Washing Your Wool

Updated: Jan 6

We love our wool with a passion. In our house, we are on a mission to move entirely to wool, hemp, cotton, and other natural fibers. If it wasn’t so expensive, I might turn entirely to wool for its many superior technical properties. Northern Ireland in the winter is a nasty place, so the sheep wintering in this layer is all the endorsement I need. Its greatest downfall is the washing inconvenience.

Despite its ability to be worn over and over without washing and without developing a hint of odor, eventually, you should wash it. The process is not all that hard, just a little more time consuming to dry, because wool will shrink. To the business of washing:

1. *Sort by colors,* because the dyes will bleed just like your cotton fabrics.

2. *Turn garments inside out* and close all zippers to keep the abrasion and wear on the inner, unseen side of the garment.

3. *Wash on cool or warm cycle*. A hot cycle will contribute to shrinkage. Many modern machines have a wool cycle. If yours does, use this, otherwise use a normal (not delicate) cycle to ensure you fully rinse out the detergents.

4. *Use wool detergent* like this one from Nikwax. Other detergents work just fine, but make sure they do not include any scents or fabric softeners that will interfere with wool’s superpowers.

5. *Do not use bleach* or fabric softeners. Wool is naturally soft and does not enjoy aggressive chemical baths.

6. *Wash with denim*. Occasionally it is good to wash your wool with a rough fabric like denim, which will help remove loose fibers.

7. *Air Dry* on ultra-delicate cycle (no heat) with dryer balls to kickstart the drying process. After a single cycle, lay the garment flat or hang on a line or on hangers to complete the drying process.