MAINTENANCE OF WOOL PRODUCTS - DO NOT FEAR WOOL CARE
A common concern of all those who are familiar with wool, knitting or spinning is whether they will be able to take good care of wool products. Many times even a wool blend on a clothing tag discourages a person from buying, because she/he is afraid that the nice expensive thing will felt. It is indeed a pity, because the maintenance of wool is not really as complicated as it seems and the benefits of wearing wool are way higher.
So how do you take care of wool products?
Above all: the wool does not need to be washed often - many times it is enough to hang sweaters in frost or drizzle and fresh air. Odors will thus vanish and the self-cleaning ability of wool will get rid of minor impurities. You can find more about the properties of wool HERE.
The most common woolen tragedy is felting / betrayal. So let's talk about it:
- Felt is a type of fabric, where the fibers of wool are "glued" together very tightly. For successful felting, you need 3 factors (which may or may not happen at once): temperature shocks, soap and mechanical friction.
- Temperature shocks can felt the wool on their own: alternating hot and cold water, sometimes air. Neither one-time hot bath, nor the gradual warming and cooling of temperature, will not hurt the wool, only sudden temperature change does.
- Soap - does not felt the wool by itself. If you add soap / detergent to the wool bath and leave it, it will be safe (however, softeners or conditioners should be avoided, they do not benefit the wool fiber). The felting will start if you combine the soap with the third factor:
- Mechanical friction - if you want to felt the wool, intensive mechanical friction, pressing, rubbing and rolling of fibers is used.
Washing wool in the washing machine:
Now you may already know where we are heading: the fatal moment, when your favourite woolen sweater felts and shrinks, occurs most often in a washing machine:
- The normal washing program heats the water in the drum during washing and later fills it with cold water - this is the moment of thermal shock. Also, high rotation speed represents mechanical friction that can aid the felting. But don't worry, it happened to all of us :-) And the help is quite simple.
- Use a wool program on the washing machine instead of the normal program. First, try it on a small piece of wool. This program does not change the water temperature and spins at reduced rotation speed.
Washing of wool products in hands:
If you are still not sure, or you want to take care of a particularly delicate wool product, even hand washing is not that scary (easier than washing dishes :-D):
At the end of the winter season, before the sweaters go into silence and darkness of the closet, or in case of pollution:
- Soak woolen fabric or knitwear in warm water - a basin or bathtub will serve just right
- After a few hours, gently pull the item out and squeeze the water out of it
- Roll the damp knitwear in a towel and squeeze the rest of the water out of it - the towel absorbs the vast majority of dampness
- Do not twist the fabric to prevent deformation of the shape.
- Dry flat - spread on a towel placed on the drying rack - so that the wool has access to the air from below, and at the same time so that the weight of the water does not pull the knitwear down and deform it.
We look forward to you knowing how easy it is now, and you don't have to worry about wool production and maintenance at all! :-)