How to Dry Sweaters on a Drying Rack

How to Dry Sweaters on a Drying Rack

Few people seem to have the patience anymore to care for sweaters, but if you take the time to wash and dry them properly, you will be richly rewarded. By following these basic tenets of sweater care, you'll extend the life of your favorite cotton or woolly wonder exponentially.

1 Acquire a drying rack. The ideal racks for drying and reshaping sweaters are stackable, made of plastic mesh, and have the surface area of a card table. They are inexpensive, fold and store easily, and can be found at any housewares store. Airflow is optimal, so allow space for sweaters to be stretched out to their full length and width.

2 Avoid racks with bars. Racks with bars are great for underwear and socks, cotton items to be ironed later, and synthetics like nylon and polyester. When you lay sweaters across the bars, however, lumps and bumps will form.

3 Always lay flat. First, water and wood don't mix. You run the risk of ruining nice hangers by dampening them. The rule of thumb: Never hang a wet sweater on any kind of hanger. The weight of the wet fibers will stretch the garment as it dries, leaving the shoulders stretched out. Not only will the sweater look odd on your body, but you will permanently damage the fibers.

REJUVENATE SWEATER CUFFS, NECKLINES, OR WAISTBANDS

Don't send your hard-worn, favorite sweater to the charity shop without giving this refresher a try.

1. Attack only one problem at a time. Choose cuffs, neckline, or waistband.

2. Pour boiling water into a large, heatproof bowl set on a secure surface (a heatproof kitchen counter, covered with a damp dish towel to anchor the bowl will do).

3. Dampen the cuffs (or neckline or waistband) of your cotton, alpaca, cashmere, wool, or angora sweater. Use your fingers to pinch together the fibers and to reshape as desired.

4. Use a blow dryer on the cuffs (or neckline or waistband) as you shape them.

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