I can still remember the day that I ruined my favorite merino wool jumper. I put it in the washing with loads of other grey things and completely forgot that this sensible piece of clothing won’t survive a hot wash like that. Approximately one and a half hours later a jumper came out that will maybe one day fit my first born child. As you can assume I was not happy and felt like there is no way I will ever be a proper housewife (not that you have to aspire to be that but you get what I mean).
Fast forward 2 years and I am still not amazing with washing my clothes the right way BUT I haven’t ruined any wool garment ever since. I am going to share my tips and tricks as well as share some of the input I received from my extensive research on wool care.
Give your wool pieces a rest
Don’t hang your wool knitwear, it will lose it’s shame and stretch the arms in a weird way. Instead, fold it neatly and give it the time to rest between each wear. One mistake I always make is storing my knitwear to tightly cause I just have a couple too many lovely woolen jumpers. It is not good for the wool fibres and will most likely increase wrinkles.
Golden rule: Wash as little as possible, if you do be smart and read the care instructions
So a big misconception in modern society is that you need to wash things a lot. Most garments don’t need washing very often. This holds true for wool pieces, too. The fibre is naturally anti-bacterial and odor-resistant. So what I do instead of giving my jumper a wash – I hang it in the bathroom while I take a really hot shower or I will give the piece a good steam with my hand steamer. This will give the knit the needed fresh up but won’t stress the fabric as much as a wash would. To avoid having to wash my piece when I do have a stain on it I try to do damage control while it happens. Meaning I try and handle the stain in the recommended way (thanks google for always having my back) straight away. This way I can often already get around having to wash it. Sometimes however there will be a stain I missed or you just have to wash the piece cause letting it breath outside hasn’t helped and it stills smells like the bar that you had drinks at last Friday – we all know this too well. First rule for washing: read the goddamn care label and be smarter than me. Usually modern washing machines have a setting for wool (cold wash 30C). Use appropriate washing detergent specifically for wool garments. Last but not least, wash with pieces in a similar color.
Dry your knitwear flat
This is new to me – well not new new but let’s just say I have always been drying my wool pieces the same way as my cotton tees and such. Obviously, I knew not to tumble dry my knitwear but other than that I was clueless. Apparently, the best way to dry them is laying them flat for example on a towel. This will avoid stretching the knitwear.
The worst wool nightmare: Pilling & Fuzz
Pilling often happens when two pieces rub onto each other. Those little bobbles are hell and ruin each and every wool knit but there is a silver lining on the horizon. Use a garment brush (specifically for woolen pieces) and brush them out. If this hasn’t done the job yet use one of those little pilling machines – they shave them off. Please handle these with care since especially for thin merino woolen knits this can make the knit even thinner and eventually break it. Another nightmare of mine is fuzzy knitwear. It happens especially often with chunky knits – they fuzz over all my beautiful black trousers and it drives me mad. But apparently there is a trick to it that goes the following way: carefully wet the knit a little (!), then put it into a plastic bag and off into the freezer with it. I am gonna try it with one of my extremely fuzzy knits today and report on the effectiveness.
These are all the tips and tricks on how to care for your wool pieces I got for you. If you want to read more about wool and whether it’s a sustainable fabric or not – we added wool to our fabric index recently.