How to choose a sweater that will last

August 27, 2020 5:56 am


If you want to keep your sweaters from season to season, then consider buying those made from a natural yarn, reducing pilling/bobbling and linting.

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Manmade vs natural

Many sweaters are made from acrylic, acrylic blends or polyester as they are easy to care for but are not as comfortable to wear, being less breathable. A good quality natural wool such as an Aran sweater is a great choice.

The lower the number of blends in a sweater will increase the quality and reduce the above mentioned problems. A 100% cashmere sweater may be first on the list but the price might be a little eye-watering. A timeless classic that will keep you warm season after season is a must have and perhaps a sweater such as one from might fit the bill.

Quality check

When considering a patterned sweater, make sure the detail of the pattern is good; nothing wonky or uneven, especially at the seams – the best quality sweaters such as Aran sweaters ensure the pattern lines up correctly.

You should also check the quality of the seams – the cuffs and bottom should be smooth and follow the shape of the sweater. Avoid sweaters which have puckered seams or those with a rolled bottom edge. If your choice has buttons – are they all attached firmly? If a zip, check for puckering – they need to lie flat on the sweater. Pockets are another area to cast a critical eye over – they need to sit flat and don’t look stretched or flop open.

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Once you have a good quality sweater, you will want to keep them looking their best. Always fold and place in a drawer, never hang them up; this will ensure they keep their shape as they won’t stretch or gain ‘lumps’ where they have been on the hanger. Hand wash or use the wool cycle on your washing machine and always dry flat to keep the shape and reduce pilling and most importantly, shrinkage.

To store your sweaters for the next season, wash and dry carefully and store folded in box if you don’t have sufficient drawer space. To keep moths at bay, especially on wool and other natural fibres, add some natural moth repellent such as lavender or sandalwood.

Look after your sweaters and they will reward you by being part of your wardrobe for many years.