How to wash woollens

The Kapeka Guide To Looking After Your Knitwear

What is the best way to care for your knitwear? 
This guide tells you all you need to know on how to care and wash all your knits including Merino wool, cashmere, alpaca and even Cervelt garments. 

I think it is safe to say comfort is the official 2020 dress code. As we have been spending more time than ever in the comfort of our own home, our favour knitwear pieces have been worn on repeat - so perhaps it is time to give them some TLC. We divulge how best to look after your favourite knitwear and little tips to keep them in tip-top shape.

Kapeka has invested a lot of time in research, development and quality testing to ensure every garment is durable - the proof is in the non-piling nature of our knitwear. 

What is pilling and how to prevent it
What is Pilling?

We have heard endless stories where ones favourite cashmere sweater becomes their pyjama top, thanks to pilling. Fabric pilling is the formation of small balls of fibre that pile together due to the rubbing of the material. Rubbing (through any type of movement such as swinging your arms or from wearing a seatbelt) may cause fibres to break or short fibres to tangle together and form little balls on the surface of the garment.  While many brands may say this is normal and unavoidable, we tend to disagree. Taking extra care as to the fibre composition and quality of yarns can help prevent such pilling to occur. We tend to use high-grade super-fine Merino wool which is fine, long and strong prevent breakages and tangling.
Our knitwear is worn by the New Zealand Ski Team so experiences high amounts of movement and must be able to keep up with the performance of their athletes, so it is highly pill-resistant. 
To prevent pilling take care of the garment especially when wet. Fibres are at their weakest point when wet (just like your hair) and take care not to expose it to prolonged heat (like the tumble drier or drying it in the hot sun).

How to look after your knitwear

How to Wash Your Knitwear?

So you have a beautiful cashmere (or any of our knitted range) garment and are wondering how you should wash it?

Firstly - does it need washing? We use natural fibres which naturally are anti-odour (thanks to their antibacterial properties) and are breathable. Therefore we find that our garments only need to be washed every so often. Letting you garment breath in the open air is all that it may need.
However, if it does need a freshen up here are two options:

  • Machine wash in warm water (turn garment inside out and even better, in a garment bag), with wool/delicate detergent, on a wool cycle, lay flat to dry. We also advise you wash similar garments together (i.e. delicates together, not with towels!)
    For Merino clothing, feel free to machine wash it over hand washing (following the above directions)!
  • Hand wash in warm water, with wool/delicate detergent, squeezing gently, not soaking for over 5 minutes, roll into a towel and squeeze excess moisture out or put in a spin cycle in the washing machine, lay flat to dry.


Fold your garments once washed, we don't advise you hang your garments, especially when wet, this may cause your garment to stretch.

Our garments are pre-shrunk making them less susceptible to shrinking in the wash, however that being said generally avoid prolonged heat exposure either through hot water or tumble drying. 

Other Tips to Keep Knitwear Looking Good

  • Sizing can also effect the longevity of your knitwear. Choosing a tight fit may put prolonged tension on the fabric which may cause damage over time.
  •  If you find your garment needs a hand in regaining its shape we recommend washing it - its fibres will bounce back to its original shape. While it is still damp, you can carefully pull it back to shape.
  •  If you get a pull or snag in a garment gently pull around the snag, loosening up the thread back into place. You can read more on how to fix pulls here!

How to fix a pull on thread - knitwear

  • Keep those pesky moths away by keeping a small bag of lavender with your garments. We have found washing with pine wool wash has also helped keep away the little devils! And never store away dirty clothes, make sure they are clean before folding them away.

We create knitwear to last, and so with a little bit of TLC your favourite jumper, cardigan or wrap will look as good as the first day you bought it.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask,

Thanks for reading!
The Kapeka Team