A beautiful knitted cardigan or jumper is a winter wardrobe must-have. Wool never goes out of fashion – luxurious, soft, stylish and warm, a quality woollen garment can last you years – if you look after it properly.
Most of us know better than to throw knitwear into a washing machine or a tumble dryer, but did you know that different types of wool need to be treated differently? Preserve the shape, style, colour and longevity of your woollen items with these care tips.
Merino Wool Care
The luxurious softness, breathability and shine of merino comes at a price – it needs extra care to keep it in top form. This guide will help you keep your merino garments looking their best.
Tip: Always read the care instructions on the label of a garment before washing it.
Washing by hand
Hand washing is always the best option when it comes to merino wool.
Mix some mild liquid soap in a cup of warm water. Most supermarkets stock soap made especially for delicate woollens.
Fill a basin or a bucket with cool water, and mix in the liquid soap solution.
Submerge the garment. Gently swirl the garment through the water, and allow to soak for 3 to 5 minutes.
Gently rinse the garment in tepid water.
Never wring or twist merino! Once you’re done rinsing, gently squeeze as much water as you can from the garment.
Lay the garment down between two towels and gently press to dry.
Allow it to air dry flat in a cool, well ventilated area.
Machine washing and tumble drying is never recommended for merino items. Many washing machines have a gentle cycle for delicate garments and knits, and if the garment’s label says “machine washable” this option can be used at 30 degrees. However, hand washing is always the safest option to prolong the longevity of any woollen items.
Lambswool is taken from sheep at their first shearing, making it extremely smooth, elastic and soft.
Tip: Never put lambswool in a washing machine, even on a cool water delicates cycle.
Washing by hand
Choose a mild liquid laundry soap with a pH level below 7.
Mix the detergent with cool water in a bucket or a basin.
Swirl the garment delicately in the water., then rinse.
Lambswool runs the risk of losing shape when wet, so never rub or wring.
Lay the garment on a towel in a well ventilated area.
Stretch it gently to the correct size and shape before allowing to air dry.
Acrylic wool is great for people allergic to regular sheep’s wool. As it is a synthetic fibre, it won’t shrink if thrown in with your regular laundry, but it may stretch and lose its shape if exposed to hot water.
Always read the label carefully when washing an acrylic or acrylic blend item – it will require different treatment depending on whether it’s blended with sheep’s wool, polyester or another material.
As with all knitwear, NEVER put acrylic items in the tumble dryer.
Knitwear storage tips
Store knitwear items folded neatly inside a drawer
Knits need to breath, so don’t overcrowd them
Never hang woollen items on plastic or wire clothes hangers – these may cause them to stretch and lose their shape.