5th September 2019
Wool you be washing less often, too?
We’re all being encouraged to wash our clothes less frequently for the sake of the planet and here at Higher Hill Farm we think that’s a win-win-win situation. Less work, reduced environmental impact, decreased risk of damaging your beautiful woollens! So we thought we’d head back to school too and refresh ourselves on how to wash wool.
How to wash wool if you really need to
Can I wash wool in the washing machine?
Wool as with all hair, just like your skin and fingernails, is essentially protein. Harsh chemicals are created to degrade protein-based stains! For example, if you use a detergent formulated to remove stains such as blood, it will actually start to dissolve wool. This is why your choice of detergent is absolutely critical to successful wool care. More on that here
However, if time really is of the essence, wool washing cycles on a good quality modern machine cleverly mimic the gentle hand washing approach. You must opt for using pure soap flakes or, better still, a wool approved detergent - this will help the water slide between the fibres of the wool to cleanse it.
It might be an idea to use a WashSafe bag in the machine to protect your delicate wool from the drum too.
Woolwash works wonders
We always use Woolwash because its pH neutral formula is safe to use on wool, alpaca, mohair, silk, cashmere, llama, angora and opossum. It doesn’t contain synthetic perfumes, phosphates, peroxide, alkali, enzymes or bleach - unlike most other detergents. It's even safe to use with sheepskins.
It will keep your lovely natural wool clean and lustrous! Woolwash also contains a blend of gorgeous Australian essential oils including tea tree oil.
At least please ensure that your detergent says somewhere on the packet that it is "for wool" or that safe to use on wool. If it doesn't, it isn't. Even "Gentle" and other non-bio detergents contain bleach. Bleach eats protein and will destroy wool. The bleach is not mentioned on the packet but it is almost alway inside.
Honey I shrank the kid (mohair socks)
How to dry wool
Resist, resist the urge to put your wool in the tumble dryer! Unless it’s one of our best selling baby blankets, which has been specially created to cope with the dryer, it really isn’t going to work out well.
Spread the garment out flat and reshape a couple of times as it dries in a warm airy place, not on top of a radiator. Wool is remarkably mouldable, if you tackle it at the right stage of the drying process.
Brush with genius
How knitters care for woolKnitters know best
- Old tried and tested methods include washing you wool in a small quantity of baby shampoo.
- If you find your wool is a bit itchy, try a little hair conditioner in the rinse. This helps soften it so it will be less likely to tickle the nerve ending in you skin
- Another expert recommended rinsing your garment in a tub filled with very diluted vinegar to soften the fibres. This is antibacterial andshould eliminate any nasty whiffs too.
How will you wash your wool?
Class dismissed! If you have any questions about how to wash wool, please comment (below). We’re keen to keep your lovely woollen goodies in tip top condition and we want to know your own top tips.
Notes from the Village
The Great Escape, a recurring theme.
Lots of great fruit and veggies too, including pointy cabbage, calabrese, local cucumbers and runner beans, and still doughnut peaches are available. We had a blissfully simple dessert of our own raspberries, peaches, yoghurt, and honey given to us by a neighbour. It would take some beating.Who knows what will happen to our food supplies and prices with all the uncertainty we're facing as a nation, but Village Greens will continue to supply the best local produce we can find, supplemented by other ethically grown products, from the South West wherever possible. If you can't join us on a Friday we're happy to reserve items and even do local deliveries, get in touch and have a chat, supporting your local food producers may never have been more important.