Seven steps to a successful wool wash

Posted by Sarah Turner on 14th Feb 2018 in Blog

Fine knit, chunky, patterned or plain, the world just seems a better place when you’re swaddled in the natural wonders of wool. And it looks beautiful too. So what’s not to love I say.

The pleasure…and the pain

As we all know, however, pleasure this good in life often comes packaged with a little pain. For instance, holidays are truly lovely things to be celebrated and cherished. But who amongst us can say we look forward to the airport rigmarole – especially if you’ve got little ones in tow? I love having friends around for dinner too. Do I enjoy the washing up afterwards? No siree, not this soldier.

Pleasure and pain, two sides of the same coin. And for many, that’s the case with wool. Whilst it looks and feels fabulous, caring for it can be a hazardous process which for many takes the love out of wearing wool. But fear not, I’m here to fix that for you.

Avoiding the dreaded shrink

Believe me, I speak from hard-learned experience. Having shrunken more than my fair share of woollies, I know the disappointment – nay heartbreak – this can bring. And don’t get me started on the time I reduced Mr Beau Sheep’s faithful jumper to a more, shall we say, slender version. I was accused of jumper envy and deliberately sabotaging the wash so I could take sole ownership of the newly sized sweater. As if! Marriage counselling was nearly on the cards…

Make your next wool wash a breeze

To side-step future trauma and as part of my role as self-appointed Ambassador of All Things Woolly,
I’ve taken it upon myself to master the art of the
wool wash and break it down into a fail-safe formula, which I’d now like to share with you. From the top,
here we go…

 

  1. Does it actually need a wash? Strange question you may think but wool is a quite a smart fabric in more ways than one. It naturally repels dirt, dust and liquids so typically doesn’t need a wash after every wear, especially if you’ve had a shirt or t-shirt underneath.
  2. Read the label: obvious, I know, but so often overlooked. Take a little time to study the care instructions, as sometimes you may even have a dry clean only garment on your hands. If you’re not sure about what the symbols mean – and they can be anything but clear – you’ll find a quick and easy guide here
  3. Wash or steam? Even a gentle wash can take it out of fabric, so you might want to consider investing in a hand-held garment steamer. It takes care of any germs or odours and with a little spritz of clothing spray, you’re good to go and smelling fresh as daisy. (Talking of which, watch this space for LITTLE BEAU SHEEP’s very own garment sprays – including one infused with lovely lavender to keep every woolly’s worst enemy at bay. Yes, I’m looking at you moths!) But we digress, back to the washing…
  4. Kill those pills: you might call them bobbles, bits or balls – but they are little bumps of wool on the surface of your jumper that result from friction. You can usually find them under the arms, near pockets or on your cuffs. Being honest, it’s not a great look. Good news is, you can get rid of them with a fabric shaver, good sharp razor or even by gentle rubbing with a pumice stone (being careful to only go in one direction)
  5. Let’s wash and roll: Okay now comes the washing part. Let’s take a deep breath and go in together. We can do this.

If you’re using the washing machine follow these simple steps:

  • Select a hand to wool wash cycle to minimise agitation to your delicate woollies
  • Add a cup of Woolly Wash which is specially formulated with lanolin to refresh natural fibres
  • Turn your jumper inside out and put it in a mesh bag for added protection
  • Post-wash, lie the jumper in a towel and roll it up to remove extra moisture
  • Now lay it flat on a drying rack
  • At all costs, resist the siren like charms of the tumble dryer as it will undo all your careful work.

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, here’s what to do:

  • Fill a plastic bowl or sink with water that’s tepid to the touch
  • Add a cup of Woolly Wash which is specially formulated with lanolin to refresh natural fibres
  • Immerse your jumper and leave to soak for thirty minutes, resisting the temptation to squeeze or rub the fabric
  • Rinse out the wool wash using cool water, pressing rather than wringing to do so
  • Post-wash, lie the jumper in a towel and roll it up to remove extra moisture
  • Now lay it flat on a drying rack – again swerving clear of the tumble dryer.
  1. Any old iron? “Most certainly not!” comes the anguished reply. When it comes to ironing, look for the wool setting on your iron’s dial. If it doesn’t have one, go for the lowest setting. Make sure there’s enough water to let the steam work its magic and turn your jumper inside out. Then placing a handkerchief or clean tea towel between jumper and iron, dash away in simple straight movements.
  2. Use the drawer to store: to prevent your woollies stretching and becoming misshapen, it’s best to try and avoid hangers. Instead
    follow this simple folding technique and store your jumper in a drawer or on a shelf. Storing away stuff for summer? Use a
    breathable storage bag and pop in a laundry ball with a splash of lavender essential oil to keep things fresh and any moths at bay.

 

So now you can wash your lovely jumpers, cardigans, socks and more in a way you know will keep them looking lovely and feeling fresh wear after wear.

Until next time!

Sarah x