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    Live Boldly Blog — Merino Wool

    Sweater Fiber 101

    Sweater Fiber 101

    There are so many different fibers these days, it’s hard to keep them straight.  Here is a quick checklist of some of our favorite fibers.

    Constellation Ski Sweater, made with 100% Extra Fine Merino Wool

    Our Pearl dress is made in a viscose blend

    Our Maggie wrap sweater is made in a Angora / Merino blend.

    Fibers From Animals:

    Merino Merino Wool – Prized for their wool, Merino Sheep deliver a soft, fine fiber that is naturally antibacterial, repels water and stays warm and toasty even when wet.

    Cashmere – Cashmere fibers come from the downy winter undercoat of Cashmere Goats.  Cashmere wool is finer, stronger and lighter and three times more insulating than sheep’s wool.  Often garnishing a premium price even over Ultrafine Merino Wool.

     

    Mohair – A fine and delicate fiber from the Angora goat.  Angora is notable for its high luster and sheen, mohair is warm in winter yet moisture-wicking and cool in the summer.  Mohair is naturally elastic, flame and crease-resistant.  Mohair is often blended with other fibers (like nylon) to increase its durability.

    Angora – Not to be mistaken for Mohair, which comes from the Angora Goat (see above).  Angora refers to the downy coat of the Angora Rabbit.  Angora Rabbit fur fibers are much warmer and lighter than wool due to the hollow core of the angora fiber.  There are several animal cruelty concerns in the “plucking” of fur from Angora rabbits.  “Plucking” might sound bad, but plucking in this sense refers to the brushing out of the rabbit’s undercoat so you get fewer outer fibers (sort of like using an undercoat brush on your dog).

    Alpaca – Alpaca is a cute animal (well, we think so) resembling a Llama.  Alpaca fibers are similar to sheep’s wool but actually hypoallergenic because it lacks lanolin.  Alpaca fibers are naturally water-repellent and warmer than sheep’s wool.

     

    Silk – The silk worm isn’t so much an animal as insect, but we’ve put it into this category.  A silkworm creates a cocoon from one continuous thread of protein. The silk is harvested from the cocoons.  The cocoons are boiled or steamed to kill the pupa and loosen the seracin that holds the cocoon together.  Individual silk threads are unraveled from the cocoon and spun into a thread.  Each cocoon can contain a continuous thread between 300 and 900 meters in length.

    From Plants:

    There are many different plants and plant products made into apparel fibers these days.

    Flax stems during harvest

    Cotton

    Soy Beans

    Cotton – The most widely produced natural fiber on the planet.  The cotton seed head contains the fiber that is spun into yarn.

    Linen – made from the stems of flax plants.  Linen is one of the few fabrics that is stronger wet than dry.

    Lyocell and Modal – fibers are manufactured from wood pulp.  Chemicals are used in the production of these fibers, but the process is free from harmful solvents, and the processes are closed loop (meaning that the chemicals are captured and reused over and over again). Tencel® is a certified form of Lyocell that is guaranteed to be made from sustainable wood pulp.  Bamboo Lyocell is sustainable because bamboo is a fast-growing sustainable crop.  Our Fall 2018 Lightweight Base Layer collection features Tencel®.

    Soy – An eco friendly fabric manufactured from food production waste (tofu manufacturing), made from the hulls of soy beans.  Soy is soft, easy to care for and absorbs dyes quickly.

    Viscose,  Hemp, Jute, Bamboo, Sisal, and several others – are all different wood pulps and pants used to make apparel fibers.

    Sweater Care: 10 Tips to Keep Your Sweaters Hygge Worthy

    Sweater Care: 10 Tips to Keep Your Sweaters Hygge Worthy

    The Delicate Cycle Isn’t So Delicate – 10 Tips for Sweater Care

    In today’s wash and wear world, we often forget that beautiful fibers like Merino wool need a little special care to ensure they last a lifetime.

    1. Smelling pretty.

    Merino wool is coated in natural lanolin, this lanolin acts as a barrier to odor and is a natural stain repellent.  Unless your garment is visibly stained, you really don’t need to wash it.  You can wear your wool items many times before they need a little sprucing up.  This isn’t just a great time saver – but it’s also super friendly to the environment.  Less washing means less water and electricity used for cleaning.

    After wearing, just hang your items to let them air out and they are ready to be added back into your wardrobe rotation.  If you are around smoke or had a little spill, you might need to give your sweater a little extra attention.

    2. Spot Check.

    If you need a little more sprucing up, we recommend dry cleaning or using the at home dry cleaning sheets (like Dryel).  We don’t recommend putting any of your wool items in the washer or dryer!  You’ll end up with beautiful tiny versions of your favorite knitted items for sure.  Even the “delicate” cycle will render your favorite sweater unwearable.

    3. Give Them a Hand.

    First, make sure to read the care tag on your garment.  Some sweaters have special knit techniques and designs and may stretch/shrink differently after being submerged in water.  If you are unsure, using Dryel or dry cleaning is your safest bet.

