Washing your wool jumper or throw

Washing your Wool Blanket

I am often asked about wool care. How do you wash a wool jumper, what detergent do you use? Can you machine was a wool throw?

What is often meant, is looking after a wool jumper, socks or throw a time-consuming nightmare. Please don’t panic. Looking after wool is quite straightforward and is really no different to washing whites or really any other garment. It just needs a little bit of thought and once you understand its very simple.

Wool rarely needs washing. I know this sounds outrageous to some of you, but wool is a natural fibre and unlike synthetics and nylon which need regular washing, wool repels dirt and odour causing bacteria which synthetics soak up like a smelly sponge. Wool is breathable and wicks moisture away. The naturally occurring lanolin helps this occur.

If you need to wash your wool, make sure you use the correct detergent.

  • Step away from bleach and fabric softeners. These will harm and destroy the special wool fibres.
  • Use a wool detergent or a gentle handwash. Ecover have a wool detergent but there are others available.

You need to use a product that preserves and protects the wools natural oils, the lanolin. It is the lanoline that repels water and keeps the sheep warm and dry. Lanolin helps to keep your wool throw, socks or jumper soft and durable.

Lanolin also helps to repel dust. If you think your wool throw has picked up a few bits, give it shake or if you think it needs freshening up just pop it on the washing line on a breezy day.

You have spilt something on your throw!

  • Don’t panic!
  • Don’t put it in the washing machine.
  • Wipe it off with a damp cloth, rinse clean with water if necessary, and allow to dry

Spills will bead on the surface of the wool as the lanolin which is full of natural oils, make this happen. In contrast, a synthetic item will absorb this and will need washing.

Hand washing

If you want to hand wash your wool, be aware that when wet, wool becomes heavy and quite vulnerable.

  • Fill the sink with luke warm water
  • Add few drops of mild wool friendly detergent
  • Massage the detergent into the wool very gently. Do not scrub or rub
  • Leave to soak for approx. 15 mins
  • Do not wring as this will cause the wool to stretch and will damage the fibres.
  • Fold and roll the wool to squeeze the water out.

 Temperature is everything.

  • Hot water causes shrinkage.

Our wool items can be machine washed on a 20° or less cycle. I use the wool wash setting on my machine with a slow spin.

Drying your wool throw.

  • Do not tumble dry. You will damage the garment

I dry all of my wool items on a fold out rack or sometimes I fold them in half over the banister rail.

You can dry them flat. I place a towel on a flat surface, fold the throw in half and leave to dry.

Wool dries quite quickly.

In summary

  • No bleaches, biological washing powder/liquid or fabric softeners
  • Handwash or cool machine wash.
  • Dry clean if you wish
  • Do not tumble dry
  • Spot clean spills
  • No need for regular washing as wool repels dirt and odours.
  • Air outside
  • Give the throw a shake.

Your wool item will last a very long time if looked after.  


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