When talking about sustainable knitwear, I find one of the most important aspects is that of how to care for your knits, and how to store them. If you put in a little extra effort now, then your clothes, scarves, hats, and accessories, will stay in great condition for years to come! This in turn reduces clothing waste, and saves you money in the long run as well.
1. Washing Wool
Before you pop your winter clothes away, quite simply you need to make sure they are clean. There's nothing more disappointing than finding out your favourite knits have little moth holes! Wash your woollens either by hand, or on a low temperature/minimal spin setting on your washing machine, and use a special wool wash if you can. This will help keep the wool fresh and clear it of any moths and insect eggs that might have been hiding. I use Eucalan, which you can get here. It comes in both unscented and scented, so your knitwear can smell lovely and fresh too!
2. Deterring Moths and other Pesky Intruders
Prevention is key here as there are many ways to deter moths and insects which will eat their way through your woollens, leaving annoying little holes. One of the most effective (and in my opinion, loveliest) ways is to use lavender. Simply pop a bag of lavender in the same drawers as your knitwear and let it do it's thing. Before you do this though, check that there are no moth eggs hiding, as lavender won't kill them. However, moths hate the scent, and it will deter them for as long as the scent is strong. The K.Moods MothBusters are great for this, they're filled with a mixture of dried lavender and excess yarn, and are a perfect size to keep with knitwear and accessories. As well as lavender, cedar wood is also an excellent natural deterrent!
3. Wrap in Acid-free Tissue
Now, this is a step which is just an extra form of protection, but is not absolutely necessary if you don't have acid-free paper on hand (which is highly likely!). If you do, you can fold it around your knitwear, and lavender, and then keep the bundle in your cupboard or drawers. The paper creates a soft wrap that will contain the lavender (or other form of moth deterrent), and will again help keep the wool fresh. Only use acid-free paper though, as any other may damage your knitwear if kept in storage for long periods of time.
If you follow these steps, and put in a little extra care, then your knitwear will last longer and will be kept in excellent condition for many years.