Wool is a favourite of our yarns, being a durable, natural fibre that boasts insulating properties that make it a winter blessing. Being a premium fabric however, doesn’t need to mean high costs in keeping it looking great. Collect fabulous wardrobes, not costly receipts from the dry cleaners!
Whether it’s 100% Merino Wool or a Wool Blend, there are tried and tested methods for home laundering knitwear that is both safe and cost-effective; dispelling the myth of ‘Dry Clean Only’!
Caring for your wool yourself is not only better for you, your clothing and the environment, but it’s also much easier on your wallet.
The first step is to check your care label, so here is a quick guide that you can use to translate those tricky symbols! The only garments you should be taking to the dry cleaners are ones that contain the below care label:
DRY CLEAN ONLY
Meaning no hand washing, no bleach, warm iron and dry clean only. Take them down to your trusted dry cleaner, and rest assured your garments are in safe hands. But, if the care label reads like this:
MACHINE WASH ONLY
It means you can warm machine wash, no bleach, and tumble dry at low heat. Use a warm iron, and for stubborn stains that you can’t remove then dry cleaning is best. This is the most convenient option, simply drop them into a delicate machine wash at 40º with a mild detergent, then tumble dry on low heat. And finally, our tried and tested method:
HAND WASH ONLY
A good old hand wash! Cold water, with a wool delicates wash but no bleach, no machine drying, and only a warm iron – dry cleaning for seriously stubborn stains – will work for anything from 100% Merino to a wool blend! Here is the whole process in detail so you can ensure that you’re wool will come out looking fresh and new.
HOW TO HAND WASH WOOL
Firstly, use a wool & delicates wash to ensure that your knitwear retains its shape, colour and hand feel just like new.
Simply dissolve 2 squeezes (about the size of a 50 cent coin) of wash into a basin or tub full of cold water.
Next, turn your garment inside out, and plunge it into the soapy mix. Swish around, and then let it sit for 10 minutes.
Rinse the garment thoroughly while pressing out the soapy water until it is soap-free, careful not to wring the garment. To keep your wool knit ‘as new’, try avoiding hang-drying as well. This will only stretch the yarns, and your beautiful knit out of shape!
The trick is to lay it – flat – on a clean towel and roll it up to absorb the moisture, then arrange the garment back to its original shape on a flat surface to air dry.
It will set in the shape it’s in when you lay it flat, so you can arrange it to fit ‘as new’ or shape it to your preference at this stage.
Fold and store on a shelf or in a cupboard drawer, not hanging as that will cause the garment to droop over time. When the season is over, store them clean and fresh in an airtight container so they’re ready for next winter!
If they’re not needing a thorough clean, or you’re digging up your favourite knits from last season, your wool garments can be easily refreshed by airing them in the bathroom while you shower, steaming the creases from the knit.
And that’s it! With the right care, your wool will continue to look lustrous and retain its shape and colour like new for seasons to come thanks to the ultra durability of our beloved wool fibres – all the while saving money on expensive dry cleaning bills. Just remember, always consult your care labels!