Fall is right around the corner, and soon we will be bundling up in our sweaters to ward off the chill. I am a real sweater lover. I have stacks and stacks of them in every color, style, fiber, and weight. My personal preference is cashmere, as I can wear it against my sensitive skin. Wool, angora and mohair tend to irritate me, so I wear a layer in between. I also have a fabulous vintage beaded cardigan collection.
I will admit that one of my biggest pet peeves is the dry cleaning of sweaters! Please do not, I repeat, do not dry clean sweaters!
Dry cleaning leaves the fibers stiff and flat. The natural fibers were never meant to be chemically cleaned. When was the last time you saw a sheep, goat, or angora rabbit being run through a dry cleaning process? No; they are out in the elements. Water is certainly not going to hurt! In fact, a gentle hand washing in cool water and gentle cleanser will bring out the natural beauty of the fiber. It plumps and fluffs up the yarn and brings out incredible softness.
I air-dry the sweaters on special flat sweater dryers. These are good because you can shape and block the sweater before it dries. They are mesh, so both sides dry evenly without turning.
Vintage sweaters have always turned out well for me being hand-washed. Even delicate beaded sweaters flourish. I wash them all! In fact, I have a stack of sweaters waiting to be freshly washed for the cooler temps, so I must heed my own advice soon.
So even if you see the dreaded ‘Dry Clean Only’ label…ignore it. Tell ’em Marilyn said you could hand wash!
Get ready to wear those fabulously sexy sweaters, girls!