When it comes to how to care for your woollen garments, there appears to be a great deal of mystery. Use the machine, don’t, wash by hand, don’t, dry clean only – very confusing for one and all it would seem!
Some wool fabric is washable, as it will have been treated to help prevent shrinking. Again – read the label instructions to give your wool garment the best care. To help take care of a wool garment, if the instructions say so, you should wash it in cold water with a wool friendly detergent. Use only a mild soap or detergent. The cold water will help control the possibility of shrinkage.
Perspiration weakens wool, so your care of a wool garment should include regular dry cleaning or careful washing.
Mildew can form on wool if it is left in damp conditions.
Moth larvae and carpet beetles can damage wool. To help prevent moth damage to your wool garments you can…
- brush your garment daily after wearing
- take your garment out in the sun often
- dry clean it before storing it in an airtight cold place (max. 40F, 4C)
- hang moth-balls, flakes or cakes above the clothing in an airtight place
- use a moth repellent spray containing fluoride or silico-fluoride
Moth-balls do not repel moths, but will kill moth eggs and larvae if the air around the garment is saturated and the container is airtight.
We’ve listed a number of helpful suggestions on how to best care for your woollen garments.
- During the winter, treat wool coats with a lint or suede brush after wearing to remove surface soil and lint.
- Hang wool overcoats on sturdy wood hangers so the weight of the coat doesn’t stretch the shoulder area.
- Remove light stains on wool by blotting (not rubbing!) with cold water or club soda using absorbent cloths or paper towels.
- Wool coats should be dry cleaned at the beginning and end of the season. Why at the end – because moths are attracted to everyday human scents like perfume, smoke, and food.
- To hand wash, use a mild detergent and lukewarm water and let the item soak for 3 to 5 minutes and then rinse the garment in cool water. Gently squeeze and lay garment flat to dry.
- Never use scalding hot water or bleach on wool items.
- Allow 24 hours between wearing your wool pants, as this allows wrinkles to dissipate and the elasticity of the fabric to bounce back.