Depending on their fiber type, sweaters are susceptible to various problems, including stretching, shrinkage, pulling, and pilling both from use and cleaning. It is important to check sweaters at the counter for any damage that could worsen with cleaning. Some loosely knitted sweaters should be measured before cleaning so they can be blocked to their original dimensions during finishing.
When drycleaning sweaters, make sure that zippers are closed and buttons are fastened. Acrylics, soft wools such as angora and cashmere, silk knits, chenille, and loosely knitted sweaters should be placed in a net bag during drycleaning.
Classify sweaters according to color, fiber type, and construction. Clean on a short cycle with no added moisture, and dry on a cool cycle. Tumble drying temperatures, especially for acrylics and angora, should not exceed 120 degrees F. If the care label recommends hand or machine washing, follow the instructions carefully. Machine wash on a gentle cycle or hand wash using cool water (89–100 degrees F) and mild or neutral detergents. Extract lightly and, depending on fiber content and knit construction, lay flat to dry or tumble dry at low temperatures (120 degrees F). Remember that hand washing is a restrictive care process that uses detergent and a squeezing action. Machine washing, even on a gentle cycle, uses greater amounts of agitation.
To finish the sweater, lightly steam and brush to remove wrinkles. Extreme caution must be used when finishing acrylic sweaters, as excessive steaming can cause them to stretch and distort. After finishing, do not hang sweaters from the shoulders, as the weight of the sweater can cause it to stretch while hanging.