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Caring for your winter knits

Customers often ask us how to care for their Elk woollen items. Woollen knits, can be quite tricky to care for, but if you treat your knitwear right, they will last you for many winters to come. Here are some of our frequently asked questions and some of our top tips on how to care for your knitwear.

How should I wash my woollen and wool blended items?

For best results, woollen items should not be machine-washed. We recommend to always hand wash your knitwear. Ideally, you should rinse your garment first in cool to lukewarm water. Then simply add some detergent and allow to soak for 10 minutes. It’s always important to use a mild wool detergent and if you wish, an approved wool fabric softener. Once you have soaked your garment in the detergent, thoroughly rinse with cold water.

Can I dry my knitwear in a tumble dryer?

There are some treatments that can applied to wool to enable it to withstand heat, however these treatments can lose their effectiveness over time. Woollen fibres can constrict drastically with heat, so we strongly recommend to keep your woollies away from the dryer.

Can I line dry my knitwear?

Ideally, your woollen items should be dried flat. Wet wool can stretch and lose its shape very easily, so it’s best to avoid the washing line. We recommend drying your knitwear flat over a towel. A handy hint is to gently roll your knit inside a dry towel to help expel excess water. Then gently re-shape your knit and let dry on a new towel away from heaters or the sun. It may take up to 8 hours to dry this way, but we find it delivers the best results and helps prolong your garment’s lifespan.

Why should I re-shape the garment after washing?

Because of the natural texture and stretch of many yarns, it can easily lose its shape after wash and wear. To help keep your knits looking as new, it’s important to gently re-shape them after washing. We recommend to first turn your garment inside out, and then gently tug the fabric back into shape, and lay flat to dry. Once dry, the knit will maintain its integrity and shape until your next wash - provided it’s stored correctly.

Can I hang my Elk knitwear?

Wool is a naturally heavy fibre and when hung, it can stretch the shape out a little and increase your garments length. Woollens should be kept neatly folded or rolled, and stored in a shelf or draw. When it’s time to pop your knits away during the warmer months, keep them in an airtight container to deter those pesky garment moths! Popping a touch of natural eucalyptus oil on your woollen garments before storing will also help deter moths.

My knitted jumper is pilling. What can I do to prevent this?

Well there isn’t anything that will stop knitwear from pilling completely. Pilling is just a natural result of the fibres coming together at a rapid rate to form your garment’s thread. Some of the fibres can be shorter than others so they can lift to the surface and gather into the little balls you see. But don’t despair! There are some things you can do to try and prevent the severity of the pilling.
When washing your knit, always turn the garment inside out and avoid using harsh detergents that can dry out the natural fibres. When pilling occurs, you can gently remove them by hand with a de-pilling comb or you can choose to use an electric de-piller that will gently shear off any fluff balls.

We hope this answers some of your questions. Remember to always read the care label of your garment before washing. If you are still unsure or would like further information, contact our team at

15 June 2015


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