Whether you are partial to wearing woollen clothing or you can’t get enough of the luxurious feel of bedding made of wool, it can be good to learn how to care for this soft and sustainable material. When it comes to caring for wool, many people do not know the best practices for keeping it in good condition and for ensuring its longevity.
Fortunately, caring for wool is relatively simple once you know what to do and what not to do.
How to Increase the Lifespan of Wool
Whether you’ve got a knitted wool sweater, a wool coat or a pair of woven trousers, by following these 5 tips for wool care, you will ensure your woollen items look better and last longer.
The most important thing to remember is that wool naturally resists odours and stains, and that the wool fibre is resilient: it will hold its shape for longer and if it does stretch, it will regain its shape with airing.
1. Brushing & Airing
When it comes to caring for wool, if you have woven garments, use a soft garment brush on your clothing after wearing to gently remove any dust or dirt that could turn into a stain.
You should also lay your woollen clothing out on a flat surface in the fresh air after wearing to remove any strong odours such as those from cigarette smoke or food.
Read Next: Wool’s Role in Sustainable Fashion
2. Hanging & Storing
Woven woollen garments should be hung on shaped or padded coat hangers only. Knitted garments should be gently folded and stored in drawers. For long term storage of woollen items, pack them away in airtight bags or containers to stop moths from eating your clothes. Make sure to clean them thoroughly first!
3. Washing & Ironing
Cleaning wool can seem tricky. But it’s very simple, really. Keep in mind that wool is naturally odour and stain-resistant, so doesn’t need washing after every wear like other fibres You’ll save time doing laundry and save the water and energy costs, too.
If you are washing woollen clothing or bedding, always read the item’s label first to see what the manufacturer recommends. However, if your woollen item does need washing, hand washing is always preferable.
Most woollen items do not need ironing but if yours do, use the steam setting when pressing wool. Moreover, exposing wool garments to steam is usually enough to release any creases. Try hanging the garment up in the bathroom while you take a steamy bath or shower.
4. Dry Cleaning
When caring for wool, you should aim to have your tailored items, such as suits, trousers, skirts and coats, dry cleaned once a season before storing away. Dry cleaning can be especially effective at removing stubborn stains such as makeup or oil-based spillages.
5. Reuse and Repair for Years of Wear
Wool can last for years when taken care of properly. Most wool clothes and textiles are beautifully crafted and designed, so you will want to wear or use them for a very long time. Should you no longer want to keep it, don’t even think of throwing it away! Someone else is going to love that wool treasure .Try giving it to a friend or donating it to your local charity shop instead. If your woollen item is damaged, it can usually be repaired by a local tailor (or try your grandmother).
At the very end of a wool item’s life, it can be recycled. Make sure it gets into the right waste stream so it can reach one of the many companies that specialise in recycled wool.
Find Out More About Caring for Wool at the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO)
Whether you love all things woollen or are interested in knowing more about how to care for and clean this sustainable and versatile material, get in touch with us here today to discover everything you need to know about the wool textile industry.
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