How to wash your woollens

wet woolLast night I used the wool cycle on my new washing dryer for the first time. I expected to be thrilled with the results, so great was my disappointment when everything came out dowsed in a layer of washing powder.

“Why am I so rubbish at washing woollens?” I lamented to my fiancé. Who probably didn’t care as his idea of washing clothes is to turn the dial to a 40 degree quick wash, no matter what the colour or fabric. So I have made it my mission today, to find out the best way to wash woollens – especially as winter will soon be upon us and we’ll need our jumpers to keep out the cold. Here are my findings so far…

  1. Don’t wash after a single wear – jumpers don’t need to be washed frequently. Doing so will damage the fabric.
  2. Don’t wash or dry on a high temperature – heat shrinks wool (I have found this out in recent years too – to the detriment of two lovely cardigans).
  3. Don’t agitate – in a typical wash cycle fabrics are rubbed together but this causes felting in wool. Not good.
  4. Use the right product and don’t use too much – use a powder specifically tailored to wool and remember lots of detergent can cause felting.
  5. If using a washing machine, use the wool cycle – for example, the popular Hotpoint Aquarius WML540P washing machine with wool cycle. The wool cycle reduces the speed in which the drum spins making sure clothing is not stretched. Clothing is constantly moving in the water and the gentleness of this washing machine cycle means hand washing is no longer required.

I hope this blog has been some use to you. I know finding out all this information has been helpful to me. I’ll let you know how it goes next time I wash my woollens.

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2 Responses to How to wash your woollens

  1. Liam says:

    Washing wool is can be a pain, especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing. I remember the first time I tried it, I managed to ruin my favourite jumper.

    Important to remember with winter coming along that if you do wash your woolly jumpers its best to lay it out in a natural position to dry (putting it on a towel can help) – if you fold it up or heaven forbid leave it on a hanger the wet wool can stretch and stay stretched once its dry. This can ruin the fit and make a normal jumper into a baggy jumper.

    Most importantly Don’t let pets anywhere near your freshly clean wooly jumper. Cats especially view them as a warm little bed for them to sleep on an leave cat hairs everywhere.

    • kitchenkate says:

      Thanks Liam, that’s a great tip! And I know what you mean about cats and clothes – my 6 month old kitten absolutely loves the washing basket. You have to be careful not to get her in the wash sometimes.

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