How to care for wool

It’s probably the most popular fabric of all time. But most of us have no idea how to care for wool. In fact, maintaining woollen garments can be an absolute nightmare. But if you know how to look after it, your favourite jumper or cardigan can last a lifetime.

Here are a few of our favourite tips on how to care for wool year-round.

Dealing with stains

First of all, don’t panic. If you catch it quickly, you should be able to dab or delicately rinse the affected area with water. If the stain is particularly stubborn, there are a number of techniques to try. The worst marks can be handled with a combination of alcohol and white vinegar. This potent mix will take care of coffee, blood, and even oil-based paints, without damaging the fibres of the wool.

Just make sure you don’t iron the garment before the stain has been fully removed, as the heat will seal the mark into the fabric.

Drying wool

All woollen items should be washed inside-out to protect their outer layer. As soon as they come out of the washing machine, lay the item flat on a dry towel. Roll the towel up and gently squeeze it, to extract any excess moisture from the wool. Then lay the item out flat over a drying rack, and allow it to dry naturally over the next few hours. Don’t be tempted to put it on the radiator, as the uneven distribution of heat could warp the wool and change the shape of your item.

Packing and storage

Avoid tight packing when you’re putting woollen items into storage. After a wash, be sure to ‘rest’ the item form for 24 hours on a hanger. This help the fibres fall back in places so the garment can regain its original shape.

Before you pack away your wools, put them through a preventative wool wash, and try to splash out on dedicated ‘delicates’ washing liquid.

To help keep pests away, place the items in a thick container, sealed in a bag or wrapping paper. And adding sprigs of dried lavender will help ward off creepy crawlies and will make your clothes feel fresh, even after a long spell in the attic!