Turn garment inside out and submerge in a solution of warm water and gentle wool wash product – not regular detergent. It’s important the water is not hot. Gently squeeze the suds through it. Do not rub, wring or stretch the garment. Spot treat any problem areas with a drop of neat detergent and massage gently with fingertips.
Rinse in warm water and repeat as necessary until the water runs clear. It’s important to keep the water temperature even throughout the hand washing cycle. Moving from warm water to cold water will damage the fibres.
Gently press water out and place garment lengthwise on a clean, dry towel. Roll up the towel and press to squeeze out excess water – do not wring or twist. Unroll the towel and smooth the garment into its original shape. Lay it flat on a clean dry towel and allow it to air-dry.
Over time machine-washed garments, even on a wool cycle, will lose their soft appeal due to the abrasive tumbling of machine washing. However, some wools are treated so they can be safely machine-washed. It is always best to check the manufacturer’s care instructions and if in any doubt then hand washing is safest. If the wool is safe to machine wash, follow the method below:
Turn garment inside out and use a wash bag to protect it from abrasion. Place in machine and select the most delicate setting for wash and spin at -30ºC. Advantage of a delicate machine washing is that the temperature remains the same throughout.
Lay garment flat on a clean dry towel and smooth it into its original shape. Allow it to air-dry flat.
Wool can be dry cleaned and the advantage is this can deter moths due to the chemical smell. The disadvantage is the chemicals used do undermine the super soft feel.
Care and Storage
Bobbling effect occurs when fibres become knotted together. It’s caused by friction during wear or by the build-up of static electricity underneath other garments. These bobbles – known as ‘pills’ – can either be picked off or shaved off using a wool razor or lambswool comb.
If you’re storing for any length of time, fold the garment around tissue and seal in a plastic storage box. Clean garments before storage, as fresh stains that may not be visible will oxidise and become fixed during storage. Using mothballs, lavender or cedar chips help protect against moths.
Hanging can create shoulder dimples and distort the shape of the garment (fig.1). Fold the garment in half vertically; line up sleeves and position the hanger so the hook sits between the arm and body of the sweater (fig. 2). Wrap both sleeves over the shoulder of the hanger (fig. 3 & 4). Longer length sweaters can be secured by tucking into the bottom loop of the hanger.