Wool Clothing Care Tips
Wool is a fantastic fabric to keep warm in winter as well as for those spring and autumn days where you need the extra bit of cover. Think of a Pashmina shawl, a scarf made of such fine, lightweight wool is great for a nippy summer evening, especially here in Cape Town. Wool is an expensive fabric and you want to make sure that you care for wool garments so that you can continue to wear your favourites for more than one season. Even though, our second hand clothes are in perfect condition when you buy them, your wool garments will get dirty and you’ll need to clean them. We are in the second hand clothing business and know how important it is to keep your used clothes in good shape. 2nd Take has put together a few tips on how to care for your new woolies and other used clothes. There are ways of caring and keeping your wool garments in perfect shape and condition year after year.
2nd Take has compiled helpful wool clothing care tips as well as clothing care tips for many other materials.
Wearing your wool garment
Try to avoid stretching small areas of your garment, like wearing a heavy bag on a shoulder strap. Continuous stretching and movement over a small area will damage the wool fabric.
Empty pockets out and zip up
Make sure that before you wash or store your woolen garments you empty the pockets and remove belts, jewellery and other accessories and close zips and button up. You don’t want to have your used clothes sagging and bulging.
You should care for wool garments in between washes. Brush your garments lengthwise after wearing to remove surface soil that might become stains later on. By not letting the dirt settle in you will have to wash the item less often as you might have to otherwise. Dust and dirt will dull the wool’s appearance. follow our wool clothing care tips to keep your used clothing looking as new!
To remove cigarette or food odours from wool, simply place the items in sunlight, flat on a towel or hang on a suitable hanger for an hour or more. It is also good idea to air items before they are put into storage, to destroy any odours or insect larva. It is also important to air wool clothing when it is taken out of storage.
Hanging or folding?
You should fold delicate knitted garments and store them in drawers. Woven wool garments can be hung on shaped or padded coat hangers.
24 hour rest period
In order to preserve the shape of your woolen items, rest wool garments for 24 hours before wearing them again. Wool is an extraordinary fabric, that can maintain it’s shape even after wearing it many times, if you rest it in between. This gives the natural resilience and spring in the wool fibre time to recover and return to its original shape.
It’s easy to refresh your wool garments after unpacking or wearing. To remove wrinkles, hang them in a steamy bathroom if you don’t have a steamer at home, as the moisture of the air will do the trick of removing wrinkles. Follow our wool clothing care tips and hang the item in fresh air for an hour.
Take care of your wool items every time you wear them, to avoid having to wash them frequently. Washing them too often will wear out the yarn and shorten the lifespan of your item. We recommended to turn your garment inside out for washing, if possible and to wash like colours together.
We advise to use one of the gentle and woolmark approved wash detergents that have been developed specifically for fine fibres such as wool. They will help in maintaining the appearance and longevity of your woolen clothing. Look for the Woolmark logo on the packaging of the detergent to identify products which are approved for wool machine wash programs.
Depending on the care instructions on the label, there are generally five washing options:
Dry clean only
You should take your wool garment to a reputable, quality dry cleaner to ensure that the superior quality of your wool product is maintained.
Hand wash wool products in cold to luke warm (approximately 30°C) water and use a gentle Woolmark approved detergent and rinse well.
If you have a modern washing machine, care for wool garments by washing them on the wool wash cycle and on a maximum 40°C . However, not exceeding 30°C is probably a better option.
Total Easy Care
Your wool garment may be produced to satisfy today’s ever-increasing demand for easy care garments and you might just have to follow the care instructions on the garment. You might even be able to tumble dry it on a low, delicate cycle.
When you are cleaning a stain on your wool garment, first test on a less visible area, in order to avoid potentially ruining the garment.
Dry your wool garment at room temperature, away from direct sunlight or heat and ideally on a flat surface. Unless it is Total Easy care wool and specially treated, never put your wool items in the dryer as the yarn might be damaged or shrink.
Use steam when pressing wool or a steamer to get rid of wrinkles. Iron on the wool setting and avoid ironing the fabric when it’s totally dry. It might be a bit more difficult to rid lighter wool fabrics of creases. Try ironing with a damp cloth, steam iron on a wool setting or using a steamer.
Make sure your wool garments are clean before packing them away in cloth storage bags or air tight containers. Insects or larva will damage them if they are exposed to air. A cedar chest is an ideal storage option for wool but if you don’t have one, try adding cedar chips to the storage bag or use Woolmark endorsed moth repellent. Be careful to avoid these products directly touching the wool products, as it could weaken the fibre or cause discolouration.
How to treat stains on wool garments?
We recommend you take your stained garments to a professional dry cleaner for stain removal. If you want to treat the stain yourself, these are some stain removal tips. If you use any chemicals to remove the stain, follow the product instructions.
Blot gently with an absorbent cloth or paper towel to remove as much liquid as possible. Then sponge the area slightly with a mixture of surgical spirit and warm water (1 cup of water to 1 cup of surgical spirit)
Mix pure alcohol and white vinegar in equal parts and soak a cloth in the solution. Gently dab the stained area on your wool garment, before blotting gently with an absorbent cloth or paper towel.
Immediately remove blood with a damp sponge or cloth, by blotting the wool product area. Then carefully dab the stain with white wine vinegar followed by cold water.
Grease and Butter
Carefully scrape the surface of the stain to remove as much grease or oil as possible. Then soak a cloth in proprietary dry cleaning fluid and gently dab the stained area of your wool product.
Chocolate, white coffee and tea
Pat the edge of the stain gently with a cloth soaked in white spirit. Then follow the instructions for black coffee.
Egg / Milk
Dab carefully with a cloth soaked in white spirit. Repeat the action with a cloth soaked in diluted white vinegar (1 cup water / 1 cup vinegar)
Fruit, fruit juice and Red Wine
Pat the stain on your wool product immediately with a mixture of surgical spirit and water (3:1 ratio).
Carefully rub the area on your wool garment with soap or with a cloth soaked in surgical spirit.
Ink and ballpoint pen
Rub gently with a cloth soaked in white spirit and then with a cloth soaked in diluted white vinegar or surgical spirit (1 cup vinegar / 1 cup water)
Lipstick, make-up and shoe polish
Gently rub your wool product with a cloth soaked in turpentine and rinse with mild soapy water.
De-fluffing your wool garment
To remove the small wool balls that appear from the wool yarn, most commonly at the cuffs, the sides of a sweater or jacket where the arms touch or at the waist, use a small razor or scissors. If you use a razor or scissors, you have to be very careful, as it is very easy to cut into the wool garment. A much safer option is to use a small battery powered device, sold at most super markets, that has a protective covering and can remove small yarn balls easily.
Did you find our wool clothing care tips useful?
If you are in need of further clothing care tips, click here.