Washing woolens: laundry tips for Winter
During colder months we tend to pull our woolen garments out of the wardrobe, so it’s a useful time to have information close at hand about washing these items.
Make sure you follow the clothing manufacturer’s instruction label because there are so many types and qualities of wool, but there are also some general tips for taking care of woolens:
- Wash sparingly
Wool is a natural fibre that doesn’t absorb stains as readily as clothing made from other fabrics, so it won’t need washing as often. Before you wash, check whether your woolen item actually needs washing, whether in the machine or by hand. If there is dirt or a stain, it can often be brushed or dabbed out before it settles.
- Be gentle
If handwashing, try not to rub woolen clothing, and if machine washing, use the setting for delicates or woolens. If hand washing, try not to run water directly onto the item, instead fill the sink and place the garment in. Soaking woolen clothing in cold water before you wash it can also help to stop these items from shrinking. In general, heat and agitation will shrink and damage wool.
- Dry carefully
Avoid tumble drying wool clothing as this can damage the fibres, and don’t hang them to dry in direct sunlight as this may cause them to fade. Using a clothes rack can help to lie the garment flat to allow it to dry it in fresh air. If you need to iron the item, turn the iron to a cool setting.
- Choose the right laundry product
It’s important to use a product that’s designed to clean woolens and delicate fabrics. Our Delicates and Wool Wash cleans wool like merino, as well as other delicate clothing, and can be used for hand washing, and machine washing in top or front loaders.
- Caring for merino
Merino is a fine fibred wool so it’s softer than other woolens. But like other woolens it should be gently hand washed or washed on a delicate machine cycle. It shouldn’t be soaked or washed in hot water, and should be dried in shade. Try turning merino garments inside out before washing to preserve their quality.