How to wash wool safely

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I know many of you are concerned about how to wash and care for your woollen garments. I would like to put your minds at ease and tell you how my grandmother and mother taught me to care for all our woollen garments.

Wool is such a wonderful natural fibre. It's not like synthetic fibres which make you sweat and overheat, wool breathes. Wool repels water and is almost self-cleaning. You certainly don't need to wash wool every time you wear it. You can hang your wool garment out to air after you've worn it instead of washing it. If you spill something on it, don’t leave the stain to dry. Quickly remove the stain by gently squeezing a little regular washing up liquid on to the stain and rinse with lukewarm water. This often does the trick even on tough stain from coffee or red wine.

When you are ready to wash your wool garment, you have two choices you can either wash it by hand or if like me, you can wash it in the washing machine. Don't worry about washing in the washing machine.  As long as you have a good wool programme, you're good to go!

How to wash wool in the washing machine:

  1. Wash each of your wool garments separately, don't wash them together. Wool is made up of natural fibres that can react differently with other natural fibres.

  2. Always wash them on their own using a special liquid detergent for wool.  In Norway we use `Milo´, I know in the US you have `Woolite´. These are delicate detergents which don´t harm the wool fibres. 

  3. Set the wool programme to 30 degrees centigrade or 86 degrees Fahrenheit and let the machine gently wash your garment.

  4. Never ever put your wool in the dryer.

  5. When the machine wash is finished just lay your garment out flat to dry. 

  6. If you want to, you can gently steam your garment, but just on the areas where it's flat plain knitting. Never steam any structured knitting like the ribbed cuff or for example our Bryggen designs.

If you prefer to wash your wool by hand:

  1. Use lukewarm water that's no warmer than 30 degrees centigrade or 86 degrees Fahrenheit and a gentle wool detergent.

  2. Gently squeeze the fabric being careful not to stretch or rub the fibres too much.

  3. Be as gentle as you can with your garment and carefully rinse out the detergent.

  4. To dry your garment roll it in the towel pressing out the water as you roll. Then dry flat.

 If you follow these simple steps, with a little love, your Norwegian sweater will last forever. I still have garments that my grandmother knitted for herself in the 1950´s! I have a beautiful red bolero that still looks stunning. Wool is such a brilliant fabric. It keeps us warm and regulates our body temperature. We just need to take care of it and it will take care of us.

Happy washing!


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