Caring For Wool
Wool fibres differ in structure to other fibres. They are self-cleaning and don’t need to be washed as often. A quick spot clean (dab, don’t rub!) or frequent airing will keep your knitwear fresh for longer. When it comes to stains, time is of the essence, act quickly and never use heat - this will set the stain and make it impossible to remove.
Separate your delicates. To ensure they don’t get mixed up with other laundry items, we recommend storing knitwear and silks separately in your utility area.
When the time comes to wash your woollens, gently hand wash in lukewarm water, using a PH neutral, organic soap. The simpler, the better. Avoid any fabric softeners or harsh, scented detergents (especially those containing bleach) as these will damage the natural fibres. Let you knit soak for about 15 minutes then rinse thoroughly - multiple times if necessary. Don’t agitate the water too much when your knit is soaking as this can cause the wool to felt.
Once clean, gently roll your knit in a large, thick towel, reshape whilst damp and lay flat to dry on an airy surface. A wooden clothes dryer is perfect. In summer, you can place the dryer by an open window or outside in the fresh air. In winter, drying your knits near a radiator will speed up the process. Just be sure to lay them out horizontally on a flat surface. Heavy knits may take up to a couple of days to fully dry. Be careful not to put them away whilst still damp.
We recommend that you do not machine wash your hand knits. The type of yarn we use is thick, but very delicate, with fibres that are not as compacted as those spun into thinner yarns. This provides extra comfort and fluffiness but also means that the knits should be handled with extra care so that they do not lose their shape. An aggressive spin cycle can also be damaging to delicate fibres and can cause just as much shrinkage as hot temperatures.
Dry cleaning is harmful to the environment and the chemicals used will damage and weaken natural fibres over time. A good hand wash gets the best results.
Store your knits in a clean, dry space with lavender bags, cedar balls or bay leaves to deter moths. Moths thrive in dark spaces and love dirty clothes, so keep your knits clean and air outside or by an open window to freshen up between wears. We recommend folding your knitwear, as hanging will cause it to become misshapen. It’s also a good idea to shake your knits out a couple of times during the summer months when they are not getting as much wear, to check for any unwanted visitors.
Some natural pilling will occur during use, especially when your knit is new. Don’t be alarmed if you find your knit bobbling quite a lot at the start of its life, this is completely natural and a normal feature of the high quality fibres used to spin the yarn. Just like the best cashmere, extra fine merino wool tends to pill more than coarser wool. To remove any pills, use an electric fabric shaver which will cut across the knit, taking away only the extraneous surface fibres. A sweater stone or comb will also do the job, but use carefully - if used too vigorously, these can pull out more fibres from the wool causing it to quickly pill again.
If you discover a little hole in your knitwear at any point during its lifetime, don’t be afraid to have a go at darning it. There are many online courses to show you how and results needn’t be prefect. We believe in imperfect beauty! Make a feature out of your mend with contrasting yarn, or if you prefer an exact match, get in touch and we will send you enough wool to darn the hole, free of charge. If you don’t trust your own mending skills or don’t have the time, ask a professional. We can even organise this for you.