by Valerie Valdez
Wool has been the go-to fabric of people for thousands of years. It is truly one of the best natural fibers for many reasons. It can be used for a lot of things and is comfortable in hot and cold temperatures and is more resistant to water and flames than a lot of other materials.
It can be easily dyed and spun into a variety of sizes of yarn. No artificial fabric has ever been able to match the benefits of natural wool. However, wool can easily lose its shape and become less defined if washed without care, and worst of all, it can shrink several sizes. But unlike other fabrics, like cotton, wool doesn’t need to be washed as often.
Wool is a remarkable natural product that is extremely adept at keeping itself clean longer. Instead, spot-clean and air woolens and you will be amazed at how well they last with little care and washing. But when you do need to wash wool items, follow these basic instructions.
First, soak the wool in cold water for a few hours before washing. This saturates all the fibers and helps stop shrinkage. Next, use a gentle cleaner, like Woolite or baby shampoo. Dissolve the cleaner in the water first, to prevent agitating the wet wool. Use only a little as soap increases felting. Wash the woolen item in the sink by soaking and squishing but be careful not to rub the wool against itself or it will felt. Heat and agitation are bad for wool, so soak and rinse the dirt out, because wool is extremely easy to clean with just water.
Dry the wool piece flat in the desired size and shape using a folding clothes rack. Remove excess water with a towel by laying the item on a towel and rolling it up jelly-roll style, squeezing and pressing gently. Unroll then, leave it in fresh air to dry slowly and naturally. Your woolen item should last for many year with proper cleaning care.