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Caring for St. John Knits: from purchasing to storage

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Purchasing

Altering

  • Altering knits is generally more expensive than fabric garments.
  • Save the offcuts for future reknitting or reweaving.
  • Call Knitwear Doctor at 800-888-3459 for knit alterations and repairs www.knitweardoctor.com

Wearing

  • Knits are comfortable, breathable, hydroscopic, wrinkle resistant.
  • Exercise care when removing. Do not overstretch.

Cleaning

  • Understand the pros and cons of the 3 primary dry cleaning fluids: perchloroethylene (aka perc), synthetic petroleum and siloxane.
  • Understand the difference between water-based and oil-based stains and their impact on the cleaning process.
  • Inform your cleaner of any dry, invisible sugar stains (if known).
  • Entrust your fine garments to a specialty cleaner who prespots every garment (and does not post-spot or no-spot).
  • Entrust your whites, creams, and pastels to a specialty cleaner who guarantees that his dry cleaning fluid is odorless and crystal clear.
  • Inform your cleaner if you are cleaning one piece of a multi-piece white, cream or pastel ensemble.
  • St John interior view 2Entrust your colors to a specialty cleaner who guarantees that his dry cleaning fluid is non-dye-stripping and will never fade your colors.
  • Entrust your fine garments to a specialty cleaner who guarantees that your trims (paillettes, rhinestones, etc.) will not melt, deluster or peel off.
  • Entrust your fine garments to a specialty cleaner who guarantees that he does not add or inject moisture, sizing or fragrance into his dry cleaning machine(s).

Finishing/blocking

  • Never press a knit.
  • Understand the concept of knit blocking.
  • Entrust your knits and cotton/spandex items to a cleaner who routinely blocks every knit or cotton/spandex item.
  • Insist on physical proof of blocking (i.e., proof that they actually completed the pre-cleaning measuring).
  • Blocking can reshape a knit - typically increase by one to one and a half sizes or reduce by a half size.

Restoration

  • Solid whites, creams and pastels can be brightened. You must restore all pieces in an ensemble to ensure consistence of color.
  • Update by changing the size of shoulder pads.

Reknitting/reweaving

Call us Knitwear Doctor at 800-888-3459

  • Darker pieces reknit or reweave well.
  • Storage - seasonal

    • Always clean garments before storing at the end of the season. This is your only protection against moths and their larvae.
    • Never store garments that are damp or moist.
    • Never store garments in plastic or vinyl bags or in polypropylene boxes.
    • For best results, fold knit sweaters and shells flat in breathable, chemically inert storage bags. If hanging, use padded hangers.
    • For best results, hang knit blazers on contoured plastic hangers in breathable, chemically inert storage bags. Avoid straight wood or metal hangers.
    • For best results, hang knit slacks over a strut hanger. Avoid hanging lengthwise using a metal or plastic hanger with hard 1/3 inch clips. If hanging, use clip hanger with soft 1 inch wide clips.
    • Do not overcrowd your closet.

    Storage - long term

    • Always clean garments before storing at the end of the season. This is your only protection against moths and their larvae.
    • Avoid direct physical contact with cedar. Cedar is highly acidic and offgassing acids cause garments to become yellow and brittle.
    • Avoid moth balls or other herbal sachets.
    • Fold flat or hang in breathable, chemically inert storage bags.
    • Remove all acidic tissue. Use acid-free tissue only.

    Traveling

    • Fold slacks, sweaters and shells.
    • Do not fold blazers. Stuff sleeves with tissue and bag in double poly.
    • Hang as soon as you check in.
    • Never hang/steam knits in the bathroom. Moisture relaxes the fibers and distorts the shape.
    • Never entrust your fine garments to the "hotel valet service (who, typically, subcontract their cleaning to a low cost provider)." If you absolutely need to clean a knit while you're traveling, seek out the best cleaner in the area.

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