I touched on the transitioning between winter and spring clothing this week on instagram this week. Before you start being productive and packing your things away we need to start with cleaning these items first. To preserve your clothing you want to clean them prior to packing them away. When deodorant, sweat, stains, etc. linger on your clothing and sweaters in particular they damage the fabric itself and can lead to holes, thinning, and discolouration.
Sweaters and the tale of fabrics
Wool - is notorious for shrinking whether it be 20% or 100% of the makeup of your sweater. I would advise you Dry clean any wool sweater that you love. Even on gentle/delicates cycle you run the risk that it shrinks a little bit.
Cashmere - no argument if it is a 100% cashmere sweater definitely dry clean if you want it last you for a long time. If the sweater is a cashmere and cotton blend (20% Cashmere and 80% cotton) I would advise you to wash it in the gentle/delicates cycle. Regardless of the blend definitely line dry.
Merino Wool - this can be washed in the gentle/delicates cycle unless the tag says otherwise. There are merino wool pullovers sold by athletic brands that may allow you to wash in the regular cycle. When in doubt gentle/delicates cycle and hang dry
Cotton - this really varies based on the company, read the tag. If you’ve cut out the tag I would wash as regular and cold water, and tumble dry. If you want to be extra cautious line dry.
Blends - polyester, acrylic, etc. honestly always wash cold and tumble dry low. (I would say you should stay away from blends but we can talk about this another time.
When in doubt, hand wash or machine wash on delicates and line dry.
Also here is a guide to some of the images you’ll find on your clothing tags: