Knit fabrics are fundamentally different from woven ones, and that means they need to be cared for differently.
Before we get into my three golden rules, it's important to understand how exactly knits are different. Unlike a conventional woven fabric, which has static threads going crosswise and lengthwise, knit fabric are made up of a single yarn looped around itself. Think of someone knitting by hand- there's only one ball of yarn, right?
This fact- that knits are essentially just a bunch of loops, give knits unique properties. The main ons is their malleability, which has to be taken into account when caring for your knit items.
Here are my 3 Golden Rules for Properly Caring for Your Knits:
Always Fold, Never Hang
Under no circumstances should you store your knits hanging. It doesn't matter if we're talking about a dress, skirt, sweater or ballgown. Hanging knit fabrics will cause them to stretch and grow. Remember that knits have no stabilizing threads, this gives them the stretch we love but we don't get to turn that off when it comes time to store them.
Aside from making the garment too long, allowing a knit to hang and stretch will also make it less opaque then it was originally. We can't make something from nothing so what's happening when a knit gets stretched out is the spaces between the stitches are getting bigger. This causes the garment to become less opaque.
Also, knit fabrics are very easily damaged by hangers. They're easily impressionable in the shoulders, leaving those awkward nubs and skirt hangers will leave marks.
For the love of all that is cute and cozy, never hang your knits.
Lay Flat to Dry
The lack of stabilizing threads means that if you put a knit in a turbulent situation- like a dryer for example, they'll become misshapen. My general rule for knits is ot machine wash cold and lay flat to dry.
Even though its not exactly a calm environment, it's fine for most knits to go in the washing machine because when you lay them flat to dry you can re-block them into their proper shape. Once they're fully dry they will stay that way.
Don't Clip Snags
Unlike on woven fabric, where clipping the loop resulting from a snag is usually fine, you never want to clip a snag on a knit fabric. Because knits are made up of one yarn looped over itself, clipping a loop will start the unraveling process and the hole will always get bigger and bigger until the item is unwearable.
Instead, simply poke the loop resulting from a sang through to the back of the fabric. This will keep the chain intact and you won't be able to see any sign of damage on the front of the fabric.
There you have it, three rules for making sure your knits last longer and keep well so you can wear them for many years to come. If you're looking to try a beautiful knit dress that's basically one giant cozy hug, start with the super popular Snuggle Dress. It doesn't disappoint.