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Help Your Gift Recipients Care for Handmade Presents

December 15th, 2011

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GiftsIt’s a joy to give and receive handmade gifts for holidays, birthdays, and special occasions. However, once that gift leaves your hands, it’s the recipient’s responsibility to care for the garment. With these 5 easy tips, all of the people on your gifting list will be able to keep their presents in tip-top condition.

1. Before gifting, it’s important to select the right yarn for the recipient. Beyond the general look and feel of the yarn, it’s critical to consider the washing and drying instructions. Some people will happily hand wash your handiwork, while others are destined to have felting accidents. Matching the care information to the recipient will definitely extend the life of your gift, so the recipient can enjoy it for even longer. For example, I know that I can trust my sister to hand wash a wool sweater, but my dad would surely felt a wool hat.
2. Include care instructions if necessary. Attach an adorable note card that your giftee can easily reference. Remember to use plain English to make the instructions simple to follow.
3. Giving lots of gifts? Consider purchasing customized clothing labels. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be easily attached to your presents. Think about including the fiber content or care information as a helpful reminder.
4. Attach the yarn label and a few yards of yarn to the gift. They’ll have all of the care information, and crafty pals can use the yarn to fix any snags or seams. Best of all, they’ll be able to suggest the yarn when friends compliment the present!
5. If your gift requires hand washing, include a bottle of rinse-free wool wash. This makes it super easy to keep your gift clean.

With those simple steps, your handmade gifts should last and last. Do you have any tips for giving handmade gifts? Let us know in the comments!

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  • http://profiles.google.com/wzrdreams Grace Jones

    Do you have any suggestions on were to get custom clothing labels?

    • Jadee

      Mountain Street Arts on Etsy has affordable labels as well.

  • Val

    I have ordered custom labels from namemaker.com.  I ordered two sets: They both say handknit and my name, one set says “handwash only, dry flat” and the other says “machinewash gentle, tumbledry low.”  They can be a bit pricey at the initial outset, but you really don’t use that many a year, so a batch will last a long time!

    • Anonymous

      Great suggestion, Val! Thanks for sharing!

  • Andersjw

    Any time I give a machine washable scarf as a gift I include a lingerie bag with the scarf with a brief note  explaining  how a scarf not in a lingerie bag will not fare well in a washer.

  • Heyirma315

    problem with some of the label instructions is that they aren’t always true!!!

  • Carole

    I also make small net bags to give with baby booties.  This keeps them from getting lost and also saves on wear and tear.

  • Marijoe90210

    How do you know how to clean a fun fur scarf?

    • Kjkendler

      I place mine in a mesh bag and wash in cold water.  I then lay flat to dry.

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  • http://twitter.com/knitfootnote Robin Content

    Last August I did a blog post on this subject.  See http://knittingfootnotes.blogspot.com/2011/08/give-gift-of-care-instructions.html   I like the specialized label suggestion in the comments, but most of my presents are socks and don’t lend themselves so well to labels.  Great article.  Thank you.

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