There are three ways to launder your knitwear: hand wash, machine wash, or dry clean. But it is worth taking time to select the best way to care for those precious hand knits. 

 

Hand-knitted garments and blankets are not as tolerant of repeated washing as machine-made clothes and knitwear. They are more likely to stretch, shrink, or distort due to the weight of water and active agitation of a washing machine. Items made of 100% wool can be prone to felting if not treated carefully.

It is a good idea to keep one of the ball bands or labels from your project, so you can refer to the washing instructions and avoid any laundering disasters. If you are not sure whether a yarn or hand-knitted item is machine-washable, do not be tempted to take the risk. You could end up shrinking or felting something beyond recognition.

The most clever and sensible knitters will test wash a decent sized swatch before embarking on their project. This preparatory work may seem time consuming, but it will give you really useful advance knowledge of how to treat your finished item. It will allow you to build any tendency to shrink into your sizing, give you a clear idea of how colourfast the yarn is, and a sense of how much post-wash wet-stretch your project will have. This small amount of effort at the start of a project can save a lot of painful disappointment later on.

 

How to hand wash

  1.  - Use specialist wool wash.
  2.  - Soak your garment in tepid water for 10 minutes.
  3.  - Gently squeeze out excess water.
  4.  - Lay flat to dry while gently pulling the garment into shape.

 

How to machine wash

  1.  - Use a pillowcase to protect your garment.
  2.  - Use a hand wash cycle or gentle cycle.
  3.  - Lay flat to dry while gently pulling the garment into shape.

 

Washing Symbols
Symbol Description
The washtub symbol indicates if your garment is suitable for washing. The recommended washing temperature is shown by the number inside the washtub. The amount of agitation is specified by bars underneath.
A washtub with no bar will use the maximum action with a normal spin. The number in the tub is the maximum temperature, for example 40°.
A washtub with a single bar (one bar) indicates a mild washing process. The machine will wash with a medium machine action and mild spin. The number in the tub is the maximum temperature, for example 40°.
A washtub with double bars (two bars) indicates a very mild washing process and spin. The number in the tub is the maximum temperature, for example 40°.
Hand-wash only as your clothes are too delicate to machine wash. The temperature is to be a maximum of 40°.
Do not wash.
Do not use bleach.
Only oxygen/non-chlorine bleach allowed.
Any bleaching agent allowed.
A box with a circle inside represents tumble-drying.
Tumble-dry possible at normal temperature.
Tumble-dry possible at low heat.
Do not tumble dry.
Dry flat.
Drip dry.
Dry hanging.
Hot iron. Maximum temperature 200°C.
Warm iron. Maximum temperature 150°C.
Cool iron. Maximum temperature 110°C.
Do not iron.
The garment may be professionally dry-cleaned. The P represents perchloroethylene solvent.
The garment may be professionally dry-cleaned. The P represents perchloroethylene solvent. The single bar indicates a milder process.
The garment may be professionally dry-cleaned. The F represents hydrocarbon solvents, which are part of a more environmentally-friendly and mild process.
The garment may be professionally dry-cleaned. The F represents hydrocarbon solvents, which are part of a more environmentally-friendly and mild process. The single bar indicates a milder process.
Do not dry clean.