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A Guide to Wool Sweater Care - Washing Wool Jumpers

A Guide to Wool Sweater Care - Washing Wool Jumpers

There are so many different types of fabric and material that can be used to make a sweater these days, but it is no surprise that a natural fibre like lambswool has stood the test of time.

As a natural fibre, it has a soft stretch that allows it to move with the body, rather than clinging to it awkwardly like some man-made fabrics can. Most importantly, it has breathability, while also having the ability to keep you warm while keeping moisture away from the body. Because of this, there is no seasonal reason not to wear a lambswool sweater, and it can be worn 9 months out of the year, except for the hottest summer months (although a lightweight lambswool sweater is perfect on a cool summer evening).

How To Clean a Lambswool Sweater

With proper care, a good lambswool sweater can last for many years, and remain looking great the whole time. Although the label in a lambswool sweater may say "Dry Clean Only", it is possible to hand wash a lambswool sweater with a bit of care and effort.

Washing In Water

The best temperature to wash a lambswool sweater is cool water. If you need to dissolve a solid soap/detergent in the water, start off with hot water and let it cool down before adding the sweater.

Once you add your wool garment, either let it sit in the basin with water, or swirl it delicately in the water. Never agitate the water, or rub the sweater too hard, because it will lead to felting and shrinkage. DON’T EVER twist or wring out a wool sweater- it will quickly lose its shape and resilience.

It's important to use the correct cleanser as well. Use a mild detergent with a pH level below 7. Dishwashing liquid works wonders at cleaning wool, because it is almost alkaline; otherwise a gentle, non-bio fabric detergent will work.

Adding a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil, or a citrus based eco-product like Laundry Fresh will make your sweater extra fluffy.

Removing Stains

If a sweater has a stain, you can spot-wash it with a natural stain remover like vinegar* or lemon juice, but test on a small area to make sure the dyes will not change colour. Below is a list of common stains and what you can use to try to remove them:

  • Ink: Immerse in cold water.
  • Blood: Blot with common starch paste and rinse from back with soapy water.
  • Lipstick: Rub white bread over area with a firm motion.
  • Chocolate: Sponge with soapy cold water.
  • Coffee or Tea: Sponge with glycerin. If none available, use warm water.
  • Mud: Once dry, brush and sponge from back with soapy cold water.
  • Red Wine: Immerse in cold water.

In order to dry a lambswool sweater, lay it flat on a towel and stretch it to the correct size and shape before drying. The sweater will dry to the size and shape you stretch it to. Let it airdry.

Remember that a wool sweater will shed its wrinkles as it dries, so generally speaking, it will not need to be ironed. If you do need to iron it, always use steam, and iron the sweater inside out. Only apply an iron to damp wool, never when a sweater is totally dry. You can also easily "refresh" wool by hanging it in your steamy bathroom after a bath or shower.

Browse Our Newest Jumpers and Sweaters

2012-10-29 11:40:00
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