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Garment Care


All sweaters made with animal fiber will pill at some point, it is in their nature, and is especially true for brand new sweater. Garments made from natural fibers and yarns are made up of non-continuous, shorter fibers, as opposed to synthetic fibers such as polyester or acrylic which can be made infinitely long and therefore pill less. Pilling is not synonymous with poor quality. Pilling will decrease over time.

A pill remover or sweater comb does an incredible job at removing naturally occurring pilling on your sweater and will restore it to like-new condition.

The James Street team personally use this electric pill remover and lint comb
Tip: Your local dry cleaner will de-pill your sweater when they clean your item. 


Washing and Caring for Your Knitwear

Knitwear rarely needs to be washed after each wear, especially knits that are used as layers with (e.g) a t-shirt underneath. Knitwear made with animal fibers naturally repel or wick away moisture and dirt. You can spot clean or air out your knits, or take your sweater to the dry cleaner.

Follow the Care Label Exactly and Carefully. Always check the care label on the inside of your garment for specific care instructions. While we mainly recommend Dry Cleaning as the best method to care for your knits, some (only if mentioned on the label) can be washed on a delicate cycle. If the label does not mention a cycle or machine, the garment is to be hand washed only.

Hand wash any sweater gently by placing the sweater in wool detergent mixed water. Absolutely no agitation or rubbing of the garment should occur!

All at-home washing should be done with cold water to prevent shrinking and fiber damage. To protect the outer surface and any delicate details, turn your knitwear inside out before washing.

Never use bleach on knitwear, as it will weaken the fibers and cause color loss and discoloration.


Dry Cleaning

There is a general misconception of dry cleaning being a luxury or expensive service. Knitwear made with animal fibers rarely need to be washed on a daily basis or even after each use. Knitwear made with animal fibers naturally repel or wick away moisture and dirt. Most dry cleaners charge $6-10 per sweater for dry cleaning and de-pill your sweater in the process. Ask your local dry cleaner about their cost for knitwear.
Tip: They may have a deal for cleaning more than one sweater.


Examples of Care Labels and Differentiating Between Them

Hand Wash Cold (NO machine) vs. Cold Cycle or Machine Wash Cold (can be machine washed).

If there is no mention of a "cycle" on the care label, the garment should not be placed in a washing machine.

If the label mentions cycle or machine wash, please use a delicate or gentle cycle with no to low spin to avoid agitation (rubbing) and felting* (thickening of the fabric). *Applies to animal fibers.  



Lay flat: After washing, gently reshape the knitwear to its original form and lay it flat on a clean, dry towel. Avoid hanging any knitted garmetns as this can cause the fabric to stretch out.

When drying outside, avoid direct sunlight, which can fade colors and damage the fibers. If possible, dry your knitwear indoors on a flat surface. 


Steaming or Ironing Your Knit

Many knits can be steamed or gently ironed to be pulled back into shape. Use the wool setting on your iron to prevent any burning or felting of your garment. Hold the iron just above the sweater, release the steam, then gently press with your iron to get the sweater back into shape. Do not agitate your sweater by rubbing or moving your iron too roughly back and forth over your garment as this can cause fiber breakage and potential felting (thickening) of the garment. Steaming and ironing to reshape your garment takes a little bit of time—Please be patient and gentle with your knitwear.


Storing Your Knits

Have you noticed your knitwear getting nubs on the shoulder from hanging on a hanger?

Thicker, chunkier knits need to be folded away. Hanging your chunky, heavy sweaters will cause them to "grow", morphing the length and shape of your knitwear. We recommend folding your sweater and placing them flat on a shelf or in a zipped garment bag with a cedar block. Folding away your knits keep them healthy; the cedar block keeps the natural-fiber-loving moths away. 

Use cedar blocks or lavender sachets in your storage area to deter moths, which can damage knitwear.

Delicate or thinner knits can be hung on a ticker wooden hanger to avoid the "nubs" from occurring. If any hanger points show up, place your garment flat on an ironing board or towel and steam iron the spot to reshape the shoulder. 


*Disclaimer: These are recommendations only on how to care for and extend the longevity of your knitwear. If you are nervous or unsure of how to care for your garment, dry cleaning is the best option. Please note, that we do not reimburse for or replace sweaters that have been improperly cared for, improperly stored, improperly washed, or garments that have shrunken, stretched, or felted. We are not personally washing or caring for your item, and cannot oversee the care of each garment once it has left our hands. We will, of course, take care of any garment showing up with defects upon their delivery to the customer within a reasonable timeframe of delivery.