The winter chill has well and truly set in in our little corner of the world, and while it means different things for people in different parts of Australia (have you ever seen a Queensland freezing on a wintry 20C day?), you’re sure to have brought out the winter woolies to insulate yourself against the cold.
There are a few things that set winter clothing apart for summer clothing. For one, winter clothing is usually much more expensive, so you really want a good jumper, coat, or cardigan to last you a few seasons. Secondly, the fabrics they’re made from have different care needs to your light, spring and summer cottons and linens that are very much basic wash-and-wear fabrics.
So, if you want your winter wardrobe to last and continue looking and feeling its best, follow these tips to make sure you’re taking care of them properly.
Wool is one of the best materials for keeping you snug and warm, but it has some extra needs to keep it in shape.
1. Use a lint roller after each wear to remove surface dirt and oils.
2. Hang coats on a sturdy coat hanger when not in use. Don’t be tempted to hang them on hooks by the tag, as this can stretch the neck and shoulder areas out of shape.
3. For stains, pour a little soda water onto the stain and blot (no rubbing!) with a cloth or paper towel.
4. Hand-wash wool items with lukewarm water and a mild detergent (specifically for wool). Gently squeeze out excess water and lay flat to dry.
5. Hang pants, skirts, and other woollens for a day between wears to allow creases to fall out naturally.
6. Get your woollen coats dry-cleaned at the beginning and the end of each season.
Cashmere is a beautifully soft, luxurious, and delicate fabric to wear, and it’s expensive too! Follow these tips to make sure you can wear it again next winter.
1. Wash cashmere sparingly (only around twice a season if you can), and do it in cold water with either a wool wash, or gentle baby shampoo.
2. Pick it up in a bundle (to avoid stretching it out), and dry it using either a salad spinner, or lay flat and press dry with towels.
3. Clean cashmere before storing at the end of winter to avoid moths. Store in tissue paper, not dry-cleaning bags.
Puffer jackets are very “in” this winter, and it’s important to take care of them properly to avoid the down getting clumpy.
1. Wash down jackets and vests in a front-loading washing machine, on the permanent press cycle. Avoid using too much detergent as this can build up in the down.
2. Stop the machine mid-wash and let it soak for an hour if your jacket or vest is excessively dirty.
3. Run an extra rinse cycle to ensure all detergent is removed.
4. Tumble dry on low-heat with a couple of tennis balls to break up the clumps. No matter how long it takes, don’t be tempted to turn up the heat.