With the right care, products that have come from The Wool Company should give you many years of faithful service. But wool is a natural fibre and it will not thank you for using the wrong methods, techniques or laundry products when laundering. Please read the advice below and we welcome any comments or suggestions you may have.
On Receiving your new Wool Product
We have prepared and packed your item with care and we hope it has arrived in perfect condition. If it hasn't please contact us straight away.
You new item has been folded carefully and may have been packed for some time. Wool does not readily hold onto its creases but it will thank you for releasing it from confinement sooner rather than later.
If your product has arrived in a polythene bag, unpack it from its postage bag as soon as possible. It should not be stored in direct sunlight (even when packed) and you should prevent them from being exposed to extreme changes of temperature. Wool is a natural fibre and it likes to breathe: it is able to absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water vapour, so if kept in direct sunlight it can "sweat" releasing that moisture and causing condensation on the inside of the plastic bag which in turn can cause damp patches when it cools.
It will arrive with some loose fibres on the product so it is often a good idea to give it a gentle shake outdoors being careful not to stretch it in the process. Creases and wrinkles caused by packaging should soon drop out but if they don't there is a solution below.
How to Remove Wrinkles & Creases from Cashmere and Wool Blankets, Throws, and Shawls
Wool will usually shed its creases in use but on occasion (e.g. in dry ambient conditions) it may need a little help. It's a good idea to remove wrinkles and creases because if they are left in place over long use the item can wear unevenly. If there are any stubborn creases caused by packaging, use or storage they can be easily removed by carefully hanging the item in a warm bathroom or other warm humid room for ten to twenty minutes until the creases drop out. Here are our tips on removing creases and wrinkles from wool: -
- Hang in a steamy bathroom
- Hang evenly, being careful to avoid putting too much weight/pressure onto any particular area of the item or it may stretch out of shape
- Use padded coat hangers for garments, avoid snagging and consider using a strong (clean) shower rail to hang larger items on
- Ensure the item has space and is not scrunched against anything else or you will end up with more wrinkles than you started with
- Close the windows and give the bath a blast of hot water from the shower to make the room warm and steamy
- Better still, enjoy the shower yourself, as long as you can avoid soaking the product in the process
- Don't allow it to get wet or it may become too heavy
- Allow the creases to drop out
- Wool can absorb a lot of water (see above) so ensure you allow the item to air-dry completely before storing or using.
Wool and Cashmere Product Care
Always check the product/garment label – the washing method is determined by the type of garment; some are hand wash or dry clean only, whilst others are machine washable. We have experimented with the many suggested methods and looked at the varied products to help us to achieve this. Our main aim was to find products that were as free of any chemicals as possible, but that would actually work.
This proved far more difficult than we imagined. We have created a collection of various products that we felt that really did a great job of cleaning at cold or low temperatures, and at the same time have added benefits of eliminating house dust mites and allergens normally only eradicated by washing at high temperatures.
- Turn item inside out to wash (if a garment)
- Prepare a ‘bath’ of cool / tepid water, less than 30 deg. And with appropriate quantity of Wool mark approved detergent.
- Completely submerge item(s) in the basin of water agitating the water & detergent using your hands to gently force air bubbles out.
- Soak for at least half an hour. It is fine to leave it soaking for longer unless you are washing silk.
- Gently agitate the water again. If you see colour in the water…..keep calm and carry on! This is quite normal; it is simply the yarn dye releasing some colour: you will not notice any colour loss.
- Rinse well in ‘running’ room temperature water and keep rinsing until all the soapy water is gone.
- Be careful not to wring out and avoid the item being stretched by the weight of the water, PRESS the water out of the item instead.
How to dry wool…
- Pull gently into shape.
- Dry flat on a clean towel, or spread out in an airy place out of direct bright/harsh sunlight and away from direct heat.
- Domestic dehumidifiers are great for this purpose.
Can I tumble dry wool or cashmere?We are often asked if it is safe to tumble dry wool blankets and throws or whether it's safe to tumble dry cashmere pashminas and other shawls.
Woven garments may be hung on suitable hangers with enough space to enable creases to drop out. Knitted garments, including hand knits should not be hung: fold and store.
- Stains- treat stains immediately, rinse minor stains with cold water and dab dry with a clean soft cloth. (Do not use tissues or paper towels)
- Drying- If garment should get wet, dry away from direct heat (heater or direct sunlight).
- Storing -clean first according to care label.
Cedar blocks or mothballs will deter moths from damaging fibres.
How to care for your sheepskin rugs…
Single and double sheepskins fit comfortably in standard British washing machines, while treble fleeces may fit into larger machines. Use the coolest ‘woollens’ settings: 30°C (85°F) wool wash cycle – and add just a teaspoon of mild, non-biological non-bleach detergent.
Important: See our "Which Detergent" notes
It is beneficial to also add some lanolin based wool fabric conditioner. Lightly spin (wool cycle) the rug and then allow drying naturally, away from direct heat. Flexing the sheepskin as it dries will help to maintain its suppleness.
- Never use biological washing detergent.
- Never use bleaches and note that MOST non-bio washing powders do contain bleach - use a wool approved detergent!
- Never wash in hot water
- Never store in a plastic bag
- Never tumble dry.
- Never dry on a radiator.
- Always remove from the machine promptly after the program has finished.
- Always dry in a well ventilated place to dry away from direct heat and sunlight.
If hand washing, use warm water, not hot (30°C), and again use just a teaspoon of mild, non-biological detergent. Add some lanolin based fabric conditioner to the rinse water. Gently squeeze out excess water; carefully pull the rug back into shape, then hang to dry away from direct heat. Flexing the sheepskin as it dries will help to maintain its suppleness. Carefully brush the wool with a wire sheepskin brush once when damp and again when dry, to maintain the silky soft texture of the rug.
- Always use wool approved detergent
- Never use biological washing detergent (the enzymes ruin wool)
- Never use bleach or "in-wash scent booster beads" (ditto)
- Never wash in hot water (maximum 30°C/86°F)
- Never use "non-bio/delicates" detergents (most of these contain bleach, although you won't see it listed on the package)
- If it doesn't say it's safe for wool on the label it isn't safe for wool
- once more: always use a wool approved detergent!
- Always remove from the machine promptly after the program has finished.
Drying your wool or cashmere
- Dry immediately after washing
- Never store damp in a plastic bag
- Never tumble dry
- Never dry on a radiator or on direct heat
- Always dry in a well ventilated place away from direct heat and sunlight.
All our sheepskins can be dry-cleaned. Most high street dry-cleaners should be able to offer this service. It will make your old sheepskin rugs look like new.
PURE WOOL RECEIVING BLANKETS AND WOOL/COTTON BABY SHAWLS
These are very delicate and should be hand washed only in cool or tepid water. Use only specialist wool shampoo - we sell one on our web site - and follow the instructions carefully. Do not tumble dry, spin, or wring out. Gently pull into shape after washing and dry flat in gently moving air out of direct strong sunlight. Other than our own wool shampoo many of our customers find that Stergene offers good results. Even non-bio detergents can damage this delicate item so please take extra care in your choice of detergent. Also please note that using too much of the right detergent can cause damage. We recommend that you do not use fabric conditioners or softeners on these products
DUCHESS MERINO BLANKETS
The manufacturer recommends Dry Clean/Hand wash only, but with great care, use of the correct detergent, a high quality washing machine (we prefer a modern Miele!) set on no/slow spin cool/cold wool setting, you can obtain good results.