How to take care of your winter woollens

2 01 2013


Image via Mary Hutchinson at Flickr creative commons

We all love a warm and snug winter woolly jumper, possibly more than any other item in our wardrobe. It’s like an old and reliable friend – offering plenty of warmth, and adapting itself perfectly to fit our bodies and keep us snug, as well as looking just right.

But because wool is not just renowned for its insulating properties, but is also a material whose longevity can depend on the level of care it is given, it’s vital to know how to wash, dry and look after them generally in order to ensure the maximum length of serviceable life.

Wool is naturally light in weight, but is knitted into a variety of thicknesses and gauges to ensure that garments can be produced for all weathers and all occasions. The best quality wool garments need little cleaning if it is taken off immediately after being worn, then neatly folded, or hung on a sturdy hanger.

Prince Charles is a noted lover of woollen wear, and his valet has the job of cleaning his extensive collection. He recommends immediately cleaning any small stain spots, and only undertaking a full clean whenever it is absolutely necessary.

A reputable dry cleaner is essential to help ensure that items of womens knitwear keep their look and shape over a long period. Doing this job properly depends on the cleaning fluid being changed regularly, and the woolly garments concerned being heated to the right temperature which stops just short of overheating them.

Regular changing of the dry cleaning fluid is essential if the natural smell of the wool is to be retained, so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask how often your dry cleaner does this.

Woollen garments marked as washable must be treated with a mild detergent, of which there are plenty available today. Any old washing powder or liquid just won’t do – it has to be one which states on the packaging that it is suitable for cleaning woollen items. Proprietary wool treatment products are also available, so look out for these, as these can be added to the drawer of your washing machine to help safeguard it against mis-shaping and shrinkage.

After washing, drying also needs some care. Hanging woollen clothing on a hanger with sharp ends will result in this leaving marks on the item concerned, so if you do this, you should use hangers covered with a soft material to help absorb these pressure points.

Alternatively, the garment can be laid flat, ideally on a surface which allows air to circulate all around it. A maiden, or clothes horse, is a good means of hanging a woolly to dry evenly, provided there is good air circulation all around it.

If you venture out in your woollens and they return home wet, you should resist the urge to hang them immediately over a radiator or in front of a fire, as this can cause shrinkage.

Should you need to iron your woollen clothes after washing them, use a steam setting, and carefully pass the iron just above the garment taking care to avoid touching it. Before doing this, though, turn the garment inside-out so that only the underside is ironed.

Items of womens knitwear become increasingly popular by the year, and so there is an increasing need for suitable advice on how to treat them. The guidelines in this article should provide some useful starting points.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: