With a recent drop in temperatures and a definite drawing-in of days, we are reaching for our woollies. Whether cosy jumpers, warm socks or soft merino throws, it’s time to get wool items out of storage and hunker down for winter.
Here’s a few tips on how to care for your wool garments over the next few months:
Things that have been stored over summer might need a quick refresh before you use them. Give them a gentle soak for a few minutes in luke-warm water, then follow the drying instructions below. Garments and throws that can be tumble dried will benefit from a quick fluff-up in the dryer. Set to ‘air’ and make sure you use the ‘gentle’ cycle.
As we said in our advice on caring for linen, it’s essential to check your item’s care label. For things that need to be dry cleaned, try to limit the amount of cleaning so that you can prolong their life. Items that need handwashing should be turned inside out and washed in cool water with an appropriate, gentle detergent (this one from The Laundress looks rather luscious). Give them one slow swish then leave to soak for 10 minutes. Don’t rub or pull as you will damage the wool. Rinse twice and press to remove any remaining water. Again, no wringing.
Machine-washable woollies (the easiest to care for) should be washed on the ‘wool’, ‘gentle’ or ‘delicate’ cycle.
If you have handwashed or refreshed your wool item, lay it flat on a clean towel. Roll this up to create a kind of woolly Swiss roll. This will absorb any excess water. Unroll and remove the item carefully, then dry on a flat dryer or rack. Hanging will pull the wool and cause lumpy, misshapen garments. Reshape the item whilst damp if necessary.
After machine washing simply give your woollie a gentle shake, reshape and dry flat.
Stains are best treated as soon as possible. Try spot cleaning with a small amount of wool detergent, or use eucalyptus oil for more stubborn stains. Work inwards so you don’t spread the stain. Follow the washing instructions if it still hasn’t come out.
You might want to keep some of your woolen things in storage, or revisit this article in summer when it’s time to put them away for the season. To prevent moths and silverfish eating your wool clothes or blankets, make sure everything is clean to begin with. These creatures feed off sweat and stains. Fold each item carefully, put them in sealed storage bags and throw in a lavender bag or herbal pouch. We’ve made our own from a mixture of dried lavender, cedar strips and dried rosemary, which we have just poured into cloth bags. A great natural moth deterrent.
These tips should help you keep your woolen throws, sweaters, socks and countless other cosy numbers looking beautiful all through winter. And if you need some new winter blankets, check out our newly launched range of sumptuous cashmere throws. Time to get snuggled up!
(Images via as-cosy-as-can-ne.tumblr and lovehygge.tumblr.com)