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Looking after your clothes: Wool care


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Since when did wool care fit in with style? Since always! See, a big part of staying stylish and feeling confident about what you’re wearing is looking after your clothing. We’re firm believers in investing in key staple pieces. From cashmere to wool to leather to designer items, you’ll want to keep these pieces in tip top shape. 

Today, we’re covering the topic of wool. Wool is a luxurious, warm, and versatile fabric and a staple in stylish wardrobes, but we often get reader questions about how to care for it.  Does wool require a lot of care? Can you wash ‘100% wool’ if it says dry clean only? And how do you defuzz a wool clothing piece? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Together we’ll unravel the mysteries of wool care.

Firstly, why choose wool?

  • Wool is incredibly versatile. It can be spun into thick, chunky yarns for cozy sweaters and scarves, or woven into fine, smooth fabrics for elegant suits and coats. This means you can incorporate wool into your wardrobe in any season. 
  • Wool fibers are naturally strong and resilient. This means that wool garments can withstand daily wear and still look great. With proper care, your wool pieces can last for years, making them a smart investment for your wardrobe.
  • Wool is breathable: Surprisingly to some, different weaves of wool keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. Different weaves can even be moisture wicking, meaning it’s comfortable even on warmer days.
  • Wool is a renewable resource and is biodegradable, which makes it a great choice for the eco-conscious mama.
  • Wool is used to make timeless pieces. Think a classic wool coat, a tailored wool suit, a beautiful scarf, or a cozy wool sweater, these pieces are always in style. 
  • Despite what you might think, wool is relatively easy to care for. Many wool items only need to be aired out to freshen up if they’re a bit smelly, and spills can often be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

Wool has a beautiful natural texture that adds depth and interest to your outfits. Plus, it takes dye well, so you’ll see it used in a range of gorgeous pieces. Where possible, choose wool over a synthetic blend – you won’t regret it! Right, so here’s how to look after your beautiful outfits.

Does wool require a lot of care?

Wool is a natural, durable material that, with the right care, can last for years. It doesn’t require excessive care, but it does appreciate a little TLC, which we’ll go into below. 

How to clean your wool garments?

It’s best to wash wool garments only when they’re visibly dirty or smelly. This can help maintain the integrity of the fibers and extend the life of your garment. When it comes to washing, always check the care label. If it says “dry clean only,” it’s best to follow that advice. You can, however, hand wash your wool items in cold water with a gentle, wool-specific detergent. Never wring, twist or stretch wool to dry it; instead, gently squeeze out excess water out of it and lay it flat to dry. You can even put it on a gentle spin and then hang it on a clothes hanger to keep its shape. 

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Credit: Boob Design

Can you wash and dry wool in the washing machine?

While some modern wool garments are machine-washable, it’s always safest to check the care label first. If machine washing is allowed, use a gentle cycle with cold water and a wool-safe detergent. Avoid the tumble dryer at all costs, as heat can cause wool to shrink. Instead, lay your garment flat to dry or if it’s not loosely woven then you can use a hanger.

Does wool shrink every time you wash it?

Wool can shrink if exposed to heat or if it’s put in the tumble dryer, but it doesn’t shrink every time you wash it. To prevent shrinking, always wash in cold water and avoid the tumble dryer.

Can you reverse shrunken wool?

Have you ever accidentally shrunk a jumper you loved? Maybe you’ve tried to stretch it out… and felt ridiculous? Unfortunately, once wool has shrunk, it’s very challenging to reverse. However, you can try soaking the garment in a solution of lukewarm water and gentle conditioner, then gently – and we emphasize, gently – stretching it back to its original shape.

How to store your wool clothes?

When it comes to storing wool, think: cool, dry, and clean. Always clean your wool garments before storing them to avoid attracting moths. Fold them neatly (don’t hang for long periods of time, as loosely woven wool can stretch over time) and store them in a breathable cotton bag. You could vacuum pack these too. 

How to defuzz a wool clothing piece?

Pilling or fuzzing is a common issue with wool. And it’s quite frustrating to see and remove. To defuzz, gently go over the surface with a fabric comb or a pilling remover. There is an old wive’s tale about shaving the 

Can wool be ironed?

Yes, but very cautiously. Always iron wool using the lowest heat setting. You can also place a damp cloth between the iron and your wool item, which will help avoid ruining your item.

What not to do with wool?

Avoid exposing wool to heat or agitation, as this can cause shrinking. Never bleach wool, and avoid hanging it to dry if it’s loosely woven – a coat for example is OK – as it can stretch the fibers.

Remember, mamas, wool is a wonderful, warm, and stylish fabric that, with the right care, can be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come. When in doubt choose a woolen item over a synthetic item as it will last for so much longer. With these guidelines, you’ll be able to wear your wool sweater or wool coat with confidence, knowing you’re well-equipped to care for it. 

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Maternity Editor and first time mama with lots of experience and tips. Lives life to the fullest! South American by nature, based in Melbourne Australia. Mum to Mila, my life and soul.