    Here’s how to hand wash like a pro:  Fill a sink or large plastic container with as much cool water as you can.  Add a few squirts of a gentle detergent like Woolite.  Submerge your sweater and swish it around.  Let it soak for 30 minutes, then rinse it well under cool water.

    4. Get Horizontal.

    Never wring or twist a sweater to get the water out after hand washing.  Gently squeeze as much water as you can out of your sweater then lay it flat on a towel and roll it up like a sushi roll to soak up any excess water.  Lay it flat on a clean dry towel or sweater dryer.

    Please don’t hang your wet sweaters, the weight of the water will stretch out your sweater while it dries and all of your hard work will be for naught.

    5. Sometimes shrinking isn’t the problem.

    If you leave your knitted garments hanging all year long, the weight of the sweater or dress will stretch your garment after time.  This is especially true for those that have a looser weave.  It’s best to store your heavier and knitted items folded.  However, if you do want to hang them, the best way to hang your sweaters is by folding them over the hanger.  This will prevent stretching as well as the “bumps” you get in the shoulders of the sweater from the  hanger.

    6. Moth Holes are Really a Thing.

    Midnight merino snack for moth larvae. Moths are very sneaky little critters, they love natural fibers and the moth larvae will chew little holes in wool, silk and sometimes cotton.  You won’t typically see the moths hanging around, but you’ll know they were in your closet when you find a hole in your favorite sweater.  The best way to prevent your sweaters from becoming a midnight snack, is to store them in moth proof containers (sweater bags, plastic bins) with a few cedar chips thrown in for good measure. This dress has pilling, most likely from crossed legs rubbing under a desk or table.

    7. Bumpy situation.

    Pilling, or the little bumps on your sweater is caused by friction, from things like seat belts, purses, and arms.  Most sweaters when subjected to friction will pill, you can easily and gently remove them by holding the sweater flat and slicing the pills off one at a time with a razor.  There are sweater “shavers” that use abrasive stones and convenient battery operated versions as well.

    8. Snags Happen.

    Inevitably you’ll have a purse or piece of furniture that pulls a snag in your sweater.  Lightly stretch the garment around the snag to decrease any puckering.  You can pull the extra yarn through to the inside of the garment.  Please don’t cut the yarn off, you will end up with a hole.

    9. Wrinkle in Time.

    If your sweater has been crammed in a storage container for a season or at the bottom of the pile on a shelf, don’t plug in your iron just yet.  Some fabrics, such as cashmere, are especially susceptible to heat and require special care.

    Lay your sweater flat on your ironing board and lay a thin dish towel on top of your sweater, this will protect your sweater from the extra moisture.  Note:  Don’t use a colored towel, the dye may transfer to your sweater.

    Using the steam setting on your iron, lay the iron on top of the towel without applying additional pressure and move it quickly over the sweater.  Do not stop the iron or leave it in one place for long.  Remove the towel and leave your sweater on the ironing board for a few minutes to let the fibers cool down.

    10. End Game.

    At the end of the season, clean or air out your sweaters and it’s best to fold up your sweaters and store them in breathable-bug-proof containers in the off-season.  You can easily find these at home stores or Amazon.

    Transition with Style

    Fall is a season of transition. Light summer clothes are replaced with heavier fall layers, sweaters are needed in the mornings and probably again at night, the leaves are changing from green to an array of autumn colors, and care-free summer days are sadly turning back into long hours of work.

    Besides the change in temperature one of the most prominent characteristics of fall is the break out of sweaters and light knits. For the first few weeks, it’s easy to get away with topping an outfit with a sweater but eventually we have to ditch our sundresses and sandals and start wearing pants and several layers.

    Of course, we all want to make a smooth transition without losing our easy, breezy style. So here at Krimson Klover, we came up with some tips to mastering the change of seasons.

    1. Don’t ditch color. Keep bringing in pops of fun colors to your daily outfits through prints and patterns. Search for those subtle sweaters with vibrant yellow or blue mingled into the print.
    2. Wear skirts! Don’t lose that luxury of just throwing on a dress, try to supplement that ease with skirts. Dress them up with sleek materials or down with simple tops. Skirts have the ability to be our most versatile item in the fall, there are endless possibilities with a skirt. 
    3. Start pulling in those great accessories! Add some flare to a simple sweater with a bold statement necklace or a chunky scarf, and dress up your plain pants with a nice belt. Don’t forget that shoes can pull an outfit together, find a pair of boots or flats that can take a plain jane outfit and make it a head turner.

    Keep having fun with your outfits and you’ll never lose that summer spirit!

    Our favorite fall item is the Palisade Skirt. It is a wonderful transitional piece, with a variety of color options; spruce, nutmeg, and charcoal. There are infinite outfit options with this singular skirt.

