Inspired by (new to Verdalina) Mischa Lampert hand spun, hand knit, hand made wool beanies, we got to thinking about caring for wool… that is aside from bringing to the dry cleaner.
Caring for wool at home isn't as hard as you might believe, and with just a small amount of regular care, your wool items can last for years and years.
We recommend that you air out your wool wear after each use.
Never hang wool on hangers. Instead, fold them and store them in a drawer. A piece of cedar in the drawer never hurt.
To refresh and moisturize your wool we recommend using a dry oil spray. Use as needed.
To keep wool looking like new, gently de-pill any visible fuzz. You can do this by carefully trimming any fuzz from the surface being careful never to cut into the spiral of the wool, only ever across the top.
Spill something on wool we recommend professional dry clean only. You can also spot clean with a soft, damp towel and mild soap. DO NOT submerge your items in water or put it in the washing machine! See below for how to Hand Wash Wool.
Seasonally, wash your wool sweaters one final time at the end of the season.
To keep moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish at bay, place wool garments in an airtight plastic bin for long-term storage— one that does not tug on the wool or create any friction. As an added bug deterrent, throw in a sachet filled with one-half cup dry lavender.
Additionally, storing wool in this way protects it from excessive pilling and from attracting lint. NOTE: Over time all wool pills, it’s the nature of the material— chunky spun merino through cashmere. See above “cleaning” for tips on how to handle pills.
How to Wash Wool
When it comes time to wash your wool sweaters, follow the care instructions for the best results. If the tag indicates the fabric is not machine-safe, it’s probably still acceptable to hand wash it. Dry cleaning is also an option, but this gets pricey.
Follow these tips for the best results when hand washing wool:
- Squirt a bit of delicate wool detergent, such as Woolite, into a sink or basin and fill with tepid water.
- Turn the garment inside-out, submerge it, and swish it around to allow the soap to penetrate the fibers. Do not rub the fabric together or let it soak for longer than 10 minutes.
- Rinse the garment twice to remove all soapy residue.
- Don’t wring out wool clothing. Instead, press or squeeze out as much water as you can. Then, roll garment in a dry towel to remove excess moisture.
- To avoid stretching, don’t hang dry. Instead, lay wool items flat to dry on a fresh towel or mesh rack in a spot that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. Carefully adjust the shape of the garment to ensure it is evenly stretched as it dries.
Some wool items are machine washable, which is the most convenient option, and nervewracking for many. To keep your wool clothes in good shape, launder them with care.
Here’s your best shot at machine washing success:
- Turn wool clothes inside-out.
- Wash on the delicate cycle (or wool cycle or hand wash cycle, if your washer features these settings).
- Use cold water and a mild liquid detergent like Woolite.
- Add an extra rinse to the wash cycle.
- To avoid shrinking, don’t put wool clothing in the dryer. Instead, lay flat to dry using the tips from the hand wash section above.
- When ironing a wool sweater, use the coolest setting and lay a thin cloth on top of the garment.