As we enter the depths of winter, you may have made a few discoveries in your recently resurfaced collection of winter woollies.
Whilst wool is one fibre that’s able to stand the test of time, the longevity of your wool wonders depends on the right care. If you’ve gone to don your favourite wool jumper or pair of woolly socks to find they’re well past their prime, there’s no need to bin them and buy new ones.
With approximately 336,000 tonnes of clothing binned every year in the UK, adding to an already huge pile of textile waste presents a major problem for the planet. Replacing well-loved pieces with new items also isn’t great news for your finances, especially as we get over the cost of Christmas.
In the spirit of saving instead of spending as the New Year gets underway, we’re here to share our tips for maintaining, making do and mending wool garments and accessories.
1. Give your woollies a good wash
By nature, wool fibres need far less washing than other materials. They’re naturally odour, stain and wrinkle resistant, yet sometimes reviving those treasured wool items is just a matter of giving them a good wash.
Most wool garments and accessories are machine washable, but be sure to check the care label for instructions. Wash your garments on a gentle wool setting with a mild detergent – just like our Wool & Silk Delicate Wash – to give your wool the once over it needs to look and feel refreshed.
2. Be very particular about drying
There’s an art to drying wool, and without the right method, you can quickly make the wool item you were looking to revive appear even more frazzled.
Wool should always be dried flat. Flat drying helps delicate wool items to keep their shape as well as minimise creases without the need for ironing. Mesh screens or drying racks hung over the bath are a great option for drying wool items horizontally, quickly and safely.
There are several things you should avoid to keep wool in the best condition when drying at home as The Woolmark Company explains:
“When drying, avoid direct sunlight, magnified sunlight (close to an outside window) or direct heat. Avoid placing your wool garment over a radiator to dry. The part of the garment which is folded over the top of the radiator tends to dry the quickest and can cause the garment colour to change or damage the garment in this area.”
3. Brush and de-pill to return wool to its former glory
Pilling is extremely common with wool items and can leave garments and accessories looking unsightly and worn out.
The formation of these fuzzy little balls however shouldn’t be a cause to recycle or refashion your woolly piece. Our Fabric Pilling Shaver is a must-have gadget for wool enthusiasts. In seconds it removes pills and lint, leaving your garment looking as good as new.
If you’ve de-pilled and your garment or accessory is still looking a little lacklustre, why not try brushing it? Garment brushes are great ways to remove the dust, dirt and stains that can dull wool fibres.
4. Try repairing before you recycle or refashion
Make, do and mend has been a solid part of British culture for as long as we can remember. This passion may have declined in recent years due to the rise (and rise) of fast fashion, yet using these age-old values to repair your wool items will keep more clothes out of landfills and save you heaps of cash.
Holes in wool jumpers and blankets can easily be repaired with a needle and thread, whilst hand-knitted socks can be darned just as simply with our guide to sock repairs.
5. Invest in wool care right now
Prevention is no doubt better than cure, which means investing in wool care now could save you lots of money and time in the long run.
As we’ve discovered, washing and drying your woollies doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right textile care products, you can nourish the fibres that make up your wool pieces to help them last even longer.
Shop our textile care range today to discover the specialist products that will help you look after your wool like a pro.