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Most of us have probably ruined a sweater or two in our garment care career and caring for wool has a bad rep for being a hassle. We respectfully disagree. Wool care is misunderstood. In general, wool garments require much less care, the garment practically takes care of itself because of the inherent qualities of wool. Sure, if you do need to wash the whole piece, it needs some extra attention, but that’s exactly what we’ll guide you through in this section - there’s nothing to fear.
It is important to let wool garments rest between wears for at least 24 hours. This gives the natural resilience and spring in the wool fiber time to recover and return to its original shape.
Woollen knitwear should be stored folded flat but avoid folding and storing your woollen knitwear directly after wear. Best is to hang it over the back of a chair to breath before folding and putting it away in a drawer or wardrobe. Also, make sure that you don’t store them to tightly as it may cause them to wrinkle. You should not hang wool knits on hangers as it it will stretch the garment. And if you catch a wool sweater hanging - never pull the hanger through the neckline - remove it from underneath.
When someone asks us how to wash their wool sweaters our best answer is simply that you don’t. Or at least you normally don’t have to. It may sound strange and unhygienic, but wool has natural anti-bacterial and odor-resistant properties that makes washing largely redundant - sometimes even bad. Simply hang your wool garments out to air or give them a gentle steam (or hang them in the bathroom while showering for a little bit of both) to freshen them up again.
Between wears you can clean your woollen garments using a soft garment brush, brushing them lengthwise to remove dust and dirt that may dull the appearance of wool fabrics and even become stains later on.
When you do have to wash your wool garment, let’s say if there’s a stain or odor that won’t go away, make sure you follow the instructions on the care label. Best is to hand wash in cold water (ca 30°C) and make sure to use a delicate detergent appropriate for wool. Some woollen garments are machine washable on hand wash program (30°C) or the dedicated wool program (make sure to follow the care label for the correct care instructions on your garment). If your garment is machine washable, simply make sure to wash separately and with similar colored wool garments.
If you get a stain on your garment, treat it straight away with the recommended solution for the specific stain and let it air dry. By doing this you don’t have to wash the whole garment just for one little stain, which saves both energy and the material.
After wash, it’s imperative that you dry your garments flat, on a towel to ensure that they keep their shape. Hanging them to dry may cause stretching and tumble drying will cause severe shrinkage and dry out the fibers. Once you’ve placed the garment on the towel, make sure to stretch out your garment to its original shape, especially the ribs and the length will have contracted during wash. Therefore it may be good to make a note of the shape before washing. Finally, make sure that the garment is completely dry before putting it away for storage.
Since wool is a protein fiber and that makes it attractive for moths who can destroy your garments. Food stains and body oils attract the moths even more, therefore, ensure that wool garments are clean and dry before packing them away. It may even be worth investing in moth balls or cedar wood to place in your drawers or closet to keep moths away.
When putting your wool sweaters away for the summer, make sure to store them in natural material that breathes and avoid plastic bags as it may attract moisture, build up static or even discolor the garments.
It is natural for a wool product to pill at first. When the wool is spun into a yarn, the lengths of the fibers can differ in length. The shorter fibers tend to crawl out on the surface in some areas that is exposed to friction after use. You can easily remove the pills with a pilling comb or swipe a fabric shaver carefully over the fabric. Be careful not to rub too hard against the fabric though as it may hurt the fabric and create more pills. Avoid using a dust roller for wool garments, the sticky side can pull up the fibers and cause even more pilling, use a clothing brush instead to get rid of dust and dirt.