Spring is upon us, hurray! Having put so much time, love and effort into making our favourite knitted and crocheted winter woollens, we now want to make sure to also care for and protect them before putting them away to sleep. This is why we’d like to share with you our best practices for seasonal storage today.
Preparation of the garments
First things first: Get together everything you will need to fully wash and block; steam-refresh and block; or as a bare minimum spray and steam, plus all the items you want to store. Don’t forget those hats, scarves, gloves and winter woollen boot socks.
Just in case you need a quick refresher on how to block, here is a whistle stop tour:
Soak your folded section pieces or finished item in a bowl of lukewarm water and a generous dollop of KnitIQ wool wash.
After 15 - 30 minutes remove and create your 'swiss roll' of garment and towels.
If the weather is being kind and you have outside space lay your blocking mats out in a drying spot. If the weather is misbehaving choose a spot indoors where the cat won't use it as a nest, the dog won't steal it to play, and big or little people won't trip over it.
Unwrap your ‘swiss roll’ and gently place your project on your KnitIQ Extra Thick Blocking Mats with Grids, pat it into shape and pin it to the desired measurements. If your garment is fairly thick, you may need to turn the item over after 12 hours or once the top is touch dry. If the yarn is very dense, insert a microfibre towel between the layers to speed up the drying process.
If your items only require a steam-refresh, spray them liberally with a diluted version of our KnitIQ Wool Wash before pinning out as before. Next, either use a hand-held steamer with a delicate guard or the steam setting on your iron: Without touching the yarn, very carefully steam both the front and back of the garment. Pay extra attention to areas such as underarms and necklines, because moths are drawn to human pheromones. Steaming is ideal for items only lightly worn or those unsuitable for full wet blocking, for example blankets.
For more detailed step-by-step instruction on the various blocking techniques, please browse through our articles.
This is where you collect all of your tools, including your KnitIQ Cotton Canvas Storage Bags, to protect your winter knits. You’ll also need acid-free tissue paper, your chosen form of moth repellent such as spray, cedar block or lavender sachets, and a wool comb for removing bobbles.
“What is that funny clear plastic thing“ you ask?
That is a valet aid for folding clothes and your secret weapon for smart storing. Sadly, most of us don’t have a butler no matter what BBC drama would have you believe. Now read on for how to fold, pack and store like a professional.
The Pictorial Process:
All of your items for storage are clean and fresh, not to mention bobble-free. Now here is how we prepare our items for bed:
Step 1: Lay out your garment on a flat surface at a height comfortable to work at. Then lay a sheet of acid-free tissue on top. We like to lightly spray the tissue with our favourite clothes care spray too. Then lay your clothes valet on top.
Steps 2 - 4: Fold in the body of the garment around the edges of your clothes valet so that the shoulders meet. Then fold the sleeves back on themselves, as depicted in the first picture. Next, fold the bottom of the garment up towards the centre of the clothes valet and over the top of the sleeves as in the second picture. Finally, fold your sleeves over the folded base of your garment. It’s a bit like Origami, but we promise it’s worth it. Because by folding the sleeves over the folded base you prevent sharp creases developing in the wool whilst it is stored.
Step 5: Now slide out the clothes valet without disturbing your carefully folded garment and fold the top down over the body.
Step 6: Layer your carefully folded garments into your KnitIQ storage bag with a sheet of acid-free tissue paper between each one. On top of your final garment, lay your chosen anti moth fragranced object. Here we have used a cedarwood heart… together with three DK weight sweaters, two scarves, three hats and two sets of mittens.
Remember when we said to wash all of your accessories at the same time? The reason is because just like when packing a suitcase, you can roll them up and pack around the sides of the folded garments. This way not an inch of storage space is wasted. An excellent use of space indeed.
Step 7: Zip up your carefully packed bag and store either under a bed frame or on a wardrobe shelf.
A useful tip to enable you to remember what is where is to tie a luggage label with the contents written on to the handle for ease of reference.
Now cometh the season for these items to be awoken from their slumbers they will be clean and fresh, bobble- and more importantly moth hole free.
Don’t forget to let us know your storage tips on our social media pages. We love to chat.