Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Washing Wool

17 November 2006

A friend asked the other day what to use on wool, knowing my dislike of Woolite.

Simple answer: wool is hair. Use shampoo. Might as well use the same shampoo you use on your own hair: one fewer bottle to have hanging around the house.

I use a sulfate-free shampoo that’s designed for dyed hair, as I figure that’s about as ideal as one can get, but any shampoo that makes your hair look nice will work fine.

More complicated answer: sometimes wool garments say to dry clean because of sizing or dye. Most dyes these days are colorfast, but it’s worth trying a small handwash somewhere inconspicuous before dunking the whole thing in water. Garments lined in acetate are likely dry clean only due to the lining (or interfacings) rather than the wool per se.

Wash wool in warm water (about the same temp you’d shower in) and do not agitate it (because if you do, you’ll create felt and it’ll shrink).

Lay flat to dry.

Not so hard, really.

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