Dry cleaning may be convenient, but the chemicals can strip the natural oils from a sweater's yarn, making it lose loft and luster, according to Lindsey Wieber Boyd and Gwen Whiting, founders of The Laundress. They suggest turning a sweater inside out (to clean the fabric where sweat and odors buildup on the inside closest to your body), and washing by hand.
Those little fuzz balls? It's called "pilling," and it usually happens to knits of lesser quality. But they can be easily removed with a sweater stone, which pulls the little guys from the threads, leaving a smooth finish.
You likely have a sweater that you'd wear more if it weren't so damn scratchy. Some wool is itchier than others, while some take on a stiff texture after repeated wears and cleaning. But relief can be found in your shower—hair conditioner is a proven softener.
Hanging a sweater will stretch it out. Always fold. And whether you're packing them or stacking a few in your closet, a commercial folding board makes quick and uniform stacks.
The workhorses of your cold weather wardrobe, your sweaters will most certainly take a beating over the next few months. Treat them right and take care of them now, and they'll feel a lot better and last a whole lot longer. Herewith, everything you need to know.