*NEW* Laundry detergent designed to enhance laundry cleaning for your workout wear. Transform your sweaty and stained sports wear to a new level of clean.
Enhance your laundry routine to brighten and restore your fabrics.

How to Wash Your Free People Knit and Sweater Sets

Free People sweater sets are a total fashion vibe: perfectly paired tops and bottoms that make a cozy instant outfit. This article from Heritage Park Laundry essentials explains how to wash and care for these best sellers and keep your sweater set pieces looking their very best.

Free People: A Bohemian (Fashion) Rhapsody

Free People is a beloved fashion brand with roots going back to the 1970s. Originally founded as a vintage clothing store in Philadelphia, Free People soon changed its name to Urban Outfitters (yes, the Urban Outfitters). In 2001, the Free People moniker was revived into the bohemian-inspired women's brand we know today. Shedding its “junior” image, the reinvented Free People spoke to intelligent, adventurous young women with its unique, individualistic style. The brand quickly expanded through department and specialty stores; Free People boutiques; and a robust ecommerce website. Today, Free People brings its distinctive fashion to a market of women that are “smart, creative, confident and comfortable in all aspects of [their} being, free and adventurous, sweet to tough to tomboy to romantic.”

Free People Roberta Sweater Set


Not Your Mother’s Sweater Set

In keeping with the company’s breezy, adventurous vibe, Free People knit and sweater sets have become a signature look and one of the company’s most coveted product categories. These perfectly coordinated sweater/top and bottom sets are a wonderful way to easily create a perfectly paired instant outfit. Free People offers a wide array of sets including cropped cardigans with matching skirts or pants, tunics with flares, vests with matching pants or shorts, and many more cozy knit pairings. The ready-to-wear sets often feature oversized silhouettes, and monochromatic matching; they are a “grab and go” option for effortless bohemian chic style. They’re perfect for everything from lounging and running errands to a casual coffee or a night out! Just as important, most Free People knit sets–including the popular Freya Sweater Set, Soleil sweater and skirt set, and the Roberta Sweater Set are easily machine washable (an absolute must when you’ve got a busy life and social schedule). Heritage Park Laundry Essentials can show you how to care for your Free People sweater and knit sets to keep them looking clean, beautiful, and on-trend.

Choose the Right Detergent for Washing Your Free People Sweater Sets

Most Free People sweater sets are made from cotton (like the favorite Hailee Sweater Set with its wide leg pants and scoop henley neckline) or a cotton blend (like the sleeveless silhouette of the cotton/acrylic Adelaide Sweater set). Whatever their composition, fashion and style are at a premium with these Free People sweater sets. They should be laundered with a detergent that cleans effectively while also protecting the color and integrity of the fabric. Heritage Park All-Purpose Laundry Detergent is the perfect choice! It is pH-neutral and made with natural, plant-based ingredients that are gentle on fabric; it also contains a powerful enzyme blend that breaks down and removes sweat, stains, dirt, and odors without the use of harsh chemicals. The hypoallergenic fragrance-free formula is lab certified and pediatrician- and dermatologist-tested. (Heritage Park All-Purpose detergent also comes in lightly fragranced options: Spring Magnolia, Lavender Mist, or Shore Breeze.)

A note about laundry enzymes: Enzyme detergents (also known as biological detergents) are made to break down the protein-based components of stains. Enzymes should not be used on any fabric that is protein-based such as silk or wool. To wash these items, use an enzyme-free detergent like Heritage Park Silk and Wool detergent and read and follow care guidelines. 

Supplies You’ll Need to Wash Your Free People Sweater Sets

You’ll need the following supplies to wash your Free People sweater and knit sets: 

  • Heritage Park All-Purpose Laundry Detergent in Fragrance-Free/Hypoallergenic or one of our lightly scented varieties.
  • A washing machine with a gentle cycle.
  • Mesh laundry bags.
  • A spray bottle for making your own enzyme solution.
  • A tub or bucket for pre-soaking and handwashing.
  • A drying rack.

Simple Steps for Machine Washing Free People Sweater Sets

Follow these guidelines for washing your Free People knit sets.

Step 1: Read the Care Label

Always begin by reading the care guidelines on your Free People apparel, especially if it has any type of decorative embellishment.

Step 2: Pretreat and Presoak Stains Immediately

Do your best to pre-treat or pre-soak trains as soon as they occur. We suggest using an enzyme stain remover or a solution of a 1:1 ratio of Heritage Park All Purpose Laundry Detergent and water in a spray bottle. If you’re on the go, consider carrying an enzyme stain stick or portable spray bottle to use as needed.

Step 3: Wash Your Sweater Sets Alone in a Separate Load

This will ensure even wear and protect your clothing from damage. Keep in mind: Free People sweater sets are versatile separates that can be worn endless ways, both together or mixed and matched with other clothing. If your set is monochrome or color matched in some way (and most are), we recommend washing both pieces together even if only one has been worn to ensure color consistency.

Step 4: Use a Mesh Laundry Bag

For maximum protection, place each item inside a mesh laundry bag. This safeguards against snagging on any tiny metal burrs inside the machine drum and tangling and twisting in the agitator mechanism.

Heritage Mesh Laundry Bags
Check Price

Step 5: Use A Gentle Cycle and Cold Water

Hot water isn’t necessary for getting clothes clean. Even worse, washing in hot water will wear fabric down over time. Use cool or cold water and a delicate or “hand wash” cycle for your machine. 

Step 6: Skip the Bleach, Fabric Softener, and Dryer Sheets

None of these products should ever be part of your laundry routine. Bleach will cause discoloration and yellowing, and fabric softeners and dryer sheets leave a waxy build-up on clothing and the inside of your machines.

Step 7: Hang to Dry

Free People’s care guidelines don’t specifically indicate hanging your sweater set to dry. However, as laundry professionals our recommendation is not to put these items in the dryer. You can lay your sweater sets to dry across a drying rack (using hangers can cause stretching) or, in a pinch, on a clean, lint-free towel. Avoiding the dryer helps your sweater set pieces keep their shape and avoids shrinking.


How to Hand Wash Your Sweater Set

As noted above, it’s best to wash both pieces of your sweater set at the same time, even when washing by hand, to ensure even wear and color consistency. Fill a tub or basin with cool to lukewarm water; add a small amount of Heritage Park All-Purpose OR Silk and Wool Detergent; and swish with your hand to dissolve. Submerge your pieces in the soapy water and gently agitate for a minute or two. Allow the pieces to sit for 10 to 15 minutes; gently rub the fabric to remove any residual dirt or stains. Rinse in cool water, and DO NOT wring out. Press excess water out with your hand or blot with a lint-free towel. Air dry, as noted above. 

As always, the Heritage Park team is here to answer questions about our products and how to clean your favorite Free People pieces, from sweater sets to dresses to leggings and beyond. Give us a call or drop us an email; we are here to help make laundry day easier!

Heritage Park Laundry Essentials

At Heritage Park, caring for fine fabric is our passion. As lifelong collectors of luxury sheets, towels, and cloths, we found many commercially available "gentle detergents" either damaged our fabrics or didn't get the job done, leaving stains. We knew we could do better. So we developed a formula with the perfect balance of powerful -- yet safe -- ingredients designed to remove tough, set-in stains while remaining gentle on luxury linens. Please connect with us at (800) 977-1841 or visit our store or email us with any product feedback or cleaning questions.

We're Here to Help

We'd love to hear from you! Whether you have product questions, feedback, or just want to say hi. We're here to help.