How to care for your knitwear
Whether its pilling, shrinking, or just putting it through the wash, keeping your knitwear clean and soft is definitely more challenging that your average piece of clothing. The first step is to invest in good quality knitwear.
"Pilling is an issue with all knitwear but some more than others," Penny Ashby, a fourth generation wool grower and founder of Lady Kate knitwear, tells marie claire Australia. "Poor quality knits tend to pill more because manufacturers use short (i.e. cheaper) lengths of wool in their yarn. If you buy a good quality wool jumper, most of the loose fibres will break off in the wash before they turn into pills." However, pilling happens with even the best quality knits, so when that happens, she recommends an electric lint shaver.
As for keeping your cosy knit jumpers clean, always use a wool / gentle cycle on your machine (if the tag says its machine washable), and always cold water. Using warm or hot water and regular detergent is "the quickest way to turn a soft cosy knit into felt", says Ashby. Instead, she recommends choosing a milder one like Ms Brown or Bondi Wash.
Always dry your knits flat and out of direct sunlight, as hanging them will cause knits to stretch and direct sun will scorch wet wool. And when you're not wearing them — especially in summer — store your knits folded in a cotton or calico bag, and use lavender scent to help protect them against moths.
It might be more work to keep your knits soft and fresh, but looking after our clothes is the best way to curate a sustainable wardrobe.
12 Knitwear Brands To Shop In Australia
Melbourne-based label Elka Collective creates pieces that are beautifully constructed with a focus on luxurious natural fabrics. Designed with an easy-to-wear Australian aesthetic in mind, their knits are timeless and are sure to be treasured for decades.
Zulu & Zephyr
While homegrown label Zulu & Zephyr gained a cult following for its cool and effortless swimwear, they have also gained popularity for their uber-chic knitwear sets (you've no doubt seen these on your feed). Founded by sister duo Candice and Karla Rose in 2012, the brand continues its quintessential coastal aesthetic, creating pieces that last for years to come.
Jac + Jack
There's a reason Jac + Jack is one of Australia's most trusted labels, creating pieces that fit with style and ease into any wardrobe. Forever rooted in the relaxed sensibility of Australia, the unique appeal of the brand's designs lie in its commitment to clothes that feel good, a welcome trait when searching for the perfect knit.
Friend Of Audrey
With Audrey Hepburn as their inspiration, it's no surprise Friend of Audrey has built the loyal following it has today. Creating collections that are timeless—both in style and quality—each piece features clean lines, contemporary tailoring and silhouettes not bound by changing trends.
The Frankie Shop
The Frankie Shop has become the style set’s go-to for wardrobe essentials that now only look luxe but are well-crafted, and the brand’s knits are no exception.
The Stockholm-based brand is built on “distinct design cues, meticulous craftsmanship, and methodic repetition” making for the perfect modern uniform, starting with it’s classic knitwear.
With a reputation for providing the perfect blend of comfort and style, Trenery offers up elevated basics that are designed with modern and timeless simplicity in mind.
Made from super-soft Australian Merino wool, each of Wolfgang Scout’s pieces is made by hand by an artisan in India in a process that is sustainable from start to finish and take over 40 hours to construct.
This New Zealand-based brand sources local, natural and sustainable mohair and wool yarns for their beautiful hand-made knits.
Striving to create “timeless and classic wardrobe essentials” the Australian label, which is stocked exclusively at THE ICONIC, has become known for expensive looking basics, particularly when it comes to knitwear.
COS has established a reputation for its elevated and on-trend essentials. Offering affordable knits crafted only the best materials, from 100% cashmere to organic cotton, they’re pieces you know will last you many winters to come.
Lady Kate founder Penny Ashby, a fourth-generation woolgrower, grew up surrounded by luxurious merino wool—taking that knowledge into her label, with every piece being made from natural, renewable merino wool grown locally.