How to wash wool

Wool explained: What it is and how to care for this fabric!

Nothing beats the comfort of a warm woollen jumper, but when it comes to wool clothing, you may not be aware of the special care it requires to keep your wools looking good. You go to wash that woollen jumper and then ask yourself how to unshrink wool, or wonder whether you need a wool detergent. Find out how to care for your woollen garments!

What is wool?

Wool is a natural fibre from the fleece of a sheep. After sheep are shorn, the wool is sorted, cleaned and spun into yarn. It produces a very thick and warm fabric, but it also requires delicate care. Since wool is a natural fibre, it breathes easily and it’s also non-allergenic. Wool can be combined with other fibres, like silk or nylon to combine their various properties. Wool is prone to shrinking, and unless the fabric is blended with other fibres, it can be difficult to wash.

What clothes are made from wool fibres?

Since wool fabric is thick and warm, it’s great for knitwear, like jumpers or scarves, but you can even get woollen dresses, cardigans, hats, scarves and even socks!

How to wash wool fabrics?

  • Always check the fabric care label before washing.

  • If the garment is hand washable, then your wool wash temperature should always be in cold water with a mild detergent suited to wool.

  • If you have items that are machine washable, then garments with low wool content can be washed on cool and gentle cycles with wool washing liquid, along with Lenor fabric conditioner.

How to dry wool fabrics?

  • Wool fabrics should not be tumble dried as this can shrink the garments.

  • Dry wool naturally.

How to iron and store wool fabrics?

Most woollen garments, like knits, won’t suffer from creasing, but garments that are fibre blends may require ironing. Set your iron to a wool or medium setting. Avoid high temperatures as these can lead to scorch marks. Lay the garment down and reshape by hand, spray with a bit of water and use the steam function while ironing. You’ll want to store wool in a cool and dry place.

Prevent any damage to the fabrics by laying the garments flat. Store your wool in cedar chests, or even with cedar chips and mothballs to prevent moths from getting at the fibres. Dry cleaning will also help keep those insects away.

Caring tips for your wool fabrics

  • Treat small stains by rinsing them with cold water and blotting dry with a clean cloth.

  • To remove excess water after washing, roll the garment in a towel.

  • When travelling, loosely roll up or fold your woollen garments in tissue paper to keep the garment in good condition.

  • You can freshen up any wrinkled woollen item by hanging it up in a steamy bathroom.

  • Give your wools a dry cleaning once a season to keep them in good shape.

Different fabrics require special care, not just wool, natural fibres like cashmere and even linen need to be looked after, as well as synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester. Whether you’re removing tough stains or looking to care for your fabrics, Ariel gives you outstanding results in the 1st wash.