    One of our favorite looks is the Palisade skirt in spruce with the Wild Hearts V-neck sweater in spruce as well. Tossing the Duet Mohair Infinity scarf in citron on top brings more of a bold flare to this easy autumn ensemble.

    Another option with the Palisade skirt is to pair the Nutmeg skirt with the Snow Globe Dolman Sweater in Bordeaux. And then opt for some nice brown boots and the Duet Mohair Infinity scarf in Almond.

    Ski Stylishly

    Ski Stylishly

    Ski Stylishly

    Ah, it’s that time of year again where the ski slopes of Colorado get snow almost daily and us locals live for weekends in the mountains and those powdery Saturdays and Sundays.

    While most days are blue-sky and temperate (or as temperate as they can be in the winter), you never know when a day will turn windy and bitter while riding. Therefore, we know the importance of a great base layer. The Banded Merino Base Layer Top and Bottom set are perfect for stylish skiers to rock on the slopes. Made of a Merino/Lycra blend they are breathable and self-wicking, but warm.

    Another base layer set that we adore is the Ski Village Base Layer Top and Bottom. It is the ideal outfit for a skier with the travel bug. The Ski Village pair is inscribed with several well-known ski towns that could double as a checklist. A skier could travel from Whistler to Vail checking off ski resorts from their bucket list with inspiration from our base layer set.

    Stay Warm

    If you tend to be cold while skiing, opt for one of our ski sweaters instead of a base layer top. The Ace Stretch Zip Cardigan and the Ravenswood Side Zip Pullover are two of our favorites to pack for a weekend in the mountains. These sweaters will make any ski bunny the most stylish member of the group while skiing or wandering around town at night.

    All of these layers will add a pop of color and look fabulous underneath the Skea Didi Jacket and the Kira Pant – both in white. Be sure to add one of our Snowy Bunny cable headbands under your helmet for extra warmth!

    After a long day of riding, slip our Herringbone skirt on, with our Signature light layering piece and head out for après. Add our Bundled vest under your ski jacket for extra warmth on those chilly nights.

    We hope that we'll see you on the slopes of Vail or one of your favorite mountains!

    Must-Haves Holiday Give Guide

    Must-Haves Holiday Give Guide

    Krimson Klover 2016 Gift Guide

    With the multitude of holidays that are approaching, the KK team wanted to share some of our favorite items. We thought these selections would make for perfect presents for all of your loved ones this season. For your convenience, we’ve broken our treasured pieces into price categories.

    Accessories Under $50

    The Skier Sock comes in black, pagoda blue, and tigerlilly. This pair of socks is the most darling present for your favorite skier this holiday. Give them something they can appreciate and functionally wear. This warm, breathable wool will keep their toes comfortable and them outside for hours.

    The Snow Bunny Cable Headband comes in five distinct colors: phlox, red, snow, charcoal, and citron. This luxurious performance wool makes this headband great for wearing around town or down the slopes. There is a color for every hair color and every occasion; whether there is a need purely for warmth or to add to pop to an outfit, this headband is a wonderful choice.

    Outstanding Picks Under $100

    The Herringbone Chevron Skirt comes in black and charcoal. This is our favorite skirt for après ski, easily paired with a set of warm stockings and a soft sweater. It is the perfect present for your go-to dinner and drinks gal pal.

    The Ski Village Leggings is the ideal mix of Merino and Lycra. Present these silky leggings to your favorite ski bunny so they can rock the slopes in style this winter.

    The Snowed In cashmere scarf comes in heather black, bordeaux, mid grey, and toast. Give this lovely Cashmere scarf to your most stylish friend to spruce up their snow attire this holiday season.

    Brilliant Presents Under $200

    The Ski Village Base Layer Top complements the Ski Village Leggings. Your friend will look like a star on the slopes sporting some of the most iconic ski destinations. An added bonus to the joy of giving this lovely present set this holiday season is that 5% of the proceeds from the top and leggings will help support programming for First Descents, a non-profit that provides life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults who have been impacted by cancer.

    The Altitude Ski Gal Poncho is the best present for that friend who is totally passionate about vintage and retro styles. This is the perfect addition to any après ski wardrobe. Select from oat, bordeaux, and ivory for traditional styling.

    The Ace Stretch Zip Cardigan has a retro flair perfect for any die-hard ski bunny inspired by the classics. It is made of a buttery, soft Viscose blend that adds warmth and comfort to any slope style.

    Serendipity Cashmere Sweater is simplistic and elegant at the same time. This dreamy cashmere sweater comes in heather black, toast, and mid-grey. Give this gorgeous sweater to that friend who is always put together, to pair with a nice knit skirt or dark denim this winter.

    Rivers & Roads Cardigan is the perfect no fuss, chunky sweater for that friend who is always cold. Bundle up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the snow fall together. With options of charcoal or mid-grey, it is a versatile cardigan that can be packed up and brought on any weekend getaway this holiday season.