour (my stash above!). When I lived in the cold and rainy North of England my mohair collection got a lot more wear than it does in 'Sunny Sydney' and one of the things I've found is the moisture and humidity in the air can be something of a challenge with keeping your clothes stored over a season or two.

I've been taking advantage of this glorious autumn weather to give my knits a little tlc. To get rid of the musty storage smell you can't beat fresh air and sunshine on a warm and windy day. Unfortunately I must have put one jumper away slightly damp as that awful musty smell was really noticeable. The worst offending articles were thrown in the washing machine on a gentle wash. My front loading machine has a really good delicate wool cycle but I wouldn't recommend machine washing unless you know and trust your machine well - it can go horribly wrong! Handwash all the way if you're not sure. 

A couple of jumpers had the odd splash and spill (cup of tea anyone?) so I spot washed with a gentle soap and water - a little massaging will bring off most small stains but I do use Vanish spray on anything more stubborn. Be aware that this can lift off colour on delicate items - apparently you can make a more eco solution with Bicarbonate of Soda which I'l going to give a try next time.

I often use a handy bottle of 'Febreze' to revitalise musty clothing but I've recently been a bit more attentive to the ingredients of some of these household cleaning products and noticed there were some quite icky chemicals in there. It's also produced by Procter and Gamble who are not cruelty free and I try to avoid their products if I can.

So I set upon the quest of creating my own 'chemical free' fabric revitaliser. It's quite tricky - there's a reason why there are a number of chemicals in the formula and the science behind it is quite interesting. After a bit of research and my knowledge of a few basics, I combined a couple of things I found and came up with this great recipe - it actually works really well especially when combined with fresh air and sunshine.

1 Cup Warm Water (boiled and denatured if possible)
1/4 Cup of Witch Hazel ( I use natural organic)
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Essential Oil Blend:
5 Drops Thyme (antibacterial & insect repellant)
7 Drops Lavender (antifungal and antimicrobial)
10 Drops Rose Geranium (antifungal, antimicrobial and uplifting scent)
3 Drops Peach & 5 Drops Poison Fragrance Oils (for the genuine smell of the 90's)

The science behind this simple formula is that the bicarbonate can penetrate into the fibres of the fabric, the Witch Hazel is a natural alcohol which cleanses and purifies and the essential oils offer some molecular purification as well as a pleasant scent. It smells a little like coca cola sweets and has a distinctive nostalgic scent which I felt quite fitting. 

New Stock - Available at Round She Goes

It worked so well I spruced up some of my new stock ready for Round She Goes on June 1st (click for more info) I'm going to have a whole rail of snuggly jumpers and cardies ready to show off! 

This week I also found the time to photograph and upload a few to the store - see Winter Warmers