Boost your Wool Care
Wool is cool and we can’t get enough of it in our lives. We just love to dive in the lavish softness and warmth of our cozy knits. They are the fluffy counterpoints to just about any piece in our wardrobe and scarves, sweaters and co. are the comfort hero we can always count on in the middle of turbulent times.
Yet the fiber is extremely delicate and it’s important to know how to take care of it properly so that we can extend its longevity over the years.
Here’s a little guide on what to do to keep your wool, cashmere and alpaca essentials as vibrant and effusively silky as the day you bought them.
In most cases, hand wash is perfect for small or regular garments and always the best way to go. Your bathroom sink is ideal for this as long as it is large enough for you to effortlessly rinse and swirl your knit. There are numerous wool shampoos out there and you want to use these. Once washed, the garment should always lay flat on a fresh towel in order to dry.
• use regular detergent too harsh for the fragile fabric.
• wring your knit. Ever.
• dry it on a hanger.
1. SHEEP'S WOOL
The most common type of wool. Sweaters, dresses, coats in this fiber are very popular in the winter time. It has the great property of quickly absorbing moisture while keeping the body warm. This wool is very strong and, no matter how twisted or stretched it may get, it always recovers its original shape rapidly because of its great elasticity.
This wool is a finely creased fiber and has a beautiful shine. It can be worn in every season.
Let the garment soak for about 5 minutes in lukewarm water mixed with wool shampoo.
Carefully rinse it. The water should have the same temperature.
Once done, roll up the knit in a towel and press carefully to absorb excess water. Finally, lay out your garment flat on a fresh towel and let it air dry.
• Sometimes the garment’s care label will indicate that machine wash is ok but here too, be careful and follow these simple directions to make sure you won’t loose your beloved sweater in the process or, once the wash is over, take out of the machine what used to be an elegant oversized turtleneck to find a piece that only your 5 years old could wear!
• Always check the label first.
• Try to wash only accessories, scarves, gloves, hats, to make sure that if anything goes wrong, it won’t be too big of a loss!
• Use the gentle cycle, preferably cold or at 30 degrees.
• Choose a detergent with a neutral pH.
This is your very last option in case you really don’t want to take any chance at home. Just be aware that the more you send your knits to the dry cleaner, the more chances there are that the fabric can negatively be affected since the cleaning is done using harsh chemicals.
In general, this process is best used for larger items such as long coats or home accessories such as blankets or throws.
Lambswool is the luxury wool of all sheep’s wools existing. Its texture is fabulously soft and silky and allows the fabric to be worn directly against the skin.
The only way to wash this type of wool is by hand. The water should always be cool and your detergent’s pH below 7. Be gentle when swirling it in the water. Never let it soak for more than 5 minutes.
Let it air dry on a towel after having stretched it very carefully to help it regain its shape and size.
Cashmere is the lavishly luxurious fabric made from the hair of the Kashmir goat and can be worn all year long. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a strong durability and is extremely delicate.
Just like lambswool, this type of wash is the only one you should perform.
The same directions as above apply here but always make sure the detergent you use is specifically for cashmere and let the garment soak in lukewarm water for as long as 10-15 minutes.
Alpaca is the natural fiber from the alpaca, a domesticated species of South America, resembling a llama. It's very much appreciated for its hypoallergenic properties and is a luxurious and very durable fabric. It's also an all-weather friendly fiber and even keeps you cool in the summer because of its great breathability.
The same way as lambswool.
Sending them to the dry cleaner once a year is the best way to preserve the longevity of the Alpaca garments you cannot hand wash such as coats or accessories. Make sure your dry cleaner has previously dealt with Alpaca.
What you May not Know:
• Applying eucalyptus oil on a stain can help remove it if you apply the oil in small amounts immediately, working it inwards to avoid it from spreading.
• Washing the garment inside out will help prevent pilling from occurring. There are even electric devices to remove it on the market today. But you should know, that even if you don’t do anything, it will eventually go away on its own after washing the garment two or three times!
Storing your Knits
Always fold your knits. Hanging would cause them to stretch and lose their shape. Storing them in a sealed cedar chest is the best way to avoid that moths appear and ruin your garments. Another great way to protect them is to add dried lavender sachets. Actually this might even be the only reliable way to save your garments from any creepy crawlers since the bugs absolutely hate the stuff and cedar’s effectiveness will wear off with time.
Knitwear's Best Kept Longevity Secret
Always air out your wool garment after wearing it and before storing it. This is all it needs to refresh itself. This way you won't have to wash it often.