Wool is a fibre that seems to have one of the most notorious reputations when it comes to garment care. Yet, it has attained this reputation unrightfully so. Besides being a very versatile and sustainable fibre that is known for its potential to have a long, hard wearing life it is also very easy to care for. This doesn’t mean wool needs less attention, but because of its inherent qualities it requires less intensive care than garments made from other fibres. With the right knowledge you can apply proper care and attention to your wool garments so that they will have a longer life and will become an essential piece of your wardrobe.
TO WASH OR NOT TO WASH, THAT’S THE QUESTION
And not washing your woollen knitwear is our answer. If you have problems with caring for wool than frequent washing might be one of your core mistakes as this can cause damage to the fabric and fading of the colours. We know it is an odd thing to believe but trust us on this. Because of its odour, stain and crease-resistant properties Merino wool can practically take care of itself. The best way to keep your knitwear fresh is to let wools natural properties do the work by airing and resting the garments between wears.
AIR AND REST WOOL KNITWEAR TO REFRESHS
As we like to say: "Airing is caring". Although Merino wool can take care of its self, it doesn’t mind a little help. Instead of washing, air out your woollen garments from time to time to remove any unwanted odours by either laying them flat on a bed or hanging it on a hanger for an hour or so. A good alternative is to hang your wool knitwear in a steamy bathroom, the additional benefit here is that the moisture from the steam will remove any wrinkles.
To retain the shape, it is important to rest your wool garments for 24 hours before wearing it again. This gives the natural resilience and spring in the wool fibre time to recover and return to its original shape.
WHEN YOU NEED TO WASH, WASH WITH CARE
When the moment is there and you need to wash your sweater, our advice is to wash it by hand. This sounds like a lot of work but it actually isn’t. Just fill a clean sink with cold water (ca 30°C) and soak the garment for 15 minutes. If you add any soap make sure to use a detergent appropriate for wool an avoid using softeners. After soaking rinse, the garment with clean water once or twice to remove any soap from the fabric. It is important that you don’t place your wool garments under running water during these steps as this may felt of full the wool.
If you decide to wash your garments in a washing machine, which we don’t advise for our garments, make sure you turn your wool sweater inside out, or use a laundry bag. Select the wool program or wash in cold water (ca 30°C). Same rules apply here for the use of soap, only add a detergent appropriate for wool an avoid using softeners.
AFTER WASHING DRY YOUR WOOL FLAT
In case of hand wash, after soaking, lift it out of the water. Make sure to support the garment so the wet fabric doesn’t sag and stretch and give it a couple of gently squeezes. Don’t wring as this can cause creases to occur. To remove any excess water, roll the garment in a towel to squeeze out water.
Any wool knitwear, either hand or machine washed, should be flat-dried in the shade placed on a white towel. Once laid flat gently place the garment back into shape and size and remove any creases or folds. Avoid placing your knitwear in direct sunlight which can cause colours to fade and don’t hang your knitwear out to dry. Because wool can absorb a lot of water, they can become quite heavy and drying on hangers can cause knitted garments to stretch and loses its shape.
Considering a good od tumble dry? Please don’t. This will cause extreme shrinkage and will most likely ruin your sweater beyond repair.
FOLD YOUR WOOL KNITWEAR FOR STORAGE, NO HANGING ALLOWED
it's always best to fold your knitwear to keep their shape. But before you do, always air and refresh your garments before storing to prevent odours, stains and build-up of dirt. Avoid hanging knitwear on hangers during storage as this will stretch the garment out of shape.
Same rules apply for long term storage with the only important difference that you wash your wool garments before you put them away. Any residual dirt, food remnants or body oils can damage the garment and attract moths. Besides a clean garment, cedar blocks or balls are a great natural option to prevent moths. Just place them in your closet and the balls will take care of the rest. The safest option is to store your knitwear inside a bag made from cotton or wool which will allow you woollen garments to breath during storage.
IRON WOOL ON LOW TEMPERATURE
The chance of creases to occurs on your knitwear should be low due to the inherent qualities of wool and they should be even slimmer if you remove creases or folds in the drying process. Just in case you find one and want to get rid of it here are some instructions on how to iron your woollen knitwear.
It is important to iron on low temperature as this can cause discolouration or scorch marks. Make sure you set the iron on the Wool, Medium or 2-dot heat setting and lay the garment flat. Add a bit of moist to the fabric by either spraying the garment with a little water or use the iron to apply a bit of steam. This will make crease removal and reshaping easier. After ironing your knitwear let the garment lay flat on a smooth hard surface for 5 minutes before storing. Avoid applying to much pressure as this will lead to the fabric of the sweater to become shiny.
HOW TO TREAT PILLING ON WOOL KNITWEAR
Pilling is the natural formation of fuzzy balls on the surface of your wool sweater and whether pilling occurs is dependent on a lot of factors. To eliminate some of those factors so we have used extra-long fibres and knitted the yarn into an extra tight formation for a more durable fabric. If pilling does occur it will most likely appear on sleeves, armpits and the sides of the garment where there is more abrasion.
If not too many pills have been formed then they can easily be removed by hand. Otherwise the pills can easily be removed with a pilling comb or a fabric shaver. Just make sure that you use these tools very gentle. Rubbing to hard against the fabric may damage or hurt the fabric which can cause more pills.