Do you feel the itch?
As we slowly begin the descent into cooler weather, the days of knitwear are upon us.
And while taking stock of the knitwear and sweaters we own in our wardrobe is key, what’s also important is ensuring the said stash ticks all the right boxes. Because at the end of the day, when you just want to get wrapped up, being cosy and comfortable is highly desirable – there’s nothing worse than a) having a jumper that isn’t warm enough or b) knitwear that you love but is simply too scratchy to wear.
We all tolerate wool and fibre content at different levels based on the sensitivity of our skin. What might be perfect for one person may be far too itchy for another. Some of us are hardy and all the mohair, angora and merino won’t make us scratch in the slightest. Count yourself lucky if this is you and enjoy the fact that you can pretty much adopt whatever form of knitwear suits your fancy! While others – especially those with sensitive skin – can struggle with a variety of wool at the best of times.
The great news is that whatever your experience, options in knitwear and sweaters are so varied these days that there’s always a range of choices to suit all needs. So before you go shopping for your knitwear update, enlighten yourself with these handy tips below:
- Not all wools are created equal: If you have sensitive skin, take note that fibres like mohair, lambswool and acrylic are more abrasive and likely to cause irritation. Merino has finer fibres and is therefore a lot nicer and softer on the skin.
- It’s all about the cashmere: This fibre is having a major moment in fashion right now, with lots of brands and high street stores producing knitwear with complete or partial cashmere properties. Cashmere is a lot less abrasive on the skin and feels silky to the touch while still providing a layer of warmth. A word of caution is advised: while cashmere has admittedly come a long way, it is known to be particularly high maintenance to care for.
- Move away from wool knits if needed: For those with extremely sensitive skin, a shift away from wool knits is important for comfort. Opt for cotton or silk blend outerwear and you’ll find these will be a lot kinder to your skin. As an added bonus, often non-wool knitwear can be a lot cheaper.
- Styling tricks: If you’re wanting to stay away from wool but are concerned about warmth, make sure you layer, layer, layer. Alternatively, team wool with clothing that provides a barrier between your skin and its fibres meaning your skin won’t get irritated as easily. For example, a baggier wool sweater teamed with a long sleeved cotton top works well.
- Knitwear hack: Great news, there is a fix to your itchy sweater problem. According to Who What Wear you don’t have to ditch your itchy sweater entirely with this clever hack. Try submerging your knitwear in cold water and white vinegar and then while it’s still damp, massage it with a quality hair conditioner and let it sit for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes is up, rinse the knitwear out with cold water and lay the item flat to dry. Later on, place the item in a large zip-top and freeze overnight. The combination of the conditioner and vinegar softens your knitwear fibres while freezing prevents the shorter fibres from poking out and irritating your skin… life changing!
For 15 cosy yet non-itchy knitwear updates, scroll through the gallery